I-Octane has no regrets
Just over two years ago, I-Octane made the decision to relocate from Jamaica to South Florida, a move spurred by personal and professional reasons.
In a recent interview with dancehallmag.com, the singjay said he had no regrets making the move to a region which has become a dancehall/reggae stronghold.
Since moving to the Sunshine State, I-Octane has released several singles and two albums. ‘Dancehall Gift’, his sixth album, was released on July 7.
It is the dreadlocked artiste’s second set in one year, following ‘I Am Great’ which came out in early 2022. ‘Dancehall Gift’ has 10 songs, three of which have already been released.
One of his objectives was to make ‘Dancehall Gift’ different from its predecessor. With the help of producers such as Conquer The Globe Productions, Seanizzle, and Troyton Music, he believes that was achieved.
“The last album a year or so ago, ‘I Am Great’, was more like a inspirational/ motivational/love energy but this new album ‘Dancehall Gift’, is more on the dancehall side,” said I-Octane.
‘Speed Up di Process’, Keep it Coming’ and ‘Da Wine Deh’ are the songs released from ‘Dancehall Gift’ to date. Last year, I-Octane released a handful of singles including ‘Independent’, ‘Paranoid’ which featured Rygin King, and ‘Chocolate’, a collaboration with South Florida mainstays Inner Circle.
Even with a change of address, he stressed the importance of keeping current in a competitive market.
“It is important for artistes to release single a few times for the year to keep their brand active, but albums once every year or every year-and-a-half/two years,” he said.
Keeping active musically has been a way of life for 39 year-old I-Octane since he began recording 23 years ago. From rural Clarendon parish, he has maintained that region’s lofty reputation for producing ‘brand’ acts like Toots Hibbert, The Clarendonians, Freddie McGregor, Barrington Levy, and Everton Blender.
Like his Clarendon ‘bredrin’, he moved to Jamaica’s capital Kingston for greater recording opportunities. It would take some time before he got the breakthrough which came in 2007 with ‘Stab Vampire’.
Other songs such as ‘Mama You Alone’, ‘Lose A Friend’, ‘L.O.V.E.Y.O.U.’ and ‘Puff It’ have kept I-Octane high on the dancehall charts for over 15 years.
Moving overseas from Jamaica can have serious career repercussions for an artiste. Kingston remains the hub for dancehall/reggae and attracts artistes from the US, Europe, and even Japan.
For the moment, I-Octane is undeterred. Once he keeps churning out songs, he is confident the hits will come.
“It’s very critical to stay fresh for the fans, plus keep coming with new styles so the fans dem can stay intrigued,” he said.
(Photo contributed by I-Octane)