Billy Boyo: The 13 Year Old Singer Who Chanted about Spliffs and a Wicked Girl

It’s Thursday today. It’s also the 29th of October. These two facts makes it perfect to write about the late Billy Boyo. 1, as a throwback post and 2, as an anniversary post of the day this music legend died. 

Billy Boyo (real name Billy Theophilus Rowe) was born  21 September 1969 – 29 October 2000). He was a reggae artist born in Kingston, Jamaica and was arguably the one of the most prolific child DJ/artists of the early 1980s. 

I came to know of Billy Boyo through his track, ‘A Spliff a Day‘ and to be more specific, Blue Hill’s Remix. What left me in awe was the smooth kid’s voice talking about a spliff a day, which keeps the evil away. ‘Well, that’s interesting!’ I thought to myself as i went ahead to check out more about Billy. ‘A spliff a day’ was released  in 1981, pushing Boyo, 12 by then, to fame. 

In 1983, Boyo Released the track ‘Wicked She Wicked’ produced by the late Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes.  ‘Wicked She Wicked’ simply put, is a song about a wicked chick.  “she was a christian who turned rocka, and she ain’t afraid to pick your pocket”. Boyo’s smooth flow to the beat is certainly something to jam to over and over. On top of that, the not-childish content of his lyrics, backed by the voice of a kid will certainly amaze you. 

In the same year, Boyo, accompanied by Little John and Ranking Toyan, moved to London and linked up with producer Silver Kamel. Silver took Boyo to the studio to record his second album, Zam Zam. For whatever reasons, this album, was put on hold, only to be released about twenty years later in 2003. 

Unfortunately, not much of Billy Boyo was heard after the second half of the 80’s. He did not record much and died of a brain tumor on 29th October 2000. Nevertheless, Legends are never forgotten and this post is proof! 

 

Little John, Billy Boyo and Ranking Toyan