TORONTO, Ontario – This Sunday, June 30 is the date scheduled for I-Octane’s long awaited return to Toronto. He will be performing live, at SMG Music Group and Wesleigh Hype Promotion’s “Love & Dancehall” event, taking place inside the Sound Academy. The event will also feature one of Jamaica’s most celebrated sounds, Stone Love.
When asked about his much anticipated return to Toronto, I-Octane, whose real name is Byiome Muir, simply replied, “On June 30, Sound Academy will be nice!”
The celebrated dancehall artist from Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, is known for integrating positive and socially conscious subject matter into his music, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and Rastafarian teachings.
I-Octane – a play on high-octane fuel and the Rastafarian use of the pronoun I – started his recording career at the age of 16 when he was introduced to the manager for artists, Buju Banton and Assassin.
His initial acclaim though, didn’t come until 2007, for his social commentary works such as the roots reggae track, Stab Vampire, which climbed to the top of several Jamaican charts. In 2009, I-Octane topped the charts again with his emotional songs Mama You Alone and Lose A Friend, the latter of which was adapted as a tribute to those who died during the police manhunt for Christopher “Dudus” Coke in Tivoli Gardens.
He gained further traction in 2010 with a string of hits, produced by Cashflow Records, including No Love Inna Dem, Badmind Fi Di Year, Nuh Ramp Wid We and the cannabis anthem, Puff It, which was named as one of NPR’s Top 5 Dancehall Tracks of 2011. He topped the charts once again with the contemplative My Life, produced by DJ Frass, and was featured in the April-May issue of the hip hop magazine, Vibe. The same year, he also signed on as Brand Ambassador for the telecommunications firm, Digicel, where he remains employed as a representative of the company.
I-Octane released a six-song EP, Straight From The Heart, on December 7, 2011 with three of its songs recorded in the U.S., a first for the artist. The EP’s lead single, Burn Dem Bridge, produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, topped several charts in Jamaica and received significant radio airplay internationally, including stations such as New York’s Hot 97.
His debut album, Crying To The Nation, was released on February 13, 2012 and received positive reviews from critics. Rick Anderson, of AllMusic, praised the record as a “solid winner”. While David Katz, of BBC Music, called the album “a surprisingly varied set, comprising mostly new roots reggae in the one drop style, along with a couple of rougher-edged tracks in full-on dancehall mode”.
The lovers’ rock ballad, L.O.V.E. Y.O.U., was the albums lead single which was very well received internationally. I-Octane followed the album with a tour of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and ended the year strong, with a string of hit singles, including Badmind Dem A Pree, a collaboration with Bounty Killer, produced by Buju Banton’s son, Markus Myrie; the summer hit, Love Di Vibes; and the Seanizzle-produced Gal A Gimmi Bun, a song in which I-Octane laments his partner’s infidelity.
For tickets and information call (416) 206-0135 or visit www.loveanddancehall.com.