DAX is far beyond your average rapper, he’s a poet and motivational enthusiast. Hailing from Canada but now residing in Los Angeles, real name Daniel Nwosu Jr. has organically built a social media presence and platform aimed to inspire the masses to be the best version of themselves on a daily basis. Read more…
Blowing up off his impressive renditions of some of music’s hottest records, including Bhad Bhabie’s “Cash Me Outside” which currently hails at almost 18 million view on YouTube alone, DAX continues to make strides in the rap game. For those just tuning in, his most recent release, “YourWorthIt.org” featuring Hopsin, will catch you up in no time.
For those who don’t know, who is DAX?
Dax is a up-and-coming music artist from Canada, who went to three different universities in four years in America playing basketball. I just started making music almost a year and nine months now, started off with poetry and just moved to LA.
Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
I’m more of a different type of artist. I wouldn’t consider myself a rapper, I would consider myself more like… an icon. I’m more centered around motivating the kids and the people. It’s more of a vibe of trying to be a better person — just a whole experience once they know what type of person I am. I’m not just like a one-off rapper who’s rapping about the same old shit. Everything has a purpose to everything.
You’re from Canada, how does that play into your life and career?
A lot of people when I say Canada, they think Toronto. But I’m from Ottawa.
Not the 6?
Well it’s still the 6 because Ottawa is 613, we say The Third. It fits in because everyone knows Drake, everyone knows The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR and all that stuff, so we have a good scene of Ottawa artists coming up. It’s nice.
How important do you feel it is to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I felt it was very important. I started my music career in Wichita, Kansas and it’s like you sort of hit a cap when you’re in a city like that. It’s important to come to a place like this where you never know who you’re going to just run into randomly. I’ve ran into random people here and there and created relationships, so I think LA’s definitely a good spot to come for that.
Can you also talk about your Nigerian background?
Mom and dad were both born in Nigeria. My dad met my mom because my mom was trying to get the same scholarship as him. He ended up getting it, then they both moved here on his scholarship. They were both in Canada, and now he’s in Pennsylvania. They’re both fresh from the boat, but I grew up in Canada.
Did you grow up in a musically inclined household?
Nah. No one in my family does music. My mom put me in the choir as a kid and she would sing in the choir, but she never did any music.
What were you doing before the music?
I was hooping. I was playing basketball exclusively, trying to go pro. That’s all I was focused on for the past 10 years before this. I was at the University of Montana. We had a coaching change, and I got hurt. I transferred to a D2 which was a private, small Catholic school in Wichita, Kansas and I was working overnight as a janitor. While I was doing that, they put me on the art side of the whole building I was working in, and that’s what got me to see more art stuff. So I started to go to plays because I had to clean them up. One day, I randomly wrote a poem. That’s how I got into poetry first for the first four months, then that turned into music.
At point did you realize this was for real?
I think as soon as I wrote my first poem, I was like, “Wow, I’m good at this shit.” I showed it to my teammate and he was like, “Damn bro, that’s deep as hell.” Then I was like, “Wow okay, dope.” ‘Cause I’d always freestyle, my friends were always like, “Bro, you can really freestyle, you should really try to rap.” But I was never trying to rap. Then once I wrote that poem and I saw the way I put words together, I was like “dope.”
I feel like you’ve made a pretty good presence for yourself, so how did you build your following?
I built my following off of really grinding and just talking to kids, like I talk to a lot of kids. I was the type of person that when I first started, I’m messaging every single person I know to share. I’m the person that they can see the work. So I feel like if I ask somebody to share something when I started, it was like they have to make a choice. Because I know I’m talented, I know I’m working hard, so if they choose not to share, there’s a chance they’re going to need something from me later. So a lot of people would share because they know what type of person I am and I grind, so I’m going to make it happen. A lot of people will share my stuff and help me out.
I love your video for “YourWorthIt.org” Can you talk about the inspiration behind this and the #YourWorthItChallenge?
My main goal is to put something to the world that lasts forever. That’s my mission. Because I’ve always been fascinated with how they wanted to mummify themselves back in the day and live forever, and I want to live forever. So I’m like, “Hmm, how can I live forever while spreading a positive message?” Well, a bunch of kids hit me up about suicide and that whole depression era, so I was like, “Okay, it always circles back around to me telling them they’re worth it and they should be here.”
So I had this song and the beat, and I’m like, “You’re worth it, worth it.” Cool, so I can tell kids “you’re worth it” — I felt like it’s a repetition thing. If you tell people someone they’re great enough, they’ll start to believe it. If I tell people they’re worth it enough, they’ll start to believe it. I thought if I put it on money, money continues to circulate for damn near forever. So people just keep finding YourWorthIt.org on bills and keep thinking, “Oh, I’m worth it. Shit, I’m worth it.”
Hopsin’s the homie, can you talk about linking with him?
That was cool. I changed YouTube companies to CMG and I think they just had his manager’s number and they gave it to Nate. Nate called, hooked it up, and it turned out Hopsin had been seeing my shit for a long ass time. My fans used to spam him like “collab with Dax!” So that was the first thing he said, “Oh yeah they’ve been spamming me forever bro.” So it just made sense.
