Octavian Harnesses His Vulnerability On 'Hands' The U.K.-hailing NPR Slingshot artist experiments with his sound and strikes a vulnerable chord on his latest single.


Songs We Love: Octavian, 'Hands'


Nobody is making music right now quite like Octavian. "Hands," the new single from the London-based NPR Slingshot artist, makes it clear that he isn't afraid to experiment with his sound.

This latest track is distinct from the rapper's last two releases — "100 Degrees" and the Drake-approved "Party Here" — incorporating gospel-like supporting vocals, art pop nuances and a more vulnerable side of the rising talent. The 22-year-old artist has said before that his aim is to change people's linear thinking about U.K. music, and he's taking it upon himself to lead the conversation with each new release.

"Say you wanna get like me," Octavian repeats in angelic fashion as the dampened bass and pithy hi-hats kick in around the song's one-minute mark. As the beat, produced by the artist himself along with J Rick, changes its course, Octavian's delivery adapts accordingly but manages to stay grounded in the established melody.

The D.I.Y. visual for the song is more classically aligned with what fans know about Octavian's aesthetic: it shows him and his friends posted up outside and hitting the occasional dance move for the camera. At one point, his friends do doughnuts in their cars with Octavian in the center, almost colliding with each other ("Oy! That was close!"). The video ends with a member of his crew pointing over to London's famous O2 Arena, predicting that it's only a matter of time before Octavian gets to that stage.