Reinvention and ‘No Bad Vibes’ according to L.A.X

At different moments in our lives, we yearn for new experiences that will improve our quality of life and importantly allow us to connect with our most authentic selves while working on already established goals. The music business has its capcity to bring out various versions of oneself which in turn helps in sharpening their craft, but willingness to set goals and achieve them is what launches you to a new trajectory in your career. 

L.A.X, born Damilola Afolabi, is a Nigerian songwriter and artist who has moved with the times to stay relevant amid different musical eras. The former signee of StarBoy Entertainment broke out in the early 2010s, and regardless of ups and downs, he continues to be a perpetual name mentioned in conversations about Nigerian music.

Widely referred to as ZaZa, the first step of his recent resurgence came by way of his 2020 album titled “Zaza Vibes” which held the hit record “Sempe” that has accumulated nearly 200 million streams across board.

His latest project, “No Bad Vibes”

An interview with the crooner of multiple hits in the early 2010’s like “Caro”, “Ginger” with the enigmatic award winning artist, Wizkid, discusses about his recent album (No Bad Vibes) and he unveils every thought process that goes into his music and plans for the nearest future.

How did you start your music journey? 

I started after I finished secondary school. It was not planned, I would usually go to the studio with my friends to record but I was never the one recording but just someone watching them record. A day when I decided to do a freestyle which everyone loved so I started from there. 

I learnt to always evolve, how to think outside the box

What’s something that has struck you the most in the industry that now influences how you push your music? 

I learnt to always evolve, how to think outside the box, get to understand new trends and just not be in my own bubble. I tend to look at my environment, see what everyone is up to so I can learn something new and infuse my own personality in it. Right now music has moved from radio to TikTok so I have learnt about this new insight which has been helping me push my music. 

Like I said I like to evolve and that has also influenced my sound. The music I’m producing now is different from what I was producing back then. 

You were once signed to Starboy Entertainment and now you are with EMPIRE records. What has your journey with them been like? 

It’s amazing! I feel like over the years I have been working on things on my own so working for a team who is passionate about building your brand has really been helpful and has given me the opportunity to focus on becoming more creative. I still take part in major decisions and that is what makes my journey with them even better because there is no pressure. 

I think every artist goes through a dark phase but what matters is conquering that phase because when you do, it will be easier to continue your musical career and enjoy the process not just for validation.

In your interview with OkayAfrica, you spoke about your last album “ZaZa Vibes” being influenced by heartbreak and your career. What inspired your latest album “No bad Vibes”?

From the last time I dropped an album to now, I am in a great place. I’m experiencing more happiness, creativity and passion. During “ZaZa Vibes” I was not really in a dark place but I did not enjoy the music process unlike now; dropping a new album is exciting because I have been able to tap into a new level of creativity. 

I think every artist goes through a dark phase but what matters is conquering that phase because when you do, it will be easier to continue your musical career and enjoy the process not just for validation.

This year I made up my mind to be present for my supporters so I chose countries that I have core fan bases and will be delighted to see me perform in person. 

You announced your European tour on your Instagram and expressed your excitement, tell us the experiences of learning about new cultures and why you chose those countries to go on tour

I had a conversation with a friend and relayed my thoughts about my pace in the industry. I believe I am moving at an incredible speed because of the people I have around me and my supporters. For my European tour, I’m diversifying beyond the diaspora and targeting indigenes of that country. Going on a tour in Germany and performing in a crowd of 2500 people where the majority are indigenes is exciting to see because it’s proof that my choice of music, Afrobeats is actually being streamed and enjoyed by different races.

This year I made up my mind to be present for my supporters so I chose countries where I have core fan bases and will be delighted to see me perform in person. 

There’s a tweet I’d like to know your thoughts about. Do you think there has been any evolution from L.A.X to ZaZa?

To be honest, this is something I haven’t spoken about before but I feel like I have always been ZaZa but there has been a transition. When I was signed with Starboy Entertainment and we dropped Caro, it changed the game for me and I have always been someone who likes to make sweet music and I have been evolving to channel that personality towards my music.

Outside music, who is L.A.X on a casual day? 

Outside music, I’m a chill person more like an introvert than an extrovert. I love spending time with my friends, playing FIFA, going on dinner dates or to cinemas just basically, I like conventional activities so I can be reminded that I’m human aside from being an artist. Sometimes once you get the fame, it becomes hard to keep in touch with reality. That’s why I prefer to separate music activities from personal ones. 

Your album, “No Bad Vibes”, has been topping charts and music reviews have been positive so what is the next step moving on?

I want to roll out music videos for songs on my album because there are always tendencies for listeners to choose their favorite song off an album and ignore other great songs. The vision is to make listeners connect with the songs using visuals not just audio. I’m also focusing on building a solid personal brand as well as releasing new music with amazing beats and expanding my fanbase. 

As regards the growth of my album, I am happy to know it was well received because I produced it without mounting undue pressure on myself and I released it when I felt it was the right time. 

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