STAR of the Month : I-Octane sidelined by Sumfest - artiste claims injustice
STAR of the Month I-Octane twice closed Reggae Sumfest - in 2013 and 2014.
He was approached to do so again in 2015, an honour which he turned down, opting for another artiste to be allowed to shine in that slot.
However, fast-forward to 2017, the Reggae Sumfest line-up has been partially released and there is no I-Octane in sight.
According to the singer, there is no way he should have been excluded, since he is
unquestionably one of the best performers in reggae music.
"I have over 50 hit songs in my catalogue. Last year after mi mash up the place, Joe (Sumfest organiser Josef Bogdanovich) hug mi up and seh 'My youth, yuh a di baddest thing inna music, mi can never leave yu off mi festival'. So what are you going to say this year? Then you are going to tell my team that you are not booking nobody from last year," he said.
I-Octane recently signed popular selector Foota Hype to his label, Conquer the Globe Records. Foota was formerly signed to Bogdanovich's Downsound Records.
REASON FOR OMISSION
He is skeptical whether this is the reason for his omission.
"The only new persons on it (Sumfest) this year are Alkaline and Mavado. Betta yuh just seh, 'Dawg, yuh a link wid some people who wi nuh like'. Right now wi nuh know and wi nah rule out no option because I don't know where this is coming from. Mi nah guh tell lie pon Sumfest," he said.
I-Octane is booked for several shows across Europe and the United States, including Best of the Best in Miami; however, he believes Sumfest should be doing the fans justice by booking the right artistes.
"I-Octane is the best performer out of every new school artiste, and the fans know, the proof is there. Beenie Man has said it, Bounty has said it, so the legends have validated this. I am in the top five, top six, anywhere you put it. The only outstanding young artiste who graduate from the new school is Alkaline because people want to see him."
I-Octane said since his 'buss' in 2006, he has not had a dull year in music.
"We are not saying without Sumfest we are at a loss because we fly out every week. But it's the principle of it, man; I have to defend The Brand I-Octane," he said.
I-Octane is booked leading into September. He is also gearing up to release his new album, Love and Life.
Pertaining to I-Octane's exclusion, Robert Russell, a member of Sumfest's organising team, told THE WEEKEND STAR, "We had him on the show last year, but we can't keep repeating the acts. We have respect for him, he is a great performer. Maybe next year he will be back on the show after a one-year break, but we have to always have a fresh line-up for the fans. It's no hard feelings towards I-Octane."