A performance and a prayer
Reggae singer Colin Levy, aka Iley Dread, is not a gospel performer and currently has no plans to turn to gospel.
However, his performance on New Year's Eve at Seawind Resort in Negril, Jamaica, has set many tongues wagging.
Canada-based Levy, who is in the island to promote his latest single, the Barry O'Hare-produced Lover's Holiday, had been booked to perform at the hotel as part of their celebration to ring in the New Year 2011.
As the hands of the clock neared midnight, something surprising happened - the 'artical' Rastaman with the long flowing locks fell to his knees and prayed like he never prayed before.
The patrons at the function looked on in complete silence. At the end of the 'prayer vigil', Colin Levy rose from his knees and the audience saluted him with wild applause. He thanked them again and again and continued his performance.
The question is: Was this prayer session a well-rehearsed part of his act?
"Absolutely not," Levy says, still sounding amazed that he turned the stage at Seawind into a pulpit.
"It was so strange ... I have never done anything like that before and to tell the truth, praying onstage like that is not something I would think of doing. I am very private when it comes on to my communication with the higher powers," said the reggae singer, who admitted that he does, in fact, attend church sometimes.
However, according to Levy, "I felt something powerful come over me and I just had to kneel down and pray right there and then. I was compelled to do it. I didn't even think about it ... I just did it."
He said that equally surprising for him was the response from the audience.
"The people were clapping ... the applause was loud and just kept on and on. Throughout my performance, their response was encouraging, but this was something else," he recalled.
The singer arrived in Jamaica last December and performed on GT Taylor's successful Christmas Extravaganza, a performance which saw the singer receiving three encores. That led to other engagements, including two nights at Seawind Resort and a performance at Roots Bamboo, also in Negril.
Colin Levy, who is working with producers Bobby Digital, Dean Fraser, Stephen Marley, Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor and Barry O'Hare to complete his album, Unleashed, is also scheduled to appear on Rebel Salute later today.
Although he was not originally booked for the show, Colin Levy is no stranger to the prestigious Rebel Salute stage. He says he is in high spirits about the event and is looking forward to interacting with and pleasing his fans yet again.