The Music scene in the Caribbean is a huge pot filled with blends of various genres, cultures, and ideas. With its fair share of influence on the World, you can detect that on some of your favourite songs out in recent years. The Caribbean is also blessed to have given the World some talented folks who have went on to create huge followings, and churn out hits aplenty. One of the Artists who aims to make a name for himself is Jimmy October from the twin Islands of Trinidad & Tobago. Boasting a sound that stands out, and a swagger that lets you know he’s the next Caribbean Superstar, he has been on the radar of some of your favourites in recent times. After a few delays, we finally got a chance to have a convo with the Artist. From his sound, his latest project, to repping T&T, get to know him in our latest Interview below!
Words By: @SwadeDaVillain
Photos By: @KristonKK
13thStreetPromotions: Jimmy, thanks for having a chat with us at 13thStreetPromotions.com. We’ve finally made that Jamaica/Trinidad link up. For starters, tell us about the Artist named Jimmy October?
Jimmy October: The name was inspired by a couple things. Well firstly I was born on October 9 1994, and I’m pretty connected to the fact that I’m a Libra and the idea of not searching for perfection but for balance. That explains the October. The main reason for the Jimmy is the movie 8 Mile. Eminem played the character Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. The role of that character really resonated with me because I felt like he was a very regular guy, living a regular life but he had passion. He had raw talent and was determined to be something more. I’m also that regular guy that believes he can use his talents to be something more no matter how much people say its not possible. No matter how much people laughed at the fact that I was crazy for starting to follow this particular dream because they thought it made no sense. I’m Jimmy October.
13thSP: We’ve been hearing your music for quite a while, but tell us how did you get your start? What made you want to pursue a music career?
JO: As basic as this might sound. I’ve loved music from the jump and I’ve only grown to love more.
13thSP: You rap, deejay, sing, produce, and those have caught the attention of many out there. Who have been some of your influences when it comes to creating music?
JO: You know they’re people I’ve been listening to and following for years. Like Bob Marley, Jay Z, Jimi Hendrix, Kanye West, Usher, Machel Montano and as time passed by I was able to add names like J. Cole, Drake, PartyNextDoor & Frank Ocean to that list. I can’t talk about new Influences without mentioning Chronixx & Protoje. These guys pay attention to detail. There’s a full vibe that their brand and music encompasses. That inspires me. Especially coming from the Caribbean.
13thSP: Being from Trinidad, and many know the Island for Soca Music and Carnival, was the journey easy in getting your style of music embraced and supported? Did you have other challenges?
JO: There’s always gonna be challenges when you’re taking risks. That’s why people give up. I have down times where I feel like giving up just like everybody else. But I need to do this for me and for every single person that takes the time to press play on my music. So nope it wasn’t and still isn’t easy getting my style of music embraced and supported but good music is good music. I can only grow from here.
13thSP: You’re cosigned by the likes of Trini Legends Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin, and even International DJ Steve Aoki whose new “Kolony” project features some contribution from you. Do you ever pause for a moment and reflect on how crazy that is and seeing your hard work pay off?
JO: Every single blessing is appreciated but “over-celebrating” as I like to call it really isn’t my type of thing. I try my best to keep my eyes on the long term mission ahead.
13thSP: What has been your biggest moment so far in your career? What would you be doing if you weren’t pursuing music?
JO: A few moments stood out to me as you asked that question. Getting the chance to perform at The Machel Monday Concert in 2014 & 2015, Opening for J. Cole at The 2016 Tobago Jazz Festival, Collaborating with Steve Aoki on the track “No Time” for his new album “KOLONY” and also being able to perform with him at Life In Color. What would I be doing if i wasn’t pursuing music? People ask that all the time and I guess I sorta ignore it to be honest because music has always been that thing for me …but… I think I would’ve probably stayed close to the arts. Maybe managing an artist or even finding a space within marketing and branding.
13thSP: You recently released “Vacation” and followed up with the “Vacation EP“. What was it like working on that project? For new listeners, what can they expect from it? What’s your ideal “Vacation”?
JO: VACATION. I wanted to craft a body of work that felt like home. The title says it all. My producer “TANO” really pushed me to stick to that and that’s just what I did.The project turned out to be everything that I wanted it to be. U can hear a bit of Soca / Rnb / Calypso / Hip Hop / Afro-Beat. There’s a bit of everything somewhere in there and to be able to do that was an accomplishment for me because I think we need to experiment more with our music in order for it to really grow the way we want it to.
13thSP: Tell us about OverDose Music Group. Who makes up the roster, and what can we expect next from the label?
JO: OverDose Music Group is a collective that we’re building. It’s not just a home for rappers or singers but its focused on creatives in general. The intent is to eventually become an actual record label and creative agency in the near future. When people hear “OverDose Music Group” the two names they think about are “Jimmy October” & “Jay Nahge” because we’ve been more at the forefront in terms of the music especially since the release of our collaborative EP in 2016 entitled “Something To Believe In” but there are more people on the roster working behind the scenes on projects that we’re gonna share in the upcoming year.