Introducing The Modern Day Marvin Gaye & Soulful Powerhouse: October London
Soul. Power. Love. It’s not often you’ll run across an artist whose music and voice exude these qualities. South Bend, Indiana native caught our attention when he premiered on Bet’s Music Mogul alongside Snoop Dogg. This was where we were able to witness the mastery in his voice that demands the attention of those listening. What’s more powerful than his voice is his message in his music that ranges from the racial divide in “Black Man in America” to the beautiful love melody in “Slow Dance.”
The powerhouse vocalist caught the attention of Jazze Pha which led him to a mentorship with Snoop Dogg and from there, we were gifted with nothing but modern day bluesy love songs and a voice to shed light on social issues within our community.
RnB magazine sat down with October as he discussed his message in “Black Man in America,” Colorblind EP, Snoop Dogg, Jazze Pha, and shared his ideal date.
– Let’s talk about your single “Black Man in America.” What does that powerful song mean to you as an African American man in America especially with all the racial injustices transpiring?
That song means a lot to me because I think it sends a powerful message. Not only to the older crowd but the younger crowd as well and keeps them more involved with what’s going on. The reason why I even made that song is because it was all on the news, it’s been in the papers, and social media really, really heavy about the racial divide that we have now. I just felt like it was necessary. I felt like it needed to be said. I really want to show my followers and I don’t want to let it go to waste. I’d rather keep them in tune with what’s going on if they don’t stay in tune to it or they’re too busy to stay in tune, I want to grasp all my fans and let them know.
– Tell me about your EP Colorblind: Love. What’s the concept behind that title?
The concept behind Colorblind is reference off my second single that I’m going to put out off of the EP titled “Colorblind.” The whole EP is old school based. It’s wrapped around the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Luther, Teddy. You know all that kind of stuff so I felt like I needed to pay homage especially with me coming into the game fresh, I felt like I needed to say “okay, this is the reason why I do music because of these guys. This is where my inspiration came from so let me pay homage to these guys.”
– What’s your favorite track off your EP and why?
My favorite track off the EP would have to be “Slow Dance.” I just feel like as far as RnB I think we lack more wedding songs. We really lack that. I was really feeling that joint. I did about 23 records in four days after me and Snoop met in March and the last two songs- “Slow Dance” was one of them and “Love In The Summer” was the other that Snoop brought to my attention, brought me a couple of those beats, emailed them to me. I got the vibe and it felt like a wedding song to me or like something more intimate with your lover.
– Take me back to the first time you began singing. How old were you and what incited you to make music a profession?
When I first started to kind of toy around with singing I think I was maybe between the ages of five and eight. I didn’t know what I was doing of course but I got a little red piano as a Christmas gift I believe. I think it was Christmas and a lot of my family can sing and they have different talents in music. My mom can play piano a little bit and she can sing. I grew up around music. It wasn’t til I was about 15 I wanted to pursue music and it wasn’t until 18 I was like “okay I need to take it extremely seriously if this is what I want to do.” From then on it’s been a wild, crazy dream.
– If you weren’t singing, what do you think you would be doing?
Before I got signed, I got my CDL permit to drive semis, to drive trucks. I’ve always been infatuated with semi’s for some reason I don’t know what it is- when I was a kid. Now I don’t think I am anymore pretty much. Music has taken over that but I think if I wasn’t doing music I’d probably be doing that job. I’d probably be working some 9-5 for a company.
– Do you think music has shaped you into the man you are today?
Yeah, I believe it has. I’ve learned a lot through music. Whether it was something political like “Black Man In America” or it was learning how to love, listening to Luther and all that kind of stuff, I think it has shaped me into being who I am.
– How did you land that spot opening for Flo-Rida?
Wow. That was a long time ago. Well I opened up for Flo-Rida and then I opened up for Rick Ross after that. I forgot the company name it was through. It was so long ago but I was in this group back home called “First Fam” and it was with a group of my homies and we auditioned for it and one of the promoters pulled me out of the group and was like, “sing that part that you just sang” and I sung it was he was like, “you’re gonna be something man.” It was kind of crazy because he didn’t want the whole group. He wanted me to do it. He wanted me to open so I was kind of like, “ahhhh.” I kind of felt bad, but yeah it was all him. I forgot the promoters name. I forgot the promoting company it was so long ago like I said but he pointed me out of the group and wanted me to do it so I did it.
