New Year’s Eve in Downtown, Fort Lauderdale had some Jamaican musical flavor by way of the Caribbean event that took place at a venue called Stache—regarded as a premier cocktail lounge, coffee bar, nightclub and concert hall in the city. The New Year’s Eve event featured several Jamaican reggae and dancehall artists: I-Octane, Zeke Don, and Dovey Magnum. Backing band and sounds were provided by Visions Band and DJ Mikey Mike of WZOP/WZPP FM radio of Ft. Lauderdale.
The happenings at Stache really started percolating from 11pm onwards, seeing that 2022 was steadily approaching. DJ Mikey Mike kept things warm with a selection of great tunes from the reggae, dancehall, afrobeat, and soca genres. Meanwhile, Visons Band impressed on stage with a steady flow of tunes that they covered from big name artists that included living legends as well as several no longer with us—including Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, Buju Banton, Chronixx, just to name a few.
Zeke Don Delivered a Superb Performance
Zeke Don, who stepped in the building well ahead of his actual performance, was greeted by friends and other patrons as he settled in and enjoyed the vibes-filled atmosphere. In recent years, Zeke has certainly proved his mettle while increasing his popularity in dancehall circles all over. As usual, he brought a lot of energy and lyrical dexterity to the stage which was definitely a treat.
Dovey Magnum Unleashed ‘Nuff Tune’, Showed Off Impressive Vocal Range
Best known for her 2019 single, ‘Bawl Out’, the sultry Dovey Magnum arrived at Stache along with her fellow dancehall star, I-Octane. From outside, they were flocked by fans who clamored for photo ops. Once inside, Dovey Magnum milled around and was all smiles while doing more photo ops. Her performance was indeed unique and her vocals impressed. Dovey Magnum is a talented dancehall artist, and I’m sure there will be much more to come from her in the future.
I-Octane Displayed His Many Moods And Artistic Versatility
Headlining the Caribbean NYE 2021 event was dancehall sensation, I-Octane, the self-proclaimed ‘Slim Ras’ after his weight loss achievements in recent years. Hailing from the May Pen, Clarendon area in Jamaica, Byiome Muir—popularly known as I-Octane—has established himself in recent years as a big-name artist, not only in his native Jamaica, but also worldwide. ‘Slim Ras’ is known for weaving in positive and socially conscious messages and lyrics to his music—while drawing inspiration from Rastafarian precepts, teachings, as well as his own life experiences.
A veteran reggae and dancehall artist in all aspects, I-Octane launched his recording career at just 16 years of age under guide of legendary producer, Donovan Germain, of Penthouse records who also produced giant artists such as Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, and Beres Hammond—just to name a few. To this day, I-Octane acknowledges that Donovan Germain is at the top of his list of favorite producers. In 2009, I-Octane climbed to the top of the charts with songs like ‘Mama You Alone’, and ‘Lose A Friend’. Since then, the hit parade of I-Octane has persisted. All the while, he just seems to continue to evolve with new melodies and riddims. His latest album, ‘Moods’, is without a doubt a classic that is filled with hits—notably, ‘Bagga Money’ and ‘Top Boy’.
Big up to Mikey Mike, WZOP/WZPP FM radio of Ft. Lauderdale, and all those who made such a wonderful New Year’s Eve event possible. Such a great atmosphere to ring in 2022!
All photos by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.