Jimmy October is a 23-year-old singer, songwriter, rapper, poet and creative director from Trinidad & Tobago and the creator of a fresh sound called New Calypso.
Born L’shun Emmanuel in Sangre Grande, on Trinidad’s quiet East Coast, Jimmy gained his first local recognition in 2013 when he won a national poetry contest, leading to an appearance on soca icon Machel Montano’s annual Machel Monday concert the following year. Using his poetry as a way to sharpen his songwriting skills, he began releasing hip-hop tracks on his own and with other local rappers including Mark Hardy and Yung Rudd, with whom he won a People’s Choice award for Best Collaboration in 2015 at Trinidad’s COTT Music Awards. Along with childhood friend Nicholas Subero he formed the OverDose Music Group, a collective for like-minded creatives in Trinidad & Tobago, in which he acts as creative director overseeing design and other projects. In 2016, he teamed with fellow OverDose rapper Jay Nahge for the joint EP Something to Believe In, and opened shows for J. Cole, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Major Lazer.
Jimmy would embark on a period of great growth and development in 2017. He appeared on his first major international release, “No Time,” from EDM giant Steve Aoki’s Kolony album, and began moving away from rap towards a more melodic, tropical sound which he’s dubbed New Calypso. He first explored this new direction on Vacation, a five-song EP made in collaboration with producer Tano. Vacation, which included collaborations with soca star GBM Nutron and singer Mical Teja, was met with enthusiastic response from fans and fellow artists including Jamaican reggae star Protoje, who invited Jimmy to partner with his In.Digg.Nation Collective after hearing the project.
Jimmy’s latest single “Remember the Days” is a New Calypso manifesto, bridging the culture of his native Trinidad & Tobago with R&B and global pop sounds. A nostalgic trip into a distant memory, it captures the intoxicating allure of island rhythms and Caribbean fetes, with a global twist. “I’ve been pushing myself to make music that feels like home but not singing only about things that we can relate to in my country or the Caribbean,” he says. “I’m making music for all people, all cultures. Whoever can feel it.”
The single is Jimmy’s first since partnering with In.Digg.Nation Collective, which is releasing the record on August 10th along with Delicious Vinyl Island, the new Caribbean imprint from iconic L.A. rap label Delicious Vinyl. It’s surely the start of many great things to come for Jimmy October and New Calypso.