5 For Friday: Ivorian Doll, Octavian, Bellah & More

At the end point of July we welcome a burst of new music to see us through summer. This week’s round up feeds you a spoonful of vibrations from the likes of Octavian and the polarising rapper Ivorian Doll. Each of the below tracks are some of the nicest songs you’re going to hear this weekend so go ahead and run through the sounds brought to you by the Nation of Billions team.

Octavian – Rari (Chapter 1) feat. Future

The journey has been an intriguing one for the ’17 breakout artist who followed through with SPACEMAN, Endorphins, and now his incoming untitled debut album. He tags Future on the first single from his upcoming project on ‘Rari (Chapter 1)’ which turns out to be a left-field love song.

Octavian left-field artistry makes it hard to pinpoint his sound, as soon as he jumps on one sonic he’s onto the other. The Jim-E Stack production casts your ears to a race circuit where the speed of sound merges with trap drums and cycles of pitched-up machinery barking. Octavian’s auto-tuned slung hook is filled with cautionary lines over a futuristic soundscape, while Future’s brand of braggadocio takes centre stage on the leading single. The Castle + Owls directed visual features Octavian caught up in a death race with his leading lady in this blood-red showing. A release date has yet to be announced, however, Skepta has been confirmed as the executive producer of the untitled project.

Bellah – Something U Like

Bellah returns with a new single, ‘Something U Like’, on which she touts her dreamy R&B aesthetic on the glitzy Babatunde Brown production. Unrequited love leaves the songstress caught up in a form of entanglement that keeps her lover coming back for more.

‘Something U Like’ is a pop-facing cut on which the singer wears her heart on her sleeve and pays the cost. Dotting her glossy vocals on a bouncy drum beat, Bellah’s third eye is open but distorted by rose-tinted illusions which find her back at square one. “Heart on my sleeve so my wrist stay frozen, only heat ‘em when I’m trying to lose focus,” she sings on the hook against a backdrop of harmonising notes. Bellah delivers a choreographic number on set of the Ray Fiasco directed video and ups the levels.


Ivorian Doll – Body Bag

Ivorian Doll aims the tip of the barrel at her enemies on her no-nonsense single ‘Body Bag’ which doubles as a motion picture from the social-media personality turned rapper. The newly released single unveils an ever-growing rap talent boldly rising to the occasion.

The levels are set on this drill composition on which Ivorian Doll exercises vocal control and a handful of flows charged with big energy. Finding pockets on the sparse production ringing with dark piano keys on which her dynamic raps burst upon impact. In true drill fashion Ivorian Doll includes slobs, liars and counterfeit gangsters to her list of grievances. “For them loose lips you’ll get strangled by this LV leather strap,” she retorts in her all-pink outfit. Delivering quality raps which match the top-quality production by Kevin Hudson, ‘Body Bag’ finds Ivorian Doll adding a feminine touch in a masculine domain.


Miles From Kinshasa – Lookin 4 U

Miles From Kinshasa delivers audible dope on ‘Lookin 4 U’ and ascends into a meditative space with this romantic cut. The singer curates an ethereal soundscape on which he tries to figure out his lover’s psyche.

The self-produced selection blends a flurry of instruments ranging from tropical guitar play to animated kicks cultivating a sunny ambience. MFK sheer vocals steers through warm textures and layered vocals popping at sporadic moments like bubbles of fizz in a bottle. It’s easy to get caught up in the delightful sonic experience, but pay attention to the authentic conversations brooding over the soundtrack. ‘Lookin 4 U’ is the second single to come from the singer’s forthcoming project, Beloved EP which is set to drop next month.

Jorja Smith – By Any Means

Jorja Smith’s stream of consciousness doesn’t cease as she follows through with thought-provoking offering. On ‘By Any Means’ her thoughts wander on this string-led cut which highlights the injustice plaguing society.

“White men can’t jump, but at least they can run,” she sings, inevitably touching on police brutality with a poetic potency. Stark ascending vocals operate within a minimal space as gentle piano keys tinker on what could easily be a fitting James Bond soundtrack. Jorja Smith fans the flame of revolution with bold lines ushering listeners to speak up on the things that matter to them. ‘By Any Means’ is part of a collection of songs sitting on an incoming Roc Nation compilation geared towards funding social justice organisations.