Interview

L.A.X’s Resurgence Is Fueled By Real Emotions

The Nigerian star reveals that he was ready to quit music—but is now coming back stronger-than-ever with hits like "Para" and his forthcoming album, No Bad Vibes.

In 2013,L.A.X made a grand first statement in Nigerian music in the form of “Caro” his first hit song with Wizkid. Not long after, he signed a deal with Starboy Entertainment and released another hit alongside Wizkid, “Ginger.” For many, this enigmatic artist seemed like another ephemeral one-hit wonder, but L.A.X’s near-decade consistency has stamped him as an irrefutable fixture in Nigerian music.

Year after year, L.A.X released a combination of club bangers and sweet serenades in an exploratory stage that led up to his 2018 debut album Rasaking, which featured Yemi Alade, Maleek Berry, Davido and more. However, it wasn’t until after the release of his 2020 album, Zaza Vibes, that his efforts started to seem set in stone. “During the time I was about to drop that album, I was actually ready to quit music. I was like, 'This is the last album I'm going to drop and after this, I'm not doing music again'"

Auspiciously, Zaza Vibes put L.A.X on a refreshed pedestal and his evolution on display for listeners in Nigeria, and around the world. L.A.X has taken these new laurels in stride, building on the momentum deep into 2022 with collabs like “Options” with Ayra Starr, and solo offerings such as the mellow serenade “Waist Drop” and the August-released “Para.”

“Para” is an emotionally charged Amapiano track fueled by a frustrating phone call that prompted L.A.X to do some self-aggrandizing. "For 'Para,' to be honest, I was angry that day. The day I recorded that song, someone actually pissed me off regarding my music and I needed to vent my feelings,” he tells us.

Emotions out of the way and currently on tour, L.A.X virtually sat with OkayAfrica to discuss the evolution of his sound, processes of standout songs, the kaleidoscope of sensations that come with resonating with diverse audiences on stage, and his incoming album No Bad Vibes.

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Music

Meet 3 of the Producers Behind Afrobeats’ Latest Hits

We hear from Nigeria's P.Priime, Rexxie, and Tempoe, whose work has populated airwaves in Africa and beyond.

When an afrobeats song becomes a hit most of the praise is often attributed to the artist. The producer, who carefully crafts a song's underlying rhythm, tends to be an unsung hero. In afrobeats, a genre that relies heavily on rhythm and danceable instrumentals, music producers are equally responsible for its greatest hits.

It takes at least two skill sets to make an afrobeats song. Vocals melodies are to the underlying rhythm like Yin is to Yang, on their own they’re incomplete, but together they become a wholesome form. Song producers' contributions to the global rise of afrobeats are immeasurable.

We spoke to three Nigerian music producers with multiple hits in their catalogues; P.Priime, the 19-year-old entrusted with Wizkid’s “Anoti,” Olamide’s “Infinity” & “Loading,” and very recently Reekado Banks’ “Ozumba Mbadiwe.” Tempoe, who produced Ckay’s global phenomenon “Love Nwantiti,” Omah Lay’s smash hits “Godly” & “Understand” and Joeboy’s “Sip (Alcohol). And Rexxie, the Grammy-winning producer familiar from Naira Marley hits like “Coming,” “Soapy” and “Am I A Yahoo Boy,” and a viral hit of his own “KPK.”

The three told OkayAfrica about how some of their hit songs came to be, how producers can take more hold of credit for their work, and things that their contemporaries should always pay attention to.

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