STAR of the Month : From 'Richie Rich' to I-Octane
While the world now knows him as I-Octane, the singjay actually started his career as 'Richie Rich'.
Richie Rich was the name suggested by Marcia Simpson, who only managed singers like Nature and Highly Dread. But I-Octane first wanted to be a deejay.
"She seh she aguh introduce me to somebody who manage deejays, but she doe tell me where she a send me," I-Octane told THE STAR.
By Simpson's guidance, I-Octane (still going by Richie Rich) found himself in the doorway of Penthouse Studios, the workspace of sought-after producer Donovan Germaine.
This would place him in the midst of much traffic from music industry giants such as Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Spragga Benz, Marcia Griffiths, Agent Sasco (formerly known as Assassin).
This gave him the opportunity to work in a world-class studio before breaking big on the music scene. I-Octane described himself as a youngster who spent much of his time hanging outside studios, hoping for a chance to get inside and behind a mic.
But aside from developing his skills, he discovered his name. It was another Penthouse artiste, Queen Ifrica, who introduced the idea of a name change.
I-Octane referred the idea to his studio engineer, Bones, and the two consulted the dictionary.
"We see a lot of this, but then we see 'octane'. It means high energy, high performance. 'Caw mi seh mi a do both. Mi deejay and mi sing, suh mi seh mi want a name fi suit both sides of Octane," he said.
He felt he needed a name that could work if he was successful in either dancehall or culture music.
They took the idea to Germain, who liked it, but said they should do something else to the 'Octane'. 'Suh we just add di 'I' to it. I-Octane," he said.
I-Octane also recalled that when visiting Penthouse Studio for the first time, he didn't initially meet Germaine, but an engineer allowed him to record three demos.
I-Octane told THE STAR that he went back home, where he waited for a call from the studio on his friend's phone, as he didn't have one of his own.
Fortunately, Germaine saw potential, and a phone call came the next day.
"Germaine didn't really have the time to focus on me as an artiste, but I had a world-class studio at my disposal, and then mi have an engineer assigned to me," he said.
I-Octane said he spent years at Penthouse, honing his craft and discovering his identity, which has helped to make him the artiste he is today.