When Damilola Abdulrasaki Afolabi, aka LAX, released his debut single, ‘Caro’ featuring Wizkid; little did he know what destiny had in store for him. In this exclusive interview with Star Tracker, the ‘Gbefun’ crooner speaks on his successes, recent projects, plans, hopes and more.
What new projects are you working on at the moment.
Right now I’m working on my album. Last year I was working on it but I lost my hard drive on which I had close to 90 songs on. This happened early last year after I dropped ‘Run away’. I felt like there was a reason I lost those songs, so I focused on creating a new sound for myself.
So when you hear my music now you will notice that the sound is different from what I had on ‘Caro’ or ‘Ginger’.
It’s now a different vibe all together. I just felt like that is the direction God wants me to go. Right now my album is on the way and it will be ready before the end of the year.
Why didn’t you follow the trend now by dropping an EP instead of an album?
There are so many reasons I’m putting out an album. First, I haven’t put out a body of work and I have been in the game for a while now. Also, I feel like because of my transition I have to drop a body of work for people to understand my new sound. I record almost every day so I have a lot of songs and they are not supposed to be seating on my laptop. I’m supposed to let people hear the amazing music I have. So that’s why I think I should drop an album. I actually have like five albums.
Any notable collaboration?
Yes. I have one with Davido, Young Bin from UK, Daddy Showkey (which is going to be a classic) and I also have one with Victoria Kimani.
Why Daddy Showkey?
When I recorded the song it had something about Daddy Showkey’s lyrics. So, when my manager heard it he thought of putting Daddy Showkey on it because it will help in preventing copyright infringement scandal.
Where do you see yourself in the next one year?
I will be as big as Wizkid and Davido, even bigger than them. There’s nobody that can’t be. I let my music speak for me, I have sat with people that won’t lie to me, people that are bigger than me and when they listen to my songs it’s the same feedback.
Do you also smoke or drink before going on stage?
No, I don’t. If I did I would probably be taking it to all my interviews, but I don’t. I have tasted alcohol once and that was on my birthday. My friends poured a lot of alcoholic drink on my body. A little bit of it entered my mouth and it almost messed me up, I couldn’t stand. Then I knew drinking wasn’t my thing.
So what do you do when you go to club?
I go to club to hear my music and laugh at people that don’t know how to dance.
What’s your take on the decline of conscious music?
For me, I’m trying to do music to make people happy; I’m not trying to add to their problem.
I love what Falz did and I love conscious music. Tekno’s ‘Rara’ is a conscious music that is danceable and loveable because he did it in a very creative way. I could do that type of music but I’m trying to make people smile and not add to their problems. Artistes doing it should please keep it up, but for me, you could hear me do it maybe once or twice.
You’ve never had time for women, are you still like that?
Right now I have time, plenty time for girls.
What made the difference?
I’m getting older so I’m looking for someone special.
Do you agree that most young musicians make crap music?
The way I think about music is different from others. If I drop a song I’m trying to pass a message even if it is one line. It depends on what people want to listen to, so we give them what they want.
There is value for money, after all that’s why we are in the business. If it’s about the money I won’t be doing music, so I’m not doing it for the money.
In other words the audience dictates the kind of music artistes make?
Yes, not only in Nigeria, it’s World-wide. It’s what people want that we give them. And I can say that’s why albums aren’t even selling anymore.
How have you been able to stay scandal free?
To be honest the way I live my life is simple. I wake up in the morning, go to the studio, chill with my friends and that’s it. Scandals are not acted they actually happen. I can’t go and start acting what did not happen. I’m trying to live for me and let my music speak for me.
What memorable challenges have you had to grapple with so far?
My greatest challenge will be before I dropped ‘Awon Da’. I felt people were not giving me the recognition I wanted and deserved. I was always in the studio everyday doing music and it was like the industry didn’t understand where I was coming from.
Was this after your hit songs Caro and Ginger?
Yes it was, though it wasn’t right after, it was like two songs after that. I felt like people were not actually getting it.
For a while it was like that, every creative person has been in that space once and if not managed well it could lead to depression. After sometime I continued recording and I started getting the kind of feedback I wanted.
What’s your take on the craze for awards?
I’m not doing music for the awards; I would love to get awards and I feel like I will get if I work harder. I love awards, it’s an amazing feeling for people to recognize you.