It was a jubilant occasion for the gospel trio Levy’s Heritage, who launched their second album, Summoned: Submitting to the Call, last Saturday. Many friends and supporters also yielded to the call. In spite of a steady downpour, they turned out in their numbers to the Portmore Community College, St Catherine, to celebrate the talented group’s music achievement, reciprocating the high energy that emanated from the stage.
Levy’s Heritage – Ovando, Oneil, and Oshin – yielded a feast. Their 12-track album boasts songs of hope, meditation and inspiration and are packaged in a nice blend of different genres – reggae, a little dancehall, and other contemporary music – “because we want to come out of our comfort zone and show people who we are”, Ovando and Oshin told The Gleaner.
The showcase began with the up-tempo reggae track Holy, the ninth song on the album that was perhaps to help assuage their feeling of grief at the sudden passing of their maternal grandmother, who they were looking forward to seeing them perform at the album launch.
Nerves seemingly settled, the trio segued into a calypso beat with Praise Him. With each sharing testimonies of their background, along with voicing their gratitude, the 2012 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission winners shifted to a hip-hop beat with Offer Up, the appetiser for their second set. For this selection, they were joined by Bawn Agen.
Then it was back to “time of worship”, Oshin told the congregation. Microphones anchored in stands, they delivered the slower-tempo Why Cry and the beautifully arranged Purify Me. The latter was preceded by spoken words from Jayvis McIntosh, connecting the song with Psalm 51.
In set number two, the promise of more up-tempo songs was honoured in Na Sell Out God and Na Ramp, for which their father, gospel artiste Lubert Levy, joined them onstage.
And from all accounts, putting the album together meant no time for romping. All three have full-time jobs, and Oshin is also reading for a master’s degree at The University of the West Indies. Therefore, it is not surprising that the album was five years in the making.
“It’s been a long time coming as we have been working on other projects. But God said the time is now, so we put all our energy in it,” Oshin, the lone female and the youngest of the three siblings, told The Gleaner.
“It is also our first 12-track album,” older brother Ovando chimed in.
Ovando wrote Spiritual Shout, as well as co-writing other songs. They have also worked with some great producers and brilliant musicians across Jamaica who checked the musical content. “And we are grateful for the opportunity.” said Ovando.
Oneil is responsible for the cover graphics.
Also participating in the launch were MCs Nadine Blair and Ava-Gaye Blair, and Keron Clarke, who opened.
Summoned is available in CD form and on various digital platforms.