Indiana Artist OCTOBER LONDON Discusses His New Music, His Biggest Inspirations and More!
Posted On 10 Mar 2017
October London is a South Bend, Indiana artist and he has been making headlines nationally as of late as an R&B artist to watch in 2017.
After landing a spot as an opening act for Flo-Rida in Miami, October caught the eye of Snoop Dogg and Jazze Pha, eventually signing to their label, Cadillacc Music. He released the first installment of his three-part collection, the critically acclaimed debut EP, Color Blind: Love, which included the politically charged, chilling, debut single, “Black Man in America.“
Since then, October has been on a hot streak! He performed on and helped write the theme song for VH1’s hit show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party and also kick-off this year’s holiday celebration on Taraji’s White Hot Holidays alongside major stars including Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliot, Tyrese, Ne-Yo, Taye Diggs, Jussie Smollett, TLC and more on FOX. To coincide with the FOX performance, October decided to surprise his fans with a holiday album, “Christmas in October.”
London has been working on a short film featuring his music that will be released early 2017.
Learn more about October London in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for 2017?
Some words I would use to describe 2016 for me and my music would be foundation, ready, and change. I realized that there were many great artists before me and I used that foundation to pay homage and build off what they started while forging my own path. I feel ready for the road ahead and I pretty much hit the ground running with Snoop and Jazze. It was a welcome change and everything in my life changed in 2016. Some of the highlights were being able to finish my Colorblind album in 4 days, perform alongside Snoop at the Democratic National Convention, film my upcoming mini movie based on the album featuring Snoop and Mike Epps, and I also feel like the world got to finally start to see October London. This is just the beginning. For 2017, I am most excited about sharing other genres of music with my fans. I do so many genres and I want them to see how I can handle them really well. I am a different type of artist.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
Growing up I had no intention of being I musician. I just really liked listening to music like many do. My parents and grandparents would always gather the family around and play music during reunions and what not and i would just be right there in the middle soaking it all in. As of right now, i actually do see myself doing other things in addition to music. Maybe some acting, directing and movie or show writing. Being on Fo’s Empire really inspired me to take risks and do something outside of your comfort zone like acting.
I would love to know where your name came from or did you change it when you started releasing music?
My Name October London came from two separate things. One, is that my birthday is October 17th. The name London came from me just using the inspiration off of my screensaver of some London scenery. I originally had the name Sam London. Samuel being my government middle name. I decided to change it because there were to many sam’s to confuse me with. I wanted my own google space for when people look me up. There were already several Sam’s like Sam Smith, Sam Hunt, Sam Cooke and so on and so fourth.
Do you think you have been influenced at all by being from Indiana? What is the music scene like there?
The music scene in South Bend Indiana is very off and on. By that I mean we don’t have thousands of musicians running around like Chicago or New York or Atlanta. We have quite a few but only a few i would actually mention and rep for like Walter West, Tripp Caimbridge, Gualla Joe, Lucas Anthony and T.Krazy. My city is more into sports. We birthed the beautiful and talented Skylar Diggins. Lil Wayne would come to just watch her and see her personally and Jay Z ended up signing her to Roc Nation.
Let’s talk about your song, “Black Man in America.” How did go from being just an idea in your head to a full released song?
Black Man in America i have to say was really spear-headed by Snoop. We were discussing the flavor of the album and he started to walk out the room, and before he did he said…”with everything going on in the world, try to dig deep and at least do one song about the struggles of today for the average black man”. He said “You have that old school Marvin Gaye vibe seeping through your pores nephew but you need that one song like Marvin Gaye’s joint “Whats Going On”. So, needless to say as soon as he left the room i did exactly that. Not even an hour later i had birthed Black Man in America. The crazy thing about it is that i didn’t write a single lyric down on paper. I freestyle the whole song and it came out beautifully. i give all the credit of that song to the struggling black man, Snoop Dogg and Marvin Gaye.
When do you hope to release your forthcoming EP, “Color Blind: Love”? How different or similar will these songs on it be to “Black Man in America”?
