Dax has a lot to celebrate, but he’s nowhere near where he wants to be. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, the singer, songwriter, and rapper prides himself in creating impactful music, even deeming it its own genre. Whether he’s rapping or singing, Dax aims to leave his mark on the earth in the most positive way possible, creating from a heartfelt and vulnerable place each and every time.
Most recently, Dax unveiled his critically-acclaimed new single and visual titled “To Be A Man,” who’s official music video clocks in over 9 million views in just two months. With an affinity for country music, Dax continues to showcase his versatility, even performing the song live on national television at the Canadian Country Music Awards. He then launched an open verse challenge on socials, recruiting his 10 favorite ones to come to Los Angeles to shoot the video for the song’s remix.
“To Be A Man” joins Dax’s catalog of hits, including “Depression,” the Gold-certified “Dear God,” and the Platinum-certified “Dear Alcohol” released last year. He also recently hit one billion views on Youtube, giving hope to all independent artists around the world that they too can follow in his footsteps.
AllHipHop spoke with Dax in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his tattoos, the new release, journey on YouTube, his top 5 artists in rotation, goals, upcoming music, and more!
AllHipHop: How you been since the last time we spoke?
Dax: It’s been years. I’ve been good man, trying to stick to myself and do my thing. Continuously I have my lane and carving out space in it, then just building a comfortable life. Now I’m trying to continuously add peace into that, family wise. Help the ones who were older than me, like my parents who are now retiring. My dad actually retires in a week, so gotta handle all that stuff. It’s cool, gaining more responsibilities while also trying to create a legacy of my own.
AllHipHop: What does your hand tattoo say?
Dax: This one says, AMEN. I’m always blessed, because I’m left-handed. So whenever the left hand makes contact [places hand on shoulder], everyone’s blessed.
AllHipHop: What’s on your other hand? This one, so
Dax: This one, “YourWorthIt.org” was a song I had with Hopsin.
AllHipHop: Fast forward, “To Be A Man” out now. What inspires you to do a country record?
Dax: I’ve always said I do whatever comes naturally when the beat comes on. “Dear Alcohol” was my first singing single, but I had sung before. I’ve lived in Wyoming. I’ve lived in Montana. I’ve lived in Kansas. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mississippi because my dad worked there, so I’ve always had this influence. I was born in Newfoundland, which is very small and little, so I’m used to those small places.
It’s crazy, my first artist name was almost Cowboy. Never ended up happening. That’s just my monotone singing voice. “I got wasted…” [sings] But in terms of the song itself, s### being a man inspired it. As I get older, I have more responsibilities and more people I have to take care of. So the realization of dang, this is what I have to do. Might not be appreciated for it, but it is what it is. Also seeing my dad, how he’s aged. I know he feels oftentimes unappreciated, so growing into that. I’m about to be 30…
AllHipHop: Still super young.
Dax: Is it? I’m 29 now, but sometimes because of the things I’ve lived and been through, I feel like I’m older.
AllHipHop: Did you expect “To Be A Man” to do what it did?
Dax: When I first made “To Be A Man,” okay there’s eight billion people on earth. Well at least half of them are men, or close. So any man who hears this song is going to resonate in some type of way. And any woman who hears this song may not resonate with it in terms of her intimate relationship with the man she’s with, but she may relate in terms of her father. I think this song is going to do well because whoever hears it, they’re one person away from relation to what’s been said.
AllHipHop: What was the message you were trying to convey in the music video?
Dax: We went back to Kansas, which is where I spent 4 years of my life. I went to college, I did high school out there for a bit. I wanted to make it real. I didn’t want to have no actors, so everyone in the video is essentially people who actually do those jobs. The truck driver, the welder, the construction worker. All those different things, it was people who do those jobs. I wanted to make the video authentic and relatable.
AllHipHop: Best memory from shooting the video?
Dax: S###, it was such a hectic 3 days. We all went to dinner somewhere, I hadn’t been to dinner in a minute, I don’t go out a lot. We’re sitting at this Asian restaurant, it was dope. Everyone was talking, I was chillin’. It felt so natural. I felt like I was back in high school or college again. That was my greatest memory, dinner with everybody.
AllHipHop: Talk about the open verse challenge you’re doing.
Dax: I did the open verse challenge on socials, and I chose 10 people. My 10 favorite verses. I flew them out, got them a hotel, and we filmed the official music video for the remix that dropped right before Father’s Day.
What I think is so crazy, it’s no shade. There could be a kid in Istanbul who’s more talented than some of the best artists in the music “industry.” It’s amazing I could do an open verse challenge. Who are all these people we’ve never heard of? But they’re more talented than some of the people we hear on the radio. The songs. It’s a beautiful masterpiece. I’m doing the hook and they all do their verses. I love when people see that because wow, there’s really talent everywhere. But sometimes, people don’t get the opportunity.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from that video?
Dax: Man, the video is amazing. I’m really excited to see what people think. We had a whole studio and every single person got their own set, even the few who couldn’t make it in person are in it. The video is amazing, I