L.A.X: Syncing Good Vibes and Exceptional Music

Authored by

There are moments in life that define us. Moments that shape our very essence, setting off a chain reaction, forever molding us. For Damilola Razak Afolabi, aka L.A.X, this moment was visiting a  music studio with his friend, post-secondary school. A singular experience that has shaped his career choice, decisions, and by extension a great part of his adult life. 

Growing up in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, during the nineties, L.A.X was surrounded by rich musical culture. Lagos, known as the hub of entertainment in Nigeria and Africa, offered a plethora of diverse musical influences. L.A.X found love in the Yoruba-inspired realm of Fuji music, drawing inspiration from renowned artists like Obesere and Pasuma, among others. However, his musical tastes weren't limited to Fuji alone. “I used to visit my aunt a lot, and she loved Bob Marley’s music so much, so I listened to his music as well.” 

Despite his love for music, L.A.X never anticipated that he would build a career in the industry. After completing his secondary school education, L.A.X found himself making studio trips with friends, this eventually ignited his own musical journey. Fuelled by his newfound passion, L.A.X and his friends formed a group. However, as life took them on different paths, they eventually had to part ways, leaving him to pursue his undergraduate degree and eventually go solo. 

In his latest body of work, titled "No Bad Vibes,"  we’re exposed to a different experience of L.A.X’s evolution as an artist. The album embodies a breezy, refreshing, and smooth sound that reflects his intention to create music that exudes positive energy. “I started recording this project after my last one. I was on tour when I got the phrase- “No bad vibes” and I just knew it meant something. So, immediately after I named the album, I realized I wanted to just create good energy songs. Music that is not too serious, but wavy and sweet.” He wanted the album to be a collection of feel-good songs that’ll uplift and resonate with listeners. 

Photographed by Zekariah Al-Bostiani

Throughout his career, L.A.X notes that he has experienced a transformation in his creative process. “I listen to a lot of new music. I'm at a point where I'm not doing music for charts, I'm doing music that sounds great to me and that's all that matters. If I'm happy, I'm doing a happy song. I'm sad, it's a sad song.” Now more than ever, his drive to create music is fuelled by originality, a deep sense of self, and a need for authenticity. 

Afrobeats, now a rising genre in the global music industry, has played a significant role in changing the game for L.A.X. “We're in a good place right now. I'm excited and grateful to be here. Music is like rolling a die, the more you put out good music, the more your chances of making history. It's a gamble, but at the same time it's interesting.”

Photographed by Zekariah Al-Bostiani

Collaborations have also been an integral part of L.A.X’s musical journey. When selecting collaborators for "No Bad Vibes," he focused on finding artists and producers who shared his energy and understood his sound. “Clemzy understands my sound, so we create magic together. I love Amapiano and Smeez is great with it, so that was an easy yes.” Although he was originally skeptical about artist collaborations on the album, L.A.X’s choice to share this project with other artists turned out to be a great call. “ When I started recording in London, I had writer's block. So the producer suggested that having another artist on the chorus would be good and the first person that popped into my head was Ayra Starr. She sent me her verse in three days, and it was amazing. Right there, I became open to collaborations.” Other unexpected collaborations emerged, including Black Sheriff and Ronnie Flex, which added an exciting dynamic to the album.

Staying grounded as a superstar can often be hard. Especially when it comes to managing all of the expectations from everyone around you. But L.A.X believes the key is to surround yourself with genuine people who keep him in check. “I'm surrounded by good people, not just yes men. That’s super important to me.”

Photographed by Zekariah Al-Bostinai

Outside creating stellar music, L.A.X has exciting projects in the pipeline. Currently, he’s working on his fitness brand, Fit with Zaza, which covers meal plans, celebrity workouts, etc. His creativity and ambition extend beyond music, allowing him to explore new ventures and expand his influence beyond the realm of entertainment.

With each passing day, L.A.X continues to shape his own destiny, moment by moment, driven by his passion, his love for music, and his unchanging desire to bring positivity and zero bad vibes to the world.