– How did you meet Jazze Pha and end up signing to his and Snoop’s label Cadillac music?
I met Jazze Pha through two other people. You know like they say you gotta know somebody in the industry or know somebody that know somebody that’s exactly what that was to make a long story short. One of my boys knew somebody that knew of him and they gave me his number and was like “good luck.” At first I was like, “Jazze’s not going to answer. He doesn’t even know my number. He doesn’t know who this is. He’s a celebrity.” I texted him and I said, “hey man. This is October London. I’m a singer, songwriter, and producer. I got some songs for Future. I know you deal with Future sometimes. Can I get your email?” He sent me his email a couple hours later so I rushed back to the studio and I sent him a few songs and he loved them. He was like, “you got anymore?” and I was like, “yeah.” So I went back to the studio again, sent him maybe five, six other songs but I sent him different genres this time because I do all genres of music. I sent him a country song. I sent him a pop song. I sent him a reggae song. I sent him a hip-hop song. RnB. He loved all of them. He was like, “all these are hits man.” He was like, “how many are you sitting on?” I was like, “I got like 600 records in the vault.” So he was like, “let me sit on these few that you sent me of course and I’ll get back to you.” He would call me sporadically and be like, “I want to hook you up with somebody that can reach out to everyone. I think he would do a good job at pushing you out there better than I could.” I was like, “alright.” The night before the SuperBowl Snoop called me. He called me on the phone and told me he was a fan and since then, it’s been wow. To make a long story short.
– What’s the best advice you’ve given and received?’
The best advice I’ve received since March was pretty much to stay exactly how I am now. Of course in the industry if you sign with certain labels or you do something with certain people they want to change your image. They want to change who you are. They want to change what you sound like, how you write, and how you produce. What I love about Snoop is, he put me in the studio and was like. “you know what? I’m not gonna stand over you. You know how to do this stuff. I’ll be back. Let me know what you come up with.” Four days later, 23 songs were made. The best advice I got off of that was to pretty much stay original and just be myself. As far as the best advice I could give is the same thing. Be original. Be yourself. Don’t let anybody change you. Do what you feel is right. Make the music that you want to hear and hopefully people will love it and if they do, you’re good. You can’t be happy doing some other stuff that you don’t want to do. Period. I’m never going to do anything that I think I don’t like. You will never hear a song from October London that I didn’t think was a good choice.
– Earlier you mentioned music taught you how to love or what not. What would be your ideal date?
There’s several things we could do. Man, I’ve never got asked that question. I’d have to say a romantic dinner I think because we’re out here in California, I think we might hit the beach. Might spend the whole day together. Maybe start at lunch. Maybe a little brunch on the beach. Something like that. Get to know each other. I like wine so we’ll have some wine. Maybe we’ll go get a couple drinks and walk on the beach a little bit. Just get to know each other and if she likes dancing, we can go dancing. Do I do a lot of dancing? No, not that much, but I’ll do it. As of right now that I could think of, I think that would be the ideal date for me.
– What qualities do you look for in a woman?
Smart. Of course what matters is beauty on the inside, but a beautiful woman. That’s always great. Personality. Great sense of humor. Someone that can handle my job title. Somebody that knows what I’m doing and knows how to handle the situations that I’m going to get thrown in my face.
– What’s next for you? Any other special projects or collaborations we can look forward to?
Besides the EP that’s already out titled Colorblind- you can go get that on iTunes right now, Spotify, amazon, wherever music is sold at- I got two other singles that’s coming out. One called “KDB: Kisses Down Below” that comes out December 9th and “Santa Drop Me Some Loot” also comes out December 8th. That’s a Christmas song that I just did on Fox. People can tune into that December 8th, 8/7C. I did that with Taraji P. Henson, Tyrese, Neyo, Jussie Smollett. So those are the things that we’re doing right now. I might show up on tour, Snoop’s Puff Puff Pass tour in Michigan possibly I might rock the mic one time if there and you know just be looking out.
– Is there anything else you would like to add or say?
Interviewed by: Simone Grant