May 20, 2015

Words byย  I-Octane
Photos byย  Kevin Allen

Dancehall star I-Octane recently visited Gambia, for his first-ever dates on the African continent. Initially booked for a single show at the National Stadium in the capital of Banjul, he stayed on for an extra four days to perform an unplanned, free show in the nearby city of Serrekunda. While in the West African nation he also filmed a video for his single “Rich Rich Rich” and recorded “Fire Dancer,” a collaboration with Gambian singer T Smallz (with whom he shared the stage in Banjul) that we’ll be premiering here on LargeUp next month. Follow Octane’s journey below.

This was my first trip to Africa. I was looking forward to experiencing it for myself because I’ve always heard people talk about going back to their roots. My only knowledge of it was what I saw on TV, in books and what I’d hear, but I wanted to have my own experience. It was finally my time.

It was a blessing to start with Gambia. I found it to be a lot like Jamaica. It was a spiritual elevation that has heightened my sense of purpose. The way I was embraced there, I feel Gambia will always be a part of me. I have to big up T. Smallz and the Katato teamโ€” A dem seh, Conquer the Globe! I’m hoping to go to other countries soon, places like Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya. Our team is working towards doing a tour of the full continent in the near future.