Emerging from the burgeoning south London underground, Octavian’s 2017 breakout track, the fragmented and woozy-sounding “Party Here”, combined style and substance. Infusing grime with sing-rap cadences and trap signifiers imported from US hip hop, it became a home-grown hit within the scene.
It wasn't long before Drake was quoting the rapper on his own social media accounts. In the following year, Octavian released several tracks ("Little," "100 Degrees," "Hands") before signing a deal with respected label Black Butter. He also did an excellent hook-up with Mura Masa, resulting in “Move Me” which emphasised a more danceable side of Octavian.
In late 2018, Octavian put out 14 songs on the mixtape Spaceman, a neat summary of his sound. The music is minimal and spacious, with restrained synth touches and a starkness to his beats. It leaves plenty of room for his distinctive voice, rapping and singing with a slight croak. Pitchfork calls it “the ultimate hybrid mixtape” and gives an 8.0 rating, and they are just one of many praising this project.
Simple does it as well when Octavian performs live. He takes the stage with a DJ and an occasional sideman and quickly proves how much variety he can generate from a simple basis. He brings the party – and this is something you don’t want to miss out on! Octavian sells venues out in a day in his own London. Let’s see him fill the space at Roskilde Festival 2019.