January 27, 2014

I-Octane nominated 10 times for YVAs 2014 - Set to release sophomore album in March

Kingston Jamaica - Reggae/dancehall star I-Octane already has much to look forward to in 2014, and the New Year has barely even started to unfold.
Nominated 10 times in eight different categories for the upcoming Youth View Awards (YVAs), the Happy Time singer says, "It's always humbling and rewarding when people acknowledge your hard work. I'm honoured to be nominated in so many categories and I feel good to know that my music and style are connecting with the youth."
The categories that I-Octane has been nominated in for this year's Youth View Awards are Favourite Local Music Video for Happy Time; Favourite Cultural Artiste; Favourite Local Artiste of the Year - Male; Favourite Summer Song of 2013 for Happy Time; Favourite Music Collaboration of the Year for Double Trouble (featuring Bounty Killer); Favourite Music Collaboration of the Year for Lighters Up (featuring Alaine); Favourite Music Collaboration of the Year for It's a Celebration (alongside Ding Dong, Konshens and Chris Martin); Fashion Icon of the Year - Male; Celebrity Role Model of the Year; and Young, Hot & Hype Male of the Year.
Cultural Artiste of the Year
Last year, I-Octane won in the categories of Cultural Artiste of the Year and Role Model of the Year at the YVAs, and this year, his winnings are expected to be even greater. The YVAs take place on Saturday, February 1 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Another great achievement that Octane will also be looking forward to in a matter of months will be the release of his sophomore album titled My Journey, which is set to be released in March. But for Octane, the work does not stop there as he says, "the goal is always to work harder and surpass what I did in previous years."
And specifically for 2014, I-Octane says, "I want to push my album, My Journey, so that it becomes a staple of reggae music worldwide. I'm also working to solidify and expand my brand by coming up with new, unique ideas that can cross into different markets. Finally, 2014 will just be about continuing to make good music that raises the bar and contributes to reggae and dancehall."

January 19, 2014



January 12, 2014

Deejay Flippa Mafia indicted on drug charges in US

  • Could face 25 years to life in prison

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Deejay 'Flippa Mafia' and his brother Kemar Davis were among 15 people indicted by a state grand jury on Friday in connection with an international drug ring that used the postal service and other delivery services to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey.

According to The Times of Trenton, authorities say the drug ring was run by Flippa Mafia, whose given name is Andrew Davis, and his brother.

The investigation that led to these indictments, “Operation Next Day Air”, The Times of Trenton reports, began in March 2011 and uncovered that Flippa Mafia and his brother were leading the large-scale operation from various locations in Jamaica and New Jersey, the state Attorney General’s Office said on Friday.

The scheme was discovered after authorities intercepted a shipment from a mail facility in Evesham allegedly destined for Flippa Mafia and Marsha Bernard of Cherry Hill, The Times of Trenton reports.

“When detectives intercepted eight kilos of cocaine at the start of this investigation, they didn’t jump to make arrests and tout a major drug seizure,” said Elie Honig, director of the state Division of Criminal Justice. “Instead, they stepped back and built a far-reaching case that took down all of the key players in this drug syndicate.”

The Times of Trenton also reports that according to authorities, more than 26 kilogrammes of cocaine, worth approximately US$780,000, two handguns and US$600,000 cash were seized as part of the operation.

The state Attorney General’s Office will prosecute those indicted.

The newspaper also reports that according to the office, Flippa Mafia and his brother face first-degree charges of leading a narcotics trafficking network. If convicted, both men could face sentences of 25 years to life in prison.

The other defendants in this case face charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering.

January 10, 2014

I-Octane rocks Christmas shows home and abroad

After two stellar performances in Jamaica at GT Taylor's Christmas Extravaganza in St Elizabeth on December 25 and Cream of the Crop at the Cruise Ship Pier in Ocho Rios on December 28, Digicel/Busta brand ambassador I-Octane left the island for two shows in Guyana.

The first show, held on December 31 in Linden, at the Wisrock Bus Park, saw more than 4000 patrons coming out to see his performance.

At 11:30 p.m., the artiste stormed the stage with Buss a BlankNah WashBadmind Dem A Pree, My Story, and others hits. The high energy was maintained throughout his set, but when he performed crowd favourites like My Life and L.O.V.E. Y.O.U., his performance soared to another level.

Fellow artiste, Versatile, entered the stage halfway through Octane's set and performed two songs before leaving Octane to lament, Gal a Gimmi Bun, Puff It and I A Cry before closing the show and his high-energy 50-minute set withJah Jah.

Not long after wrapping up that show was Octane back onstage at a second event on New Year's Day in George Town at the national stadium car park. Here, he performed to a crowd of more than 30,000 strong.

I-Octane proved the perfect balm for the rainy conditions. Buss a Blank sent the crowd into a frenzy, and was a sign of things to come as the deejay delivered a set worthy of his name.

Again, Octane gave fans a double treat when he introduced Versatile to the stage for their collaboration, Anything We A Eat. The latter also performed his song Nah Go Be Ungrateful.

Octane later closed his hour-long set with Jah Jah.

Ruff Kutt was the backing band for both shows, and both events were sponsored by Banks Beer Guyana.

January 07, 2014

Tessanne Chin’s crucial next steps

Voice winner mustn’t burn bright for a minute, to be extinguished the next — Kingsley Cooper

Kingston Jamaica - SUPERSTARDOM for Tessanne Chin should mean lasting financial success. But for that to be achieved, every aspect of her career must be well planned and managed so that her development and output are sustainable and optimised.

This is the view of Kingsley Cooper, chairman of Jamaica's Entertainment Advisory Board and executive chairman of Pulse Investments Ltd who was asked by the Jamaica Observer to suggest what should be the next steps for the Season Five winner of NBC's The Voice.

Following is the full text of Cooper's analysis:

As Tessanne moves to parlay her Voice triumph into an internationally successful recording and performing career, and having been asked what her next steps ought to be, I'll add a few thoughts to the conversation. However, I should first make it clear that I am not a part of her management, neither am I privy to the terms of her contract with The Voice, or indeed, any previously executed agreements that are still in force.

My comments are therefore made in general terms, and on the assumption that Tessanne is able to make objective "best decisions", without the confines of contractual obligations which may not always allow her to do so.

As brilliantly as Tessanne sings, and as emotional an effect as her performance has on listeners, her career is first and foremost a business. She can't afford to burn bright for a minute, only to be extinguished the next. Every aspect of her career must be well planned and managed so that her development and output is sustainable and optimised. Superstardom should mean lasting financial success. This will enable her to fund those aspects of her career that she might be required to, or might choose to fund.

Financial success also contributes greatly to artistic success, as it will make her as independent an entertainer as one can be, and provide the resources to expand her career into the Tessanne mega brand — from music to merchandising to franchising and everything in-between. All of this is possible and with her natural charm, temperament and intelligence, she has a better chance than most to achieve it.

However, to do this, Tessanne needs to have the best people that she can find around her, handling her business. While she has to honour the terms of her Voice contract, she should be careful about all future agreements that she executes. The terms should be appropriate and should be part of the master plan for her career. She has to be prepared to be guided by the key members of her team, but, I suspect, she is smart enough to make good decisions herself. Fortunately, she also has a strong and dedicated family structure which will provide additional support — support she can trust. She also has an existing management team that has contributed to her success thus far.

Relationship with Adam Levine should be cemented

Another key resource is Adam Levine. He is obviously a major fan, and for good reason. His work with her on The Voice brought out her finest skills and together they made impeccable musical choices. That is a relationship that should be cemented, if at all possible. A number of critical decisions must be made — what songs should her first album contain? How much original material? How many covers? Should she write her own material or should songs be written for her? How much will her new work reflect the factors that made her successful on The Voice, and how much of a departure should there be from same? Who will produce her new material? Which will be her long term record label? These are all questions that Levine (and those team members currently around her) could help to answer and generally provide guidance on.

Tessanne is also of the new technological age. Her impact on social media was amazing during The Voice. She has to fully capitalise on that resource as well. Combined with her global goodwill, social media will no doubt be used to dramatically enhance her success. Tessanne is clearly gifted as a singer, but her crucial 'X factor', that special indefinable quality that makes someone a superstar, is to be found in her "likability" quotient — that endearing charm that is fresh, genuinely honest and down to earth. She has to remain that way and use it to maximum effect.

Now that Tessanne is a big success she will have a lot of offers for all kinds of services. She has to choose carefully, as the adulation will turn to indifference — if she doesn't deliver going forward. As they say in the music business, "you are as good as your last record".