What? A distinctive mix of grime, house and drill
From where? Camberwell via Lille
What’s the story? Genre-defying BBC Sound 2019 winner whose 2017 single Party Here caught the attention of Drake and Louis Vuitton’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh, who flew the rapper to Paris to walk his first runway show.
Despite earning a scholarship to the Brit school at 14, his recent successes are a stark contrast to his teenage years, which were mostly spent homeless.
His distinctive, raspy rhymes, unusual flow and fluid approach to genre have set him apart from his contemporaries, as have his primary inspirations, Bon Iver and James Blake.
His first mixtape, 22, was released in 2016 and the following year he put out the Essie World EP.
In January 2018 Octavian received the starry endorsement of Drake, who appeared in an Instagram video singing along to Party Here.
The British rapper released his second mixtape, Spaceman, in late 2018 and by early 2019 he had taken the 2019 BBC Sound award.
With a UK and European tour about to kick off, 2019 looks like Octavian’s for the taking.
Sounds like? No one else operating in the world of grime and dill right now.
Predicted to? Revolutionise British rap.
Must hear? Party Here
Feb 27 Academy 2, Manchester
Feb 28 The Forum, London
Mar 2 Academy 2, Birmingham
Mar 4 The Academy Green Room, Dublin