Wed | May 31, 2023

Reggae singer and promoter Iley Dread ‘alive and well’

Set to release single from behind bars

Published:Sunday | January 8, 2023 | 12:34 AMYasmine Peru - Sunday Gleaner Writer
An upbeat Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy is set to release a single titled ‘Conspiracy’ from behind bars.
An upbeat Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy is set to release a single titled ‘Conspiracy’ from behind bars.
Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy will have more to say upon his release.
Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy will have more to say upon his release.
Colin Levy also goes by the moniker Chardavid.
Colin Levy also goes by the moniker Chardavid.

Music industry all-rounder, Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy, also known as Chardavid, is setting the record straight regarding his whereabouts for the past four years. The artiste, record producer and promoter, who sounded quite upbeat, shared that he has been behind bars in the United States, but that he is “alive and well, studying and writing redemption songs”.

Levy explained that he had been informed that “many of my musical family and friends have been asking what happen to me and where I am”, therefore he took the decision to go public. Going into details, he spoke about being arrested and extradited.

“All praise be unto the Most High and many thanks to everyone who have genuine concern about me and have been inquiring about me, but I must let you all know why I am off the scene for so long. On November 2, 2018, I was arrested in Canada and extradited to America for something that I was totally clueless about,” Levy said.

Emphasising that he is still trying to stay positive, and praying that justice will prevail, the CEO of the Kings of Kings label outlined how he came to be charged with conspiracy.

“When I arrived in the United States of America, I retained a lawyer to represent me and he informed me that in 2009, 10 years before I was arrested, the police arrested some people in Miami, Florida and those individuals told the authorities that the drugs they were arrested for belonged to me,” Levy shared.

He added, “This information has me mesmerised until this very day because I do not even know these individuals, never spoke to them, never seen them, never conduct any business with the, plus I do not use, sell or have anything to do with illegal drugs. So I found it to be very disturbing to be charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs in the United States.”

Stating that he “has much more to say when [he] is released from behind bars”, Levy asked for prayers, while sharing that he has a new song to be released soon, as well as “a brand new gospel album, God Willing”. The title of the single is Conspiracy.

Levy, who hails from Hanover, migrated to Canada decades ago and subsequently became a fixture on the Canadian reggae scene in Montreal, Quebec. In 2002, his debut album, A Friend For Life, which had popular songs, such as Rise Up This Morning, Flowers In My Garden, World Crisis and Mamma, was nominated for a Juno Award by the Canadian Academy of Arts & Science in the Best Reggae Recording category. Unite The People, the follow-up album, was released in October 2003, the same year he received The Bob Marley Memorial Award at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards.

Unite The People is described as “a mixture of conscious rebel music and lovers rock fused with ska, rocksteady and some really hard-driving [dancehall] grooves”. Unite the People was also the name of Levy’s annual stageshow in Canada and Jamaica.

In the past decade, Levy has also made an impact with the singles, Do It Again, One Chance, Lover’s Converse and Reward, on his Kings of Kings label, on which he has also released several successful dancehall-rhythm-driven albumprojects, such as Famine, Double Jeopardy, C4 and Coolie Dance.

He also successfully toured the United States and Europe as a reggae artiste and has staged some of the biggest reggae concerts in Canada, including the annual Unite the People, named after his album.

His most recent album was the 17-track disc, Unleashed, which was released in 2016.