Black Music Month: I-Octane

June is Black Music Month and WERS at Night will recognize black musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters who have made enormous contributions to the music industry. Today, June 19th, Rockers is highlighting I-Octane.

Byiome Muir, better known as I-Octane, grew up Sandy Bay, Clarendon on the sunny island of Jamaica. Growing up with a single mother who found his constant singing and humming annoying when he was a child, I-Octane discovered his talent for a booming voice and lyrical flow at an early age. Though he had a knack for singing, he also knew he had to take into consideration his family’s financial difficulties and became interested in becoming an architect after school.

After graduating high school, the passion for music grew intense and along with many others pushing him to become an entertainer, Byiome soon began to perform his dancehall vibes under the name Richie Rich which eventually lead him to meeting the famed producer Donovan Germaine of Penthouse Records. After rubbing shoulders with many of the top reggae artists in the industry thanks to Penthouse, Byiome soon changed his name to I-Octane, which he later found to be more representative of his music and personality. He chose the name due to his childhood love for science, octane being a high and powerful gas. He personalized it by substituting the ‘high’ for ‘I’ – and so the name was formed.

After three years and being signed to Arrows Recording Company, Octane left the dancehall music behind and moved on to a more cultural vibe, leading him to his first single, “Stab Vampire”, which received Video of the Year at the Excellence in Music Awards (EME) and began the following of loyal fans with hit after hit being released.

I-Octane is now an independent artist, having ended a four year partnership with Arrows Recordings and with only five years under his belt in the industry, Octane is already being compared to some of reggae’s legendary artists – Tony Rebel and Buju Banton – and has also been claimed to be the leader of the new generation in reggae and dancehall music.

With the album Crying to the Nation, released in January 2012, Octane has become one of the most-talked about artists emerging from Jamaica. His hits “LOVE YOU and “Missing You” have easily become some Rockers favorites. With enough talent to take over the music industry internationally – and tours in the United States and Europe this year – it’s no wonder I-Octane is being recognized for Black Music Month as his success continues to grow.

By Ashley Bailey

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