Well, Colorblind: Love is already out on iTunes, Spotify and google play. What we have next up is Colorblind Hate & Happiness. It won’t be to far off from what love was. It will still have its same old school flavor and vibe.
You are being referred to as an R&B artist to watch in 2017. Does that put any pressure on you or are you more than ready for all that’s to come this year?
No. Definitely not. If anything, its putting pressure on other artists. With all do respect, I’ve been working almost 13 years to be in the position I’m in now. God doesn’t make mistakes. He didn’t put me in this beautiful vehicle to not know how to throw it in drive and go the distance. Other artist are constantly making music that sounds like everyone elses music. I’m doing something off the radar at the moment. I feel totally humbled and amazed that they are speaking very highly of me and have made me an artist to watch in 2017 and i don’t plan on disappointing them. I’m courageous, energetic and unafraid of how the consumer will respond to what I’m creating for the world to hear.
I understand that you are planning on releasing a short film that will feature your music this year. Can you talk about this project and where the inspiration for it came from exactly?
Yes most definitely! I’m extremely excited about releasing my first film. Working with Mike Epps and Snoop on set has been one of the many moments that rocked my career in the right direction in 2016. The movie is based behind the music of my album colorblind. It just gives the audience a visual to the story of the album. People don’t usually just like to hear something come out of their speakers. They want to know whats going on in the story. They want to visualize the when, where, how and why of the songs. I can’t wait to show everyone.
You have a lot of incredible experiences with well-known artists. Can you talk about a few that have really left a lasting impression on you today?
My most memorable experience with a celebrity has probably been with Terrance Howard on the set of Empire. That man is extremely humble and proud of what Empire the show has become. He and i had never met prior to me being on set but he took me in as one of his own and i appreciate that about him. He didn’t look at me as a rookie actor with no experience in acting. He saw potential and let me do what came to mind. What blew my mind was that he can play a lot of instruments and sings very well. He played me a few of his songs and now he and I are working on putting some music out this year.
How did you come up with the theme song for VH1’s hit show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”?
The theme song for Martha & Snoop pretty much just came to me. I had did about three versions of it just for the hell of it and let the network decide. I know that’s not an exciting story, but its completely true. Snoop gave me the ball and i hit the shot from the 3 point line with 2 seconds left on the clock.
Do you have any touring plans in your future? Where can people see you perform next?
As of right now, Snoop and the team are getting some things together as far as me getting my own tour but nothing is set in stone yet. I just got off the phone with snoop about an hour ago and he just let me know that he wants me on his next upcoming tour with him so….(honestly I’m not sure if I’m supposed to let people know that yet) but its all good. Not sure what the tour consist of or who will be on it or even what its called but when snoop tells me something is about to happen…believe me…it happens.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future? At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Some of my favorite musicians vary from the years. If i were to go back to the late 50’s, my favorite musicians were muddy waters and Howlin’ Wolf. If i were to go back to the 60’s, id have to say CCR, Elton John, Al Green and The Beatles. If i were to go to the 70’s, id say Luther Vandross, Hall & Oats, Al Green The Isley Brothers and Marvin Gaye. In the 80’s id have to say Lisa Stansfield, Phil Collins, and Prince. The 90’s by far are my favorite. You have my favorites like, R.Kelly, Babyface, Tupac, Biggie, Snoop, Mary J Blige, Joe and Jon B. The 2000’s are where things get faint. I wasn’t a fan of music heavy in the early 2000’s. I liked Justin Timberlake. (Laughter) That’s all I can name right now. Shout out to J.T.
As far as my message to everyone that listens to my music. I just hope you hear my love and passion for making great music for you laugh, dance, drive, cry, love and hate your ex to. That’s it.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
The last thing i would like to say to the readers is that i DO NOT want them to get to comfortable with what I’m putting out musically. I do all genre’s of music. Open your minds to an artist that has love for everyone. I do country, pop, reggae, r&b, adult contemporary and much more. I have no limits!! I have already finished recording my next two albums and they sound pretty freaking amazing right now. Your about to get the surprise of a lifetime!! I promise you.