South London rapper Octavian – who was once homeless – named BBC’s Music Sound of 2019 after being judged by 136 music industry insiders

SOUTH London rapper Octavian has been crowned winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2019 after being judged by 236 leading industry experts.

The 23-year-old 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 gained 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 and has since been championed on Radio 1 and 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’.

Octavian said: “I knew that one day I was going to be successful. I get inspired and I try to make a new sound every day.

“It’s going to be a very loud year for me. Loads of music, loads of visuals, loads of albums.”

Annie Mac, Radio 1 DJ, said: “Octavian is a truly original and exciting artist, pushing the boundaries of the genre.”

James Stirling, head of BBC Music, said: “Huge congratulations to Octavian and to all the artists shortlisted for the BBC Music Sound of 2019.

“The quality of the music speaks for itself and BBC Music is incredibly proud to support them all across Radio, TV and BBC Sounds”.

Sazrah Hunt, real name Sarah, is music editor at The Entertainment Gazette. For stories, email: | Insta/Snap/FB: @SazrahProducer

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