Fresh off the JCDC Festival 2023, where he placed third overall, Jamaican-Canadian Reggae/Dancehall artist, Exco Levi says he has now turned his attention to completing his third studio album, by way of Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Records.
Although an official date has not yet been set for the album’s release, the singer says it will be coming “soon” and that touring has taken a backseat for the moment.
“I have no performance plan at the moment. I am just preparing my third studio album for release soon with Penthouse records… I have been working on this album for three years,” Exco said in a recent interview.
The singer has so far released one single titled ‘Change Your Mind’, from the 15-track album. ‘Change Your Mind’ is a Dancehall Reggaeton Afro Fusion Record that features ‘Party Animal’ deejay Charly Black and Spexdaboss. He also has a collaboration on the album with Reggae singer Duane Stephenson.
Exco Levi’s previously released two studio albums and one mixtape. His 19-track ‘Country Man’ album, which was released in 2015 under the Penthouse Records label, ascended to number one on the iTunes Reggae chart on the day of its release.
That album contained three collaborative tracks: ‘General in Penitentiary’ with Michael Rose, ‘Get It in Your Head’ with Romain Virgo and ‘El Shaddai’ featuring Jahmali, as well as solos ‘Since I throw the comb away’, and the title track ‘Country Man’.
The other album Narrative, a 13-track production, featured songs such as ‘Burn’, featuring Sizzla Kalonji, ‘Old Capital’, ‘Maga Dawg’, ‘Money Can’t Save You’ and ‘Part of Me’.
Exco has also released numerous thought-provoking singles, among them ‘Bleaching Shop’, which addresses the controversy of skin-bleaching and Mr. Hammer, which zones in on violence plaguing communities, and the irreversible effects of those acts.
In South Manchester, where he was born and raised, the 42-year-old’s name stands strong, and many residents speak about this artist from Harmons, especially now that they recently had the opportunity to watch him on national television, vying for top honors, in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s National Festival Song Competition, some expressing the view that should have been placed first.
As for the National Festival Song Competition, Exco, in pointing out that he was proud to participate in the highly anticipated yearly event, said it was an amazing experience to be in the top tier, with the Donovan Germain-produced track ‘Feel Like Home’ placing in the top three.
Exco said that he regarded just being nominated in the top ten as a contestant, as a huge feat for which he remains very proud, even as he pointed out that Jamaica is not short of talent.
“To participate in the JCDC festival in Jamaica was a great experience for me to place 3rd was also amazing,” he explained, noting that he ended up having the time of his life while reconnecting with his fellow countrymen, during the competition.
For this talented Kingman, and for those who don’t know much about this artist, he is not new to grand stages. It would come as no surprise to his ardent fans to see him jet-setting to Japan, Germany, or even China soon to perform, as his music speaks dedication and excellence.
In fact, in his second home Canada, he is a solidified Star, commanding five Juno Awards (from nine nominations), an accolade presented by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to recognize outstanding achievements in the music industry.
He is also an inductee at the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame in 2016 for his contribution to local and Canadian culture and was winner of the most prestigious black excellence award, The Harry Jerome Award, a now national event that recognizes and honors excellence in African Canadian achievement.
Also musically, he received the Most Promising New Artist Award at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards in 2007, as well as Artist of the Year & Song of the Year by the Irie Music Awards in 2011.
The road to superstardom, however, was not an easy one for an artist coming from the ‘bushes’ of Manchester parish. In his early days in Harmons district, Exco Levi dreamt of becoming an artist while attending Porus Secondary, and he kept that dream when he moved to Kemps Hill Comprehensive High School, located in neighbouring Clarendon.
However, after migrating to Canada in 2005, he has cemented himself as one of Canada’s foremost contemporary reggae artists.