Colin Levy a.k.a. Iley Dread, singer, songwriter, producer, began his musical career at the young age of 16 in Westmoreland, Jamaica and later migrated to Canada and emerged onto the Canadian Reggae scene in Montreal, Quebec in 1992. When Iley migrated he assisted in his family’s restaurant business “The Rainbow Ites”. While working at Rainbow Ites, Iley was writing and producing for young local talent and he sometimes performed at the Ites talent shows.
In 1994 Iley was introduced to Bevin Jackson, the owner of “Bulleyes Record Label” who produced the first single entitled “Flowers of My Garden” which was a chart buster. Bevin also encouraged Iley to establish his own label “Kings of Kings” which is a recording and concert production company. Bevin became Iley’s mentor and he produced quite a number of songs for Iley; five of which were part of his first album, “A Friend For Life”. This association was cut short because of the untimely passing of Bevin due to injuries he received in a motor vehicle accident. “A Friend For Life” was released in 2001; this album featured appearances from Glen Washington, Lady Saw, Louie Culture, Luciano, Chrisinti and Norris Man world crisis medley also the hit single “Mamma” among others. This debut album “A Friend For Life”, spawned popular hits such as “Rise Up This Morning”, “Flowers In My Garden”, “World Crisis” and the remake of Mick Jagger/Peter Tosh’s “Don’t Look Back” which was remade with an Iley sophisticated touch with Lady Saw and Iley Dread. This single still has heavy rotation on radio and the video is still being played regularly on various different television networks across the globe.
Colin Levy is well known as a Producer where along with Cordel 'Scatta' Burrell - the man with the midas touch has produced several successful Dancehall rhythm driven albums such as “Latino”, “Double Jeopardy”, “Famine”, “Karate”, “C4” and “Coolie Dance”; which have featured Dancehall heavy weights such as Elephant Man, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Coco Tea, Richie Stevens and Bushman.
Colin “Iley Dread” Levy was awarded “Canadian Award of Merit” at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards in March 2001. In 2002, “A Friend For Life” was nominated for a Juno Award by the Canadian Academy of Arts & Science in “The Best Reggae Recording” category. Iley takes great pride in the lyrical content of his songs and his material reflects his deep-rooted spirituality and his heartwarming sensitivity. This Artist/Composer/Producer has made strides, penned and has produced many songs for Grammy Artist - Michael “Grammy” Rose, Beenie Man, Everton Blenda, Sizzla, Anthony B, Fireman Capleton, Bushman, Chrisinti, Cecile, and we can’t forget crown prince the late Dennis Brown and a host of other Artists.
At the Canadian Reggae Music Awards in March 2003, Iley Dread was awarded “The Bob Marley Memorial Award”. His second album that he penned and produced “Unite The People”, was packaged with a bonus CD and distributed internationally by K.O.K. International, nationally in the US by VP Records and in the United Kingdom by Jet Star Phonographics. The "Unite the People" album project was coordinated by R.Zee Jackson a.k.a. Castro P. for K.O.K. in October 2003. The album featured a mix of Conscious Rebel Music, Lovers’ Rock fused with Ska & Rock Steady, some really hard driving grooves from the Dancehall era reminiscent of the 1970s and today. “Unite The People” reveals a profound maturity and growth of this artist as a songwriter, producer, via the production, assembly and delivery of the components of this album.
Iley Dread is joined by Marcia Griffiths, U-Roy, Sizzla, The Heritage Family, Capleton, Anthony B, Chrisinti, Norris Man, Warrior King, Heather Cummings, Rochelle Bradshaw and Andrew Ranxx on "Unite the People". The most requested singles from this album are “Trying Man”, “One Chance”, “I Won’t Rest/Clean Up” and “If I Had The World”. Iley Dread the artist and CEO of Kings of Kings has made even more positive inroads into the European markets. “Unite The People” has picked up where “A Friend For Life” had left off and is currently in heavy rotation on radio all over the world as well as on television on both sides of the Atlantic. His music videos can be seen on MUCH MUSIC - Canada, BVTV and NTL Network in the United Kingdom and on many ethnic music variety programs across North America. “Unite The People” is available at all leading record shops.
Iley Dread is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his third album, that will be released in 2008.