- Words Yohanna Delaportas
Nigerian superstar L.A.X discusses his summer-ready album 'No Bad Vibes', making music with global intention and his current tour.
L.A.X has become The Ambassador of Vibes, known for his sensual and serenading songs and energetic performances. Released in time for summer, he continues to uplift with albums like ‘No Bad Vibes’, with its distinctive fusion of Afropop, Amapiano, Afrobeats and R&B.
A Nigerian star, L.A.X made his first appearance as an artist in 2013, with the track “Caro” on Wizkid’s album, ‘Ayo’. In 2014, he then released another track alongside Wizkid, titled “Ginger”. His consistency this past decade has made him a staple artist in the Nigerian music scene.
The 12-track album, ‘No Bad Vibes’, includes features from musicians across the globe, like Black Sherif, Ayra Starr, Konshens, Louis and Ronnie Flex, and was created across Lagos, London and Amsterdam. With the record’s release, L.A.X has once again proven his relevance. His ability to blend different genres with sweet lyrics, while staying true to his unique sound, is a testament to his limitless talent as an artist and dedication to his art.
L.A.X continues to live up to the acronym of his name, ‘live and excel’, as he commences his ‘No Bad Vibes’ tour within Europe. To celebrate his recent release, we sat down with him to talk about his album ‘No Bad Vibes’, how it embodies his present self and the ongoing tour.
Tell me a bit about your musical journey and why you started making music.
I would say that my music started in high school. When I was young I never thought about music, but I started going to the studio after high school, because I had free time and I fell in love with it, you know, and I saw how people recorded and then I started to make my own music.
Would you say your upbringing impacted the type of music you make?
Yeah, I would say my upbringing helped me and influenced me even in the beginning because I used to listen to a lot of traditional Nigerian music and I used to be around that a lot. I used to live with my grandma too, so it was more traditional, and that definitely helped me.
‘No Bad Vibes’ is a great vibes album. It’s been getting a lot of positive reception. Is the response what you expected?
When I was dropping the album I didn’t have any expectations. I just wanted to put out something without expecting anything but the responses have been amazing. Everyone loves it. I haven’t had one bad comment.
What inspired the making of this album?
I’ve always wanted to make sweet music; music that is not too harsh on the ears, so when I started creating it, I wanted it to be an album that makes you happy and takes you out of a sad state. That’s how I recorded it.
What part of the album did you enjoy working on the most?
My happy place is the studio. Even when I’m sad and I want to come out of a mood, I only have to go to the studio because that’s when I find my element. I’m a very introverted person, I’m just calm and cool but when I’m there, I’m in my zone.
The “Zaza” music video came out recently. It’s pure vibes. What was the creative process like when filming it?
So for the video, I trusted the director, his name is LUTCH. He’s an amazing guy. I wanted him to do a video that had fun vibes and was cross-culture. I wanted to have different people in the video so we could show unity and he did that. We just wanted it to be something fun.
Your album, ‘Zaza Vibes’, is like your alter ego. Would you say ‘No Bad Vibes’ is a continuation of your previous album?
I feel like ‘No Bad Vibes’ is actually my person, that’s me, whereas ‘Zaza Vibes’ is my alter ego. On the new album, I want everybody to be happy. I want everyone to be cool, and I’m also a very happy person, but still reserved. The sound in the album, you can hear, is a reserved sound, which is more me.
What inspired the title, ‘No Bad Vibes’?
Before I picked this album, I recorded like three other records but this one is always what I wanted. So I picked the title first before I started recording it. I said ‘No Bad Vibes’, and now I’m going to start making songs that align with the title, it was just easy.
The song “Bounce”, with Black Sherif, is my favourite on the album right now. How did you guys put the song together & what was the recording process like?
It was a very spontaneous day. I was chilling in my house and my manager called me and was like, ‘Black Sherif is in Lagos, come, let’s link up’ and she told me not to bring any studio, but I’m very stubborn. I’m sure I went with my full studio and when I got there she was like, ‘Why?’ But I just wanted to record. I played him a song and he liked it and that was the first song we recorded.
Out of all the artists you collaborated with on this album, which song with them is your favourite and why?
I think Konshens, because I didn’t expect it and it was like a few days before I dropped the album. It was like a blessing as well.
How did the collaboration with Konshens come about?
I DM’d him. I really liked the song, but I felt like it still needed something and something from Jamaica. I already had something from Ghana, South Africa and East Africa, so I messaged him. I was flying to Amsterdam and I sent him the song before I flew. By the time I landed, he sent me his verse already and we were finished. That’s how it came, and it was literally days before the album dropped.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?
My favourite song changes. It was “Joani” at first, then it moved to “Change Your Life”, but now it’s “Energy”.
What song best reminds you of Nigeria?
A song that reminds me of back home right now, is “Unavailable” by Davido.
What’s been inspiring you recently and what should we expect from L.A.X in the near future?
I’m just continuing the work. I’m going to be dropping a new project soon. but right now, I’m pushing ‘No Bad Vibes’. I will be doing concerts, parties, and tours. We have a show in London on the 28th May also, at Proud Embankment.