South London rapper Octavian has been crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound Of 2019.
The 23-year-old, who was once homeless and dropped out of the famous Brit School aged 14, said it will be “a very loud year for me” after winning the prestigious award.
Previous winners include Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding.
Octavian said: “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.”
The rapper, who counts Drake among his fans, was born in France but raised in London.
He was chosen by a 136-strong panel made up of Radio 1 DJs, industry experts and artists including Goulding as well as previous alumni including last year’s winner Sigrid.
Octavian’s music blends styles from house, rap and drill to R&B, dancehall, grime and UK hip-hop.
He released his first full-length mixtape Spaceman last year. He won the Sound Of 2019 poll ahead of Spanish singer Rosalia, Brooklyn-born vocalist King Princess, Grace Carter and Northampton rapper SlowThai.
Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac said: “BBC Sound Of is always a wonderful opportunity to get a snapshot of the new music landscape in the UK and this year is really interesting. Six of the 10 artists are women.
“And we have two rappers in the top five. I am delighted that UK rap music has got such great placement in the list – Octavian is a truly original and exciting artist, pushing the boundaries of the genre and it’s great to see such a progressive artist getting such a huge accolade.”