Where you familiar with his catalog?
Oh yeah. Even when I wasn’t making music, I had seen records like “Sag My Pants” and the “Ill Mind of Hopsin.”
I think it’s interesting that your song says “fuck social media,” but the website says use social media to hashtag. What’s your take as someone who has established themselves on these platforms?
For me, I know that social media is what’s going to help me spread my message out. Before I started music, I didn’t have social media. I was so focused on basketball, I wasn’t doing that. That is what really helped me get really good with the basketball stuff. I do know there’s power in social media, but I try to tell kids all the time, “If that’s not for you and that’s not what your doing, don’t find happiness in it.”
You recently did an XXX tribute also. Did you know him personally?
No, I never met him in person. Aside from the bullshit and all the crazy stuff he used to do, I agree with a lot of the stuff he was doing after that, when he was trying to change over. I just felt like a lot of our ideologies or whatever you want to call it were aligned.
I also recently came across your “Panda” Lost Brother Remix. Has Desiigner seen this?
I know the n*gga has. I know he’s seen it, because he’s so hard. I remember one of the first things I had that went viral was my “Hilly Clinton” remix which was remixing one of his songs, because a lot of people were saying I look like him. I remixed his song and his little thing [snaps], and it went super viral. He posted on his Instagram. So I know you’ve been seeing my stuff, I know you saw it.
Your new album ‘It’s Different Now’ is out now. What is it you want fans to get from this project?
One of my main goals is always to show people the steps I took to get to where I’m at because I’m not far off from being a janitor and still being in college and doing all that. I try to show people the steps, while I’m also using those steps I’m showing other people to get to where I’m at. So it goes to show that what I’m doing is possible for you. The goal is to show them that my music is timeless, great music.
What is your take on the music industry? Like what are your goals now that you’ve built this platform?
I think it’s a dope system to express yourself. Obviously, there’s a lot of things that people talk about in terms of “things that aren’t fair and this that, this that,” but I don’t really get caught up in that. I love all genres of music. I love “mumble rap.” I don’t even think that’s a genre, I think people have different opinions. I love all types of music. I want to collab with all types of artist.
I have no preference. I have no hatred towards anybody. I think the music industry is dope, but I think like anything, there’s negatives and positives. When there’s that much money involved, there’s going to be corruption. It is what it is. It’s not going to change necessarily when there’s that much money involved, so I’m just happy with what I’m doing. I’m happy with my platform, happy to continue to grow it. Hope to sign to a label one day, as long as it’s the right situation.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Normal day in the life, Dax wakes up in the morning, boom boom boom. Do my little Snapchats, my little social media stuff.
You got to go through the list?
Yeah, go through the list, see who’s hitting me up. Every day I wake up, I’m trying to make a big play. It’s pretty miscellaneous. Usually a lot of things aren’t planned, especially at this stage I’m at now. Hopefully there’s a performance leaked in, an event here. Studio always. But one thing that’s always in my day, I always work out late in the night some time.
3 things you need in the studio?
A Red Bull, barbecue chips, and my phone.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
“Cracking On My Own.” That’s not even out yet.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I’ve had some great encounters because I reply to all my people, or try to. There’s too many now, but that’s how I’ve gotten to where I’m at. For example, one time, I replied to a fan. His name was Lathan Leggit. I don’t even like calling them fans, I call them fam, because it’s so awkward for me to think people are fans of me.
So I reply to him and it’s some long ass message, “Da dada, what’s up bro? Da dada.” He ends up flying me out with this company from Texas A&M and I go to a private Lil Wayne concert. Now, me and him are great friends. The reason I went to China is because I replied to another friend who ended up running all my Chinese social media. That’s why whenever I see a message on Instagram — I don’t even care if the person doesn’t have a profile picture — I’m trying to reply to you because I don’t know what that person is gonna do for me. It’s crazy.
You use Twitter too?
Yeah, I use Twitter. My Twitter’s actually been growing a lot lately.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
I just put on RapCaviar, I don’t really choose anybody. See that’s the thing about me — because I just got into the music stuff, I’m not like a music head.
That’s crazy, so who are some your favorite artists?
Drake. I mean, we could go back, I love Tupac, I love DMX, I love all those. I like everybody. I don’t care if it’s Nirvana, I’ll listen to everything.
I feel like most people in your situation wouldn’t be in your place though, you know what I mean?
People that just started right away. Because here’s my thing though, I consider myself much more than a music artist. I’m like a motivational speaker and a poet at heart, but I love music.
Tupac, but he’s dead. Drake, shit. Adele or Ed Sheeran.
What’s your favorite part about LA so far?
My favorite part about LA so far is my gym membership.
Where do you go?
See, here’s the thing. Each 24 hour has its own purpose. If I’m in Hollywood, maybe I’m trying to run into somebody. If I’m in Burbank, I’m really getting it in.
What advice do you have for an aspiring Dax?
Don’t take anyone for granted, you never know who you’re talking to. When you meet somebody, make sure that that is the best encounter they ever have with you because you never know who they are going to talk to after they meet you.