Byiome Muir April 29 1984, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica.
Byiome Muir was born and raised in Sandy Bay, a small community east of May Pen in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. During his time at Palmers Cross All-Age School and Garvey Maceo High School, Muir often sang and made noises. Despite focusing on architecture at Knox Community College, Muir dropped out to pursue his recording career full-time.
When Muir was 16 years old, Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records, then manager of Buju Banton and Assassin, introduced him to recording. The first singles released by Muir under the name Richie Rich were “Oh Jah” and “Stepp a Seed”, released in 2000 by Penthouse Records. He signed with Kingston Records under the artist name I-Octane, a play on high-octane fuel and the Rastafarian letter I. I-Octane gained initial acclaim in 2007 for his social commentary work such as the roots reggae track “Stab Vampire” that climbed several Jamaican charts. With the emotional songs “Mama You Alone” and “Lose A Friend”, I-Octane again topped the charts in 2009. The latter was adapted to commemorate the death of Christopher “Dudus” Coke during the police manhunt.
I-Octane left Arrows due to financial disputes, but Robert Livingston stepped in to guide him, a veteran producer whose credits include Super Cat and Shaggy’s success. The I-Octane band gained more traction in 2010 when they released a string of hits through Cashflow Records, including “No Love Inna Dem” and “Puff It,” which was one of NPR’s Top 5 Dancehall Tracks of 2011. The contemplative “My Life” produced by DJ Frass also topped the charts, and Vibe magazine featured him in the April-May issue. In the same year, he joined Digicel as a Brand Ambassador, and as of 2013 he continues to work for Digicel as a representative. Since 2015, I-Octane has served as a Brand Ambassador for the Golden Eagle Brand in Jamaica.
I-Octane announced in 2011 that he would be starting his own record label, Conquer The Globe Productions, to produce instrumentals for him and promote him. The label’s first release would be an extended play in December 2011, followed by an album in early 2012. On December 7, TuneCore released Straight From The Heart, a six-song EP primarily available digitally. A first for the artist, three songs on the EP were recorded in the U.S. for a global audience. The EP’s lead single, “Burn Dem Bridge,” was produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor and received significant radio airplay, including on Hot 97 in New York.
In the Caribbean and internationally, I-Octane’s debut album, Crying To The Nation, was released on 13 February 2012 by Robert Livingston’s Scikron Entertainment. Critics generally praised the album. Despite being praised by Rick Anderson of AllMusic as a “solid winner”, he said the album relied too heavily on Auto-Tune, and David Katz of BBC Music called it “a surprising set, mainly new roots reggae in the one-drop style, with some rough-edged tracks in full-on dancehall mode”. A lovers rock ballad called “L.O.V.E. Y.O.U.” served as the album’s lead single, and was marketed internationally as well as domestically. Throughout the summer, I-Octane toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe to promote the album. He released a string of hit singles, such as “Badmind Dem A Pree”, a collaboration with Bounty Killer produced by Buju Banton’s son Markus Myrie, as well as “Love Di Vibes,” produced by Seanizzle, in which I-Octane laments his partner’s infidelity in “Gal A Gimmi Bun.”