After a new track featuring grime heavyweight Skepta, Octavian can no longer be called an up-and-coming rapper. His confidence and style, along with his award-winning collaborator, shows the 23-year-old truly belongs on the scene.
‘Bet’ is a song that oozes confidence. Over a whining four-note melody and simple trap beat, you hear – pretty explicitly – how the French-British rapper took your girl. Octavian’s rapping is effortless too. He is not afraid to take pauses. There’s no rush – he has already stolen your girl, anyway.
The bass-heavy track rolls out the same beat and melody throughout. It’s the different vocals that change the song up, with verses from both Skepta and Michael Phantom. It’s a new version of the record, previously released without Skepta.
It follows on from some of the darker songs on debut mixtape SPACEMAN in which Octavian favoured rapping over his more melodic vocals on songs such as ‘Lightening’ and ‘Move Faster’.
On first entering the scene, Octavian was lauded for his versatility, fusing genres such as house, dancehall, rap, grime, RnB and hip-hop. In his first singles, ‘Party Here’ and ‘Hands’, he explored, merged and pushed the boundaries of the different genres that influence him. This creativity got him noticed by the likes of Drake and gave him a distinguishable sound.
But ‘Bet’ is more straightforward. Like ‘54321’ feat. Swift on his mixtape, Octavian shows he is still comfortable producing less experimental but banging UK hip-hop and rap.
In a black-and-white video, Octavian head-bops along to the catchy tune. The singer takes centre-stage, popping in and out with an outfit change and occasionally interrupted by a twerking woman wearing a rabbit hat.
The Essie Gang artist has had a pretty good year already, walking the runway for Louis Vuitton and winning the BBC Sound of 2019 poll. He joins the ranks of Adele, Sam Smith and 50 Cent, who have all previously won the award.
“I knew that one day I was going to be successful. It’s going to be a very loud year for me,” he said after winning the poll. He might just be right.