Remembering Levii Norwood, friend and musician
Levii Norwood’s biggest wish was for people to hear his music.
The 27-year-old aspiring rap artist passed away in a car accident in the early morning of August 16, perhaps a life stolen from a man still looking to find his way.
“When he walked in the room he would always smile at you, and be happy to see you,” said Stephanie Ziporlin, a close friend of Norwood’s. “I’ve never had a friend as genuine as him. He’d always be there for everybody. He would make sure that if you were down you wouldn’t even remember why once you were hanging out with him.”
Norwood was born in Westminster in 1990. He grew up living with his mother, Michelle Womack, and his father, Bryan Norwood, on the weekends. Growing up he loved to fish, camp and skateboard. Norwood’s father was his hockey couch throughout his youth, instilling in him a life-long passion for the sport.
“I took him to an Avalanche game in 1996, and Adam Deadmarsh got into a fight right in front of us and pulled a guy’s jersey over his head,” said Bryan Norwood. “He turned to me and said he wanted to play hockey. He was always top five in scoring, and always lead the league in penalty minutes.”
Norwood also enjoyed reading, playing pool and video games in his free time. He grew up transfixed by the Harry Potter saga, and grew to love R. A. Salvatore’s The Legend of Drizzt series.
While he often bounced around to different jobs, Ziporlin said he was actively working on settling down, while pursuing his musical ambitions.
“He was talking about trying to start over,” she said. “He had a job interview, he was going to work with a friend and get his high school diploma. I know he wanted to get it together, but I just feel like he missed his mom so much.”
Norwood’s mother passed away from cancer in January, a loss Norwood never fully recovered from.
“Levii and his mom were super close his whole life,” said Pam Womack, Norwood’s aunt. “I’ve never witnessed a relationship that was that back and forth supportive of each other.”
He often turned to his music to express his frustrations and to help overcome his depression.
He wrote all his own music, and performed under the name Kloud 9. Some of his songs can still be found on Soundcloud.
His music is emotional and deeply personal. He rapped about loneliness, depression, self-medication, and generally being lost in life. But throughout there is a narrative of redemption and a desire to rise out of the every day minutia and internal conflict he faced.
“Some people are religious and look toward the bible, Levii looked to music and lyrics,” said Womack. “He could quote lyrics to apply to any situation. He was encyclopedic in his knowledge of music, and it gave him a lot of comfort.”
Music was Norwood’s language. Its how he bonded with people, going to concerts and sharing underground artists like Rittz and Machine Gun Kelly with likeminded friends. He possessed an inherent understanding of the healing nature of art, and always wanted to share it with others.
Bryan Norwood said he spoke to Norwood the day before he passed away, and that he seemed happy and optimistic.
“He just told me that he got his head out of his ass, and he had gotten his stuff started for his GED, and he was getting a job up in Granby,” said Norwood. “He was just upbeat, and he sounded better. He was walking tall when I talked to him that day.”
Norwood is survived by his father, Bryan Norwood; his aunt, Pam Womack; grandparents Sherri and Denny Norwood; a number of other aunts, cousins, step-siblings and a niece. He will be remembered fondly by the myriad of friends who considered him a brother. His dog whom he loved dearly, Shadow, is with his father.
A memorial service is currently being planned for Norwood.
While Norwood’s death was shocking to those who knew him, perhaps his wish will be fulfilled after all, his music surviving in perpetuity, waiting to help the next lost individual rise from the darkness.
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