Interview with ...
Please introduce yourself to those reggae fans who don't know you yet. How did you start your musical career ?
My name is Wayneford Omaro Levy, aka Exco Levi. I was born in Manchester, Jamaica, grew up in church singing and church choir and playing the keyboards. My father was an artist, his name is Michael Levy aka Professor Wayne. He used to DJ on Super Soul Sound System.
Can you explain the choice of your artist name ?
When I just started out in the business, they used to call me Exco, just a in the street name. When I became a rasta, I was told by elder rastas to add Levi - my tribe - and Levi means high priest.
Were you influenced by other singers ?
I was always influenced by the more positive side off the music, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lucky Dube, Sizzla and all the other great icons off the business. I can also add Busy Signal and Romain Virgo for the current generation.
What was your first single ?
When I migrated to Canada in 2005, I sang a song titled "Oh Canada", that one five canadian reggae awards and placed me at the front off the canadian reggae scene. So I would say that "Oh Canada" is my first official single.
Could you describe your audio engineering experience in Stineam and Triple Platinum Recording studios before you leave to Canada ?
Well, as an artist I always try to learn other areas off the business, so I was introduced to Stineam recording in 1999 by popular reggae artist Khago. We happened to start the music business together. We used to in a group together, along with another friends (Lyngo....). The group name was Flipeside, so ofter been around Stineam record I learn how to record, audio digitaly, having my keyboards experience, it was easy for me to even make riddim for other artists. Even my first single "Oh Canada", I made the beat for it and most off my earlier songs. Now itís a different stage to my music, know am working with Penthouse Records, Jukeboxx and NCF production and learning new things from Busy Signal, who is a popular artist and also a part of Penthouse and Jukeboxx music.....along with Romain Virgo, D Major, Brown Shuga and many more.
As a sound engineer, what do you think of Penthouse label studio equipments and label productions ?
The equipment are greats, all the great songs could tell. There are also good engineers too.
How and when did you get connected with Donovan Germain ?
In december 2010, I wrote a song for Copper Cat on the OMG riddim called "Since You Came". It was the last song he recorded before he passed away. Germain liked it, then Richie Stephens introduced me to him one month later.
Tell us about your first single for Penthouse "Bleaching Shop" - recorded this year on the OMG riddim - that criticizes the practice of skin bleaching.
"Bleaching Shop" speaks for itself. The message is real and itís not for anybody particular but as an advocate for the people, I have to let them know the truth because only the truth can set us free.
Your latest single "Mi Yard" is produced by Shane C. Brown for Juke Boxx on the Sweet Wata riddim. Tell us about the connection between Shane C. Brown and Donovan Germain ?
I know Shane Brown about the same time I know Germain. He is a very nice person, he always gives me good advices, leads me in the right direction. Him and Germain have a wonderful relationship, based on my observations. They both put their ideas together and create wonders.
Where do you find inspiration to write your lyrics ?
I write songs about my personal experience and also the things that happen around me. Most of my inspiration comes from just being myself studying life in a whole...
During the golden years of Penthouse records (90s), which songs left you most memories ?
Well, all the Penthouse hits will forever be with me, but "El Shaddai" by Jah Mali is one of my favorite song. I did a remix of that song coming on my first album. All the great hits of Penthouse will never delete from our memories !
Tell us more about your debut album.
We are working on it, doing great songs. It's a Penthouse production. There will combinations with Busy Signal, Romain Virgo and Brown Shuga.
To conclude, what are your plans ?
My plans never differ, always remain the same good and clean music for the people. That's what the fans should expect from Exco Levi. Jah bless.
DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS : |
- Bleaching Shop (2011 - O.M.G riddim)
listen to this single :