Levi was born in the cool hills of Christiana, in Manchester,
Jamaica, on June 19th 1946 and named Trevor Sutherland. In 1962
Sutherland's mother and father took up residence in England on the
eve of Jamaica's independence. The entire family followed in 1963.
In 1970 Trevor ran foul of the law and was sent to prison in
England for three years and while in prison he changed his stage
name from 'The Youth' to 'Ijahman Levi' and wrote the song 'Jah
Heavy Load'. In 1974 Ijahman was released from prison. However, by
this time his wife, Miss Beverley, and family had deserted him.
With no family to turn to he took to the streets and found refuge
in the house of Rastafari at St. Agnes Place, the headquarters of
the Twelve Tribes and studied The Bible. In 1975 Ijahman made his
'anthem' song 'Jah Heavy Load' recorded on the Concrete Jungle
label for Dip Records and produced by Ijahman. In 1977 Ijahman
went to Jamaica in search of a producer and found the late Mr.
Geoffrey Chung and together they produced two of Ijahman's most
famous albums 'Haile I Hymn' and 'Are We A Warrior' on the Island
label. The albums were released in 1978 and 1979 and they received
international acclaim. Ijahman then chose to set up his own
recording company 'Tree Roots Record International' with the
Jahmani label and severed ties with Island Records.
1981 Ijahman remarried this time to his duet partner Madge and in
1985 he produced the hit single 'I Do' with Ijahman and Madge.
This release reached number one status on the British Reggae chart
for six weeks running.
To date, Ijahman has 27 albums to his credit. This is his 28th
album, featuring 10 new tracks and two tracks -Bun Bun and
Armageddon Warriorsare previously released as 45 singles.
Ijahman's own words about the album : "The Ark of the Covenant is
in my heart and my heart is in Africa - the concept behind the
album design. The songs on Ark Art was written to focus on life,
my past, present and why we need to change to make a better
The album is a distinctive mix of roots tunes and lovers tracks,
which will appeal a lot of reggae fans. His vocal delivery is
still strong after all these years and the excellent backing is
provided by such fine musicians as Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace,
Flabba Holt, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Lloyd 'Obeah' Denton, Chris
Meredith, Gladstone Anderson and Sticky Thompson.
Although the music is rooted in the sound of traditional reggae,
the album as a whole has a very fresh and contemporary vibe. Nuff
highlights on the album : Micky Mouse in The House, Talk To Me,
Slave Driver, Bun Bun and the anthemic title track Ark Art.
With 'Ark Art' Ijahman has put out a solid and distinctive album.