Acada Magazine’s Exclusive Interview With LAX
Afro-Pop rising star, Damilola Afolabi aka L.A.X is fast gaining fame and his popularity in the music circuit is on the rise by the day. He just released a brand new single “Ole (Bad)” which features HKN new signee, Dremo and another rising star Ycee. L.A.X is bent on working tirelessly to make it to the top of his career. In this exclusive interview with ACADA Magazine, the StarBoy Records act revealed that he is not under pressure to succeed considering that his father is a billionaire (Dr. Taiwo Olyinka Afolabi, the owner of SIFAX Shipping Company), and other kids from rich home such as Naeto C, Davido, Lynxxx among others are successful. He’s neither scared of the competition out there.
How did you get into music?
I started music professionally in 2011, but started recording songs around 2008 after finishing my WAEC just to keep myself busy before I gained admission into the university. During that 6 months break I used to go to the studio with my friends to record songs. That was how I started.
What are your challenges so far?
Well, I’ve not really experienced any serious challenge so far, aside the pressure to make back to back hits to satisfy my fans’ yearnings.
How did you get signed on to Wizkid StarBoy Records?
My stylist around 2011 back in the UK used to listen to lots of my songs. She called me up one day and told me she played some of my songs for Wizkid and he likes it and he said he would like us to work together. She invited me over for a meeting with him. Around that time, I had like 11 recorded songs which I was supposed to drop as an EP/Album. So I played some of the songs for him and he liked it and from there we started working together. The deal was not even official until like 4 to 5 months after we’ve been working together.
There was a rumour that you fund your project despite your contract with StarBoy. How true is this?
I have a proper record deal with StarBoy, and everyone that knows what a record deal is should know what it entails. StarBoy as my record label, funds my projects like recording of songs and shooting of music videos. But I don’t wait on them to do everything for me. There are some things I do myself in terms of publicity and promotions to make myself relevant in the industry and also for my brand; since it’s my career. It’s L.A.X I’m trying to build. As an artiste, you can’t leave everything for your record label to do for you; you need to do some things for yourself to get your career going.
Can you shed light on the ownership of “Caro”? Is it your personal song or a StarBoy project?
“Caro” is a StarBoy project. If you see the song or the video credit, it stated that StarBoy featuring Wizkid and L.A.X. At that time, the team was trying to do a collaboration album which we are still working on. That was meant to be the first single off the StarBoy collaboration album. So it’s a joint ownership.
The song “Caro” brought you into limelight; do you have the premonition that it will get this big?
To be honest when I recorded it and did my verse, I wasn’t too pleased with the outcome, and was complaining to the producer of the song, Legendary Beat, that I don’t think I killed it , I don’t think my verses are okay, I didn’t do what I’m supposed to do and all that. But they just told me to calm down that maybe it’s because it’s my first major song that was why I was nervous. But when the song came out, within a week it went viral I became very happy.
What can you say you’ve learnt from WizKid since you’ve signed with him?
I’ve learnt a whole lot from his vast experience. I’m now more matured with my music and we roll like a family and not like a business associates.
Being a son of a billionaire, has it been easy doing music?
At first my dad didn’t really like the idea so also my mum. When I started I never told my dad about it, my dad saw me on TV surprisingly and he said, you didn’t tell me you are doing music. And that time when they send me my pocket money, I used it to do my music. So I’ve always used my own money to do my thing till my dad got convinced and he started supporting me.
A lot of people think being the son of a rich man or a billionaire, it is easy doing music. If I have money, I can easily ‘blow’. Come to think of it, there are some rich kids who are actually doing well in the industry and have been able to take their career to some certain levels, the likes of Davido, Naeto C, Lynxx, DJ Cuppy, etc. are you not under pressure being from a rich home that “I must make it since these guys are making it”?
I’m happy and excited about where my career is right now. Me and my team are excited about what we are about to do in the industry. So I don’t think I’m under any pressure. I know I’m gifted and talented and I always have the supports of my family as well as my teeming fans, who always tell me you can do it.
If you are not doing music, what alternative career choice would have chosen?
I would have been a billionaire (laughs)! I would have been a business man. I love business. Even right now, I still do some other businesses aside music.
Can you tell us your educational background?
I had my primary education in Lagos, Ave Maria, and later moved to Nigerian Turkish International School for my secondary education. I went to an A Levels school before proceeding to Manchester University for my undergraduate and Masters Degrees.
Talking about your days on campus, can you share with us some of your memorable moments?
I had lots of friends that I rolled with then. And when I started school I was just 16 and wasn’t allowed to go to the club. When I turned 18 in my second year at the university and my first day at the club, I was excited and I saw people drinking and getting drunk, and sleeping on the floor, and I’m like, “so this is what clubbing is all about”? But I never used to drink or used drugs; I just go to catch fun and hangout with my friends. But when I dropped “Caro”, it was quite an experience because things weren’t the same again. Many Nigerians will come up to me that, “Oh are you the guy that sing that song”? It was just amazing.
What’s the craziest thing a female fan has ever done to you?
I went for a show in South Africa and I got out of my room and I saw 2 ladies by the entrance of my hotel room and they were like they’ve been there since last night just to see me and tell me they love my music. I was stunned by that genuine love.
How do you handle your female fans?
I just showed them love. I love all the female fans that have been supporting me all the way, and everybody that has been pushing my music.
Who are your musical influences?
When I was young, I used to live with my grandma and she used to listen to lots of Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Wasiu Ayinde and some other fuji acts. So I got influenced by their music and did borrowed sound from them. Then my aunty loves Michael Jackson. Anytime I’m at her place for the weekend, it is Michael Jackson songs all through, all day. I also have a cousin, Babatunde who loves rap a lot. We listened to rap acts like 50 Cent, Nelly, JaRule, etc. those are sounds that influenced my music.
Who are you feeling or listening to right now?
Right now I think Kiss Daniel is amazing. I love his voice texture and lyrical contents.
Who are the artistes and producers you would love to work with?
Right now I will love to work with Jay-Z, though right now I’m working with my dream producers, Legendary Beat. They’re amazing. I will love to work with Dtunes and a whole lot of other international artistes and producers.
How far do you want to go with your music career?
I’m taking it to the greatest height I can. I want to live and be remembered for hit songs when I’m gone.
What are you currently working on?
I just dropped a single “Ole (Bad)” feat Dremo and Ycee. The song is massive. The video is out and everyone is talking about it.
And I’m planning to drop my first official single for the year on May 1st hopefully all things been equal, because I and my team are working so hard to meet up with that date for the new single.
What would you like to say to your fans and upcoming acts that are looking up to you?
Just work hard and be prayerful. Don’t get discouraged