As London streets darken, it’s reassuring to hear house, grime and Afrobeats whispering promises of eternal summer from car windows. For Octavian though, the capital’s disparate soundtrack is insufficient: he wants to hear everything at once. With R&B mixtape Spaceman, the 22- year-old fuses all of the above, rasping melancholy hooks over shadowy pop beats and club bops. It leavens tension with fleeting euphoria, while taking aim at a wave of what he sees as mediocre pop-rappers who capitalise on trends (“on money, really,”) without pushing new sounds. Raised between Camberwell and Northern France, Octavian grew up a “mad kid” with a mum convinced music would lead to poverty. Telling his family he could flourish outside the education system, he says, was “like telling them Santa Claus doesn’t exist.” As a secondary-school dropout, he taught at a community arts centre. “I love teaching the disabled,” he recalls, “but the theatre side, I didn’t like.” He endured more of this at the Brit School, the performing arts college where he went next. “I wasn’t from that world],” he says, “I didn’t know what a musical was.” Unemployed after leaving, he “risked it all” writing songs. After trying unsuccessfully to make headway, his last hope was Party Here, a haunted anthem recorded with producer J Rick. “You’re gonna blow, it’s just timing,” Octavian rasps – and he did. “We want to expand,” he adds, “and not be confined.” Being confined doesn’t look like it will be a problem: Ocatvian’s music points to a glorious world without rules.