Octavian Wins BBC Sound of 2019

Octavian has been crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound Of 2019. The South London rapper was chosen by a panel of 136 influential music industry insiders made up of Radio 1 DJs, industry experts, artists including Ellie Goulding as well as previous alumni including last year’s winner Sigrid.

From his eccentric style to his fiery lyrics, its no wonder the French-born London-based rapper Octavian won the BBC Music’s Sound of 2019. His work rate has been witnessed throughout 2018 and his ability to push songs that are lyrically diverse and just as captivating as the last. His breakthrough song Party Here set the ball rolling for his career and after being co-signed by Drake, it was hard to ignore Octavian. 

The 23 year old Londoner represents a true rags to riches story. After a turbulent upbringing which saw him homeless and drop out of the prestigious Brit School, Octavian has gone on to make his mark on the music scene, gaining recognition from industry leaders and tastemakers including Drake who put him in the spotlight after releasing a video of him singing along to ‘Party Here’.

His blending of styles from house, rap and drill to R&B, dancehall, grime and UK hip-hop have caught the attention of many. He received his first radio play in 2017 on Benji B’s show and has since been championed on Radio 1 & 1Xtra from the likes of Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and DJ Target. He released his first full-length mixtape Spaceman last year, with many calling it ‘refreshing’, ‘versatile’ and ‘forward thinking’.

Each year, the BBC curate a list of artists chosen by many critics and musicians for fans to keep an eye out for. In previous years, the likes of Sam Smith, Adele and NAO have all featured on it. After being kicked out of his family home at 14, he made a promise to himself that he would not end up in prison and he will make it big in the music industry. Despite experiencing all the lows in his life, the 23-year-old rapper has secured the top spot for 2019. His mixtape Spaceman that was released in Septembers features a blend of R&B, grime, and house, amongst other familiar sounds that will listener will fall in love with. 

Octavian- full name Octavian Oliver Godji- landed into music when he got a scholarship to study community arts practice, but eventually dropped. He later then became homeless and remembers the last thing his mother said to him before he left: “you’re either going to end up in prison or be big.” From then onwards, Octavian sofa-surfed whilst trying to make music. When Drake was captured in a video dancing to Party Here, his breakthrough came and he experienced continuous highs. He was also chosen to model in Virgil Abloh’s  debut Louis Vuitton collection, along with other stars such as Playboi Carti, Steve Lacy and many more. 

This is the second time a rapper has won the BBC Music’s Sound of 2019 after 50 Cent first won it in 2003. This alone highlights how special Octavian’s music is, and greatness is due to come his way this year.