I-Octane performing at Zénith de Paris in May 2012
|Birth name||Byiome Muir|
|Also known as||I-Octane, Richie Rich|
|Born||29 April 1984|
|Origin||Sandy Bay, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica|
|Genres||Reggae, dancehall, reggae fusion, roots reggae|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, deejay, lyricist|
Conquer The Globe (2011–present)
Byiome Muir (born 29 April 1984), better known by his stage name I-Octane, is a reggae and dancehall artist from Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. He is known for integrating positive and socially conscious subject matter into his music, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and Rastafarian teachings.
Byiome Muir grew up in Sandy Bay, a small community east of May Pen in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. Muir attended Palmers Cross All-Age School and then Garvey Maceo High School, and would often sing and make noises during class. Muir briefly attended Knox Community College with a focus on architecture, but dropped out to pursue his recording career full-time.
Muir began his recording career at the age of 16, when he was introduced to Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records, then manager of such artists as Buju Banton and Assassin. Muir released his first singles, "Oh Jah" and "Stepp a Seed", in 2000 at Penthouse Records under the moniker Richie Rich. After meeting Junior Arrows of the Arrows Recording Company, Muir signed onto the Kingston label under the new name I-Octane, a play on high-octane fuel and the Rastafarian use of I. I-Octane's initial acclaim came in 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", and the latter of which was later adapted as a tribute to those who died during the police manhunt for Christopher "Dudus" Coke in Tivoli Gardens.
When I-Octane left Arrows over financial disputes, the artist came under the guidance of Robert Livingston, a veteran producer who had been responsible for the success of such artists as Super Cat and Shaggy. I-Octane gained further traction in 2010 with a string of hits produced by Cashflow Records, including "No Love Inna Dem" and the cannabis anthem "Puff It," which was named as one of NPR's Top 5 Dancehall Tracks of 2011. He also 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, and as of 2013 he remains employed as a representative of the company.
In 2011, I-Octane announced he would be starting his own record label, Conquer The Globe Productions, which would serve to produce instrumentals for him and promote him as an artist. He also said the label's first release would be an extended play in December of that year to be followed by an album in early 2012. The six-song EP, "Straight From The Heart," was released on 7 December as a primarily digital release, with distribution by TuneCore. The EP was marketed towards a global audience and three of its songs were 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, including on international stations such as New York's Hot 97.
I-Octane's debut album, Crying To The Nation, was released on 13 February 2012 through Robert Livingston's Scikron Entertainment in the Caribbean and VP Records internationally. The album received generally positive reviews from critics. Rick Anderson of AllMusic praised the record as a "solid winner", but mentioned it relied a little too strongly on Auto-Tune, and 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 album's lead single was the lovers rock ballad "L.O.V.E. Y.O.U.", which was marketed to international audiences but also did well domestically. 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.
- 2012: Crying To The Nation (VP/Scikron)
- 2014: My Journey (Tad's International)
- 2011: My Life (Tad's Record)
- 2011: Straight From The Heart (Conquer The Globe)
- Meschino, Patricia (6 Jan 2012). "I-Octane, Rising Dancehall Star, Poised to Break Through". Billboard. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Williams, Ian (2 Mar 2010). "Flexxing with: I-Octane". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Levy, Leighton (22 May 2011). "Big Names Back I-Octane's Summer Effort". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Snoop Lion; Andy Capper; Codine Williams; Trevor Silmser (26 Feb 2013). "I-Octane". Noisey Jamaica. Episode 6. Vice. http://noisey.vice.com/noisey-jamaica/tommy-lee-sparta. Retrieved 7 Apr 2013.
- Jackson, Tanola (29 Feb 2008). "I-Octane explosion". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Katz, David (7 Mar 2012). "I-Octane Crying to the Nation Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Bondy, Halley (13 Feb 2012). "Fuel Your Lady’s Love With Reggae Superstar, I-Octane". MTV Iggy. Retrieved 16 Apr 2013.
- Dreisinger, Baz (27 Dec 2011). "The Top 5 Dancehall Tracks Of 2011". NPR. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Campbell, Curtis (25 Jan 2013). "I-Octane re-signed as Digicel brand ambassador". Jamaica Star. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- Anderson, Rick (13 Feb 2013). "I-Octane Crying to the Nation". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- "I-Octane wraps up Canadian leg of tour". Jamaica Star. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- "I-Octane continues to dominate dancehall scene". Jamaica Star. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- "I-Octane laments 'getting bun' in new single". Jamaica Star. 11 Jan 2013. Retrieved 4 Apr 2013.
- "I-Octane still on a high ... following memorable performance at YVAs". Jamaica Star. 7 Feb 2013. Retrieved 7 Apr 2013.
- Campbell, Curtis (11 Mar 2011). "Busta To Connect With Customers Through I-Octane". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 10 Apr 2013.
- Campbell, Howard (2014) "New Journey: I-Octane to take fans on new voyage", Jamaica Observer, 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014
- Daley, Rory (2014) "I-Octane Begins Journey", Jamaica Observer, 8 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014