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Krishane: 'My music is nothing like my famous father's'

IN HIS OWN LANE: Krishane

AS THE son of veteran reggae singer Barrington Levy, Krishane grew up in a world of music.

At the tender age of just six, the Jamaican-born singer wrote his first song and at 11, his singing was spotted at prep school where he was quickly dubbed the ‘Melodic Bird’.

The musician, real name St Aubyn Antonio Levy, moved to London a few years ago, where he released his debut single Drunk and Incapable, featuring British singer Melissa Steel.

He’s gone on to work with Jamaican superstars Beenie Man and Shaggy, as well as Nigerian hitmaker Patoranking. And last summer, he helped pen Tinie Tempah’s No.1 single, Not Letting Go.

It’s safe to say music is in Krishane’s blood, with his father celebrated for a host of reggae hits including Shine Eye Girl, Murderer and the hugely popular Here I Come. With a career spanning over 30 years, Levy’s current album Acousticalevy was nominated in the Best Reggae Album category at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Still, Krishane tells Life & Style that while he respects his father’s legacy, his own music takes a totally different direction.

You teamed up with Nigerian dancehall star Patoranking for your track, Inconsiderate. How did the collaboration come about?

I wanted to create something that would continue to combine my Jamaican roots with slick pop. Blending the classic piano riff with a vintage dancehall kick beat gave it the tribal sound we were looking for. I knew that having him on the track was a no-brainer and the perfect way to connect two countries by culture. Reggae is a genre that everyone loves. It’s such a universal sound. I would love to collaborate with [more] Afrobeats artists.

When did you decide to pursue a career in music?
Growing up, I always loved music. From age 6, I was writing songs, and at 11, I wrote my first proper song called I Love You. Then when I was 15, that’s when I was like ‘yeah man, this is what I want to do’. Music is my passion. I came here [to the UK] in 2011, but I still consider myself as a ‘freshy’!


VETERAN: Krishane's father, reggae icon Barrington Levy

Did your father support your music ambitions?
He knew from day one that I loved singing. I’ve always wanted to do my own thing, but he guided me in a way. He always told me: ‘The aim of the game is show no shame.’ And he’d put me to the test a lot. He’d be at an event and just throw the mic at me for me to sing. So I follow his wise words. I’m doing my own thing, and he likes that attitude. He just offers me a few words of wisdom.

Professionally, do you try and detach yourself from your father?
Most importantly, I look up to him as my dad – as a dad I can talk to, not this public figure as everyone else knows him. Even though he’s a reggae veteran, my sound is different. I’m doing my thing, and he does his thing – it’s two different paths really.
He is my dad, and he’ll always be my dad, so it’s not something I can run away from. He’s a reggae artist and I’m more like a Caribbean crossover artist. I always try to make sure that I don’t put myself in his lane. I want to be in my own lane. But I big him up though! My father is a great musician, but we are in two different worlds musically.

You teamed up with Shaggy for your summer track, Money Can’t Buy No Love. What was it like working with him?
When Shaggy jumped on the track, the song was already recorded. My manager and Shaggy are close friends and he heard the song and loved it, and wanted to be part of it. To have one of my main Jamaican influences in music, someone I look up to to be on my record, it’s amazing. He’s a veteran and for him to give me guidance, it was an honour.

When can fans expect your debut album?
There’s not a firm, solid date yet. They will have an album, just not now. I want to make sure that it’s really, really perfect. I want to make sure that whatever I’m putting out, it’s my best. I’m taking this time to refine it. I’m about quality over quantity and that quality takes time.

Krishane’s latest single Inconsiderate featuring Patoranking is out now on Atlantic Records

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