TUNEFUL APPEAL: Due to arrive in stores and via online outlets on Feb. 14, I-Octane’s buzzworthy full-length debut effort, Crying to the Nation, is among the year’s most eagerly awaited reggae/dancehall releases. While the 16-track album is a showcase of I-Octane’s wholesome and individualistic meditations, he’s recruited Agent Sasco, Tarrus Riley and Albarosie for collaborations. Known for gritty songs exploring socio-political matters, I-Octane says originality is a quality he consistently aims for in his music. “Bob Marley and others already did social commentary about political fights, people getting shot, starting wars for their own benefit,” he recently told Billboard, “so I have to make sure I do mine in the I-Octane way.”
MUSIC & MYTH: Last year, they brought high-school-musical fervour with a spirited staging of FAME: The Next Generation. This year, it’s all about Grecian mythology. For their 2012 musical production, the Jamaica Junior Theatre Company presents Hercules, an adaptation of screen productions about the legendary Greek hero mixed with classic songs from the Disney soundtrack – and driven by hefty cast of some 54 talented youngsters. Catch the show playing on weekends at the Philip Sherlock Centre, UWI Mona. Info: 927-1047.