Monday, 11 March 2013

MUSIC MIX: T.O.K has renewed their focus + I-Octane is new Busta brand ambassador + D-Major offers details on debut album

ROLE MODEL: "It's a good look for me and reggae music. It opens doors for me, reggae music and other artistes," offers recording star I-Octane following his selection recently as the new brand ambassador for soft drink giant Busta. "Music for me is an everyday thing and the companies see that and respect my work ethic. These endorsements can hopefully break barriers for the local music industry." Also a brand ambassador for Digicel, the reggae star will now be part of the current movement by Busta to tap into the youth market. "We wanted the best," says Ricardo Skyers, the company's regional sales manager, explaining why I-Octane was selected, "and as a striving brand in Jamaica, and as a brand that primarily focuses on the community and the innercity, we looked for that artiste, that person who could represent that look which we wanted."

ON THE RECORD: With his latest singles (especially the sublime hit "Girl of my Dreams") finding favour with listeners and on charts across the region, reggae-soul crooner D-Major is ready to finally drop his long-awaited debut album. And there's no better time than the summer to do just that. "This album will definitely be a cut above the rest," he says of the record tentatively titled It's Major. "It will showcase my versatility and maturity as an artiste. It's gonna have party tracks, roots reggae, dancehall. Nobody has done an album like this in a while, it's gonna be major." The set will also include previously released tracks along with new and exclusive cuts such as "Naked," "Real Know Bout Yah" and "No Distance."

STAYING POWER: Having been off of the radar for quite some time, groundbreaking dancehall band T.O.K (Bay-C, Flex, Alistaire, and Craigy T) say it's high time for them to firmly reconnect with their longtime loyalists and reinject their brand of “crazy, party energy” into the music scene. “I am not sure what caused this disconnect, but we will have to fix that," Craigy T says. "Over the years with all the travelling, we sometimes found the need to rest once we got home. But we now realise that home time is not necessarily rest time." Freshly released from a long and binding contract with VP Records, the group now records under their own label, XCAR Records, with a yet-to-be-titled new album set to hit the Japanese market sometime this April. The group also has a single on the Damian Marley-produced compilation disc Set Up Shop Vol. 1, recently released by Ghetto Youths International. With this renewed energy and key collaborations, the group seems poised to reclaim their place as the leading dancehall group out of Jamaica. “We have always prided ourselves with putting out great music," explains Flexx. "We still feel the love in the streets. So that makes it easy to come back."

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