February 12, 2024
When he resided in Jamaica, singjay Exco Levi had no idea what being nominated for a JUNO Award (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammys) meant. It wasn’t until he migrated to Canada that he learnt about the significance of the accolade.
“When I was in Jamaica I didn’t know anything about the JUNO Awards and what it meant to be nominated, or even winning one. When I was nominated in 2012 and I attended the event that was when I realised the importance of a JUNO. It’s a big deal and is Canada’s biggest honour in music. It really is a prestigious award,” Exco Levi said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week.
Exco Levi earned his 11th JUNO nomination in the Reggae Recording of the Year category when the nominations were announced more than a week ago. The nomination was Feel Like Home, a song he entered in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Song competition with last year. The song finished in third place.
“Each time that I come to Jamaica and I get off the plane and I go back home to Manchester where I’m originally from I feel like I am truly home. Just to see the same football field that I used to play football at, seeing the same friends and the same old people that I grew up with. Canada is just my home away from home,” said Exco Levi.
Aside from Exco Levi, the other nominees in the 2024 JUNO Reggae Recording of the Year category are Stir This Thing by Ammoye featuring Turbulence, Roots Girl by Jah’Mila, Dread by Kirk Diamond and Finn, and Rush Dem by Omega Mighty featuring 4Korners and Haviah Mighty.
Exco Levi has won the award on five occasions, in 2012 with Bleaching Shop, Storms of Life(2013), Strive (2014), Welcome the King (2015), and Siren (2017).
The artiste, whose real name is Wayne Ford Levy, is preparing to release his fifth studio album, titled Born to Be Free, on March 1. It was produced by Donovan Germain of Penthouse Music.
“I worked with some musicians from Jamaica on this project. I also have collaborations with Duane Stephenson and Charly Black. I am hoping for deeper depths and higher heights with this album,” Exco Levi shared.
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