July 22, 2015

Mellow mood the signature of I-Octane’s Reggae Sumfest performance

Kingston, JAMAICA:- Renowned for his amazing high-energy performances once he

touches any stage, it was a cooled down, but no less electrifying I-Octane who treated patrons at Reggae Sumfest to an European-style performance last Thursday night.

The singjay, who has been dubbed ‘The Closer’ – owing to his history-making back-to-back closing performances at the festival in 2013 and 2014 – performed during prime time in a slot that followed insanely up-tempo sets from two of dancehall's luminaries.  Taking an on-the-spot decision to switch his set from the bouncy, riddim-driven, fast-paced flow to which his fans have become accustomed, Busta Soft Drinks Brand Ambassador I-Octane instead chose the more evocative songs from his extensive catalogue and went into straight singer mode as he wooed Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night with a thoroughly entertaining reggae package which earned him huge forwards.

Ably backed by the award-winning Ruff Kut band, who, fortunately knows the artiste’s entire catalogue and was able to seamlessly move from the set rehearsed for the festival into this new unrehearsed track-list, the singer and the band were in complete harmony as Octane cemented his space in Sumfest history with mellow songs including My Story, Once More, L.O.V.E., Hurt By Friend, Study You Friend, Never Sell OutMama You Alone and others like these. He closed off with one of his most recent singles, Ghetto Life, a powerful, thought-provoking song which many critics say could very well have been the song to close the entire festival.

In an interview after his performance, the “Lose A Friend’ singer explained that he rarely makes changes to a rehearsed set, but his experience dictated that significant move last Thursday night. “As an artiste you have to keep in tune to the vibrations in order to give the audience maximum satisfaction. I know that Ruff Kut knows my songs, so although I went on stage with the high-energy Buss A Blank, as we had rehearsed, I signaled to them that we were going a different route, and by the third song, we were well on our way. It was good to give my fans a taste of a ‘mellow’ Octane and I think they loved it,” he said modestly.

Music critics, radio disc jocks, musicians have lauded it as a “brilliant move”.

“What I-Octane did had the hallmark of experience,” said the drummer for Ruff Kut Band Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Davis. “He realized that with the pace at which the show was going, the set he had planned might not have had the desired effect, so he changed up things and this made for a much more interesting Dancehall Night package overall. It was a good move and I would have advised him to do the same thing.”

And was the band fazed any at all by the last-minute change?

“Not in the least. We’ve worked with the best of the best in Reggae and Dancehall, and this is the type of reaction we have come to expect from those extraordinary artistes who have a deep passion for their craft. Once he paused and held up his hand to us we knew what he was about to do. Immediately, Beenie Man comes to mind as an artiste who would have successfully done the very same thing, given the same circumstances,” Ricky concluded.

July 03, 2015

‘Not since Bob Marley have I seen an artiste who cares as much about his audience,’ says Warrior King’s manager

Kingston, JAMAICA,:- One of the secrets to a successful career in show business is the

degree of care and respect that the artiste shows for the main body of people who can make or break his concert – the audience. And reggae singer Warrior King is only too well aware of this. So much so that his manager, Mark Miller, the man who was also reggae icon Bob Marley's stage manager and ex-Wailers Band business manager, has had huge words of praise for Warrior King’s treatment of his audience.

Speaking about the just-concluded tour of Europe, Miller noted, “The reaction from the music fans to Warrior King has been absolutely phenomenal. Everywhere we performed on this run had people singing along with the Warrior King tracks, encouraging King in his performance, and letting us know how much they love their hero, Warrior King. His command of the stage and the audience is amazing. Not since I worked with Bob Marley have I seen an artiste who cares as much as King about his audience.”

However, as Warrior King pointed out, “it’s just a natural flow”. He added, “I have to let every person in that audience know how grateful I am that they chose to spend their hard-earned euro/dollar to pay for a ticket to see me perform. When you stand on stage and look out and see a sea of people, it  is a humbling experience. Not everybody out there came to see me, but they all bought a ticket to see an entertainer. They could have spent their money on something else. So I have to give thanks and give the best show that I can possible give every single time I hold a mic and jump on a stage.”

The tour, which kicked off on June 12, included stops in France. Austria, Germany and the UK and although all the dates went well, Warrior King and his team have extra special memories of the Rast’Art Festival in Normandy, France. “It was absolutely fantastic!” they all agree of the festival at which the ‘roots warrior’ was making his debut appearance.

“We send out our love and thanks to every single music fan in Europe and also people like Aurel and Chloe at Rast’
Art;  Maurits in Amsterdam; Bantam in Berlin; Kingsley in Hamburg and everyone else we can’t think of to name right now!” a very happy Warrior King said.

Meanwhile, the singer is reportedly working furiously on putting the finishing touches to his upcoming album, entitled Rootz Warrior. “Owing to the fact that so many people want to see him perform, we’ve had to take it a step at a time in between our touring activities. However, the album ‘soon come’ and will surprise many people,” declared Miller, who is also the author of the book "On the Road with Bob Marley".