It was widely misconstrued that Roy's stage name was inspired by the celebrated DJ Daddy 'U Ro', but as the DJ himself quite rightly asserted, he was christened Roy, so his stage name was not an imitation, but a birthright.
As a recording artist, I Roy's initial success came with Harry Mudie, who produced a series of hits, most notably 'Drifter' and 'Heart Don't Leap.' This led to sessions with Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke that ultimately resulted in the album 'Presenting I Roy', a magnificent collection that featured the brilliant 'Black Man Time' on which the DJ toasted over Lloyd Parks' 'Slaving' rhythm. Such was the success of his album début that Gussie also released his second long-player, 'Hell And Sorrow', which like the initial set was licensed to Trojan in the UK. Thie LP was followed soon after by the DJ's third Trojan album release, the self-produced 'The Many Moods Of I Roy'. By now, I Roy was on a roll, having also voiced hits for Keith Hudson, Glen Brown, Joe Gibbs and Lee Perry, along with a plethora of tunes with Bunny Lee.
It was the latter who was responsible for the ongoing, albeit tongue in cheek, musical feud with a younger DJ named Prince Jazzbo. While their musical battle was not malicious, it did produce a series of personal and ultimately hilarious taunts, with I Roy opening the musical back-biting with 'Straight To Jazzbo's Head', prompting his target to record ''Straight To I Roy's Head'. Soon after, Jazzbo suffered minor injuries when he was knocked down by a bus - an event inspired I Roy to cut 'Jazzbo Haffe Run', which in turn led to an equally cutting response, 'Gal Boy I Roy'. The series continued unabated with the humorous 'Padlock', in which I Roy acted out an attempt to wake the sleeping Princess Jazzbo! By now the duo were clearly hot property, with their sparring culminating in the album, 'Step Forward Youth', which gathered up the pair's verbal salvos onto one disc.
I Roy's association with Bunny Lee led to the release of the LP, 'Crisis Time', licensed to Virgin Records in the UK, where it saw issue on the company's recently launched Frontline label. Three more collections for the imprint followed, namely 'Musical Shark Attack', 'The General' and 'World On Fire'. In 1980, Virgin decided to release an experimental album where the DJ moved away from the dancehall style towards rap. These sessions resulted in the much deriuded 'Whap'n Bap'n', its commercial failure signalling the end of I Roy's association with major labels. His credibility improved when he returned to Trojan for the release of We Chat You Rock alongside Jah Whoosh and subsequent sessions with Prince Jazzbo's Ujama label.
Sadly, as the new millennium approached, the DJ suffered a number of health and financial problems and on 27th November 1999, following a series of setbacks, including his son's murder, I Roy's heart gave way and after collapsing, he passed away in the Spanish Town Hospital. It was a tragic end for such a wonderful innovator and great reggae artist who will always be remembered for being able to educate and entertain with sharp, witty and incise lyrics, such as 'people of low mentality will never get around to equality' - how could anyone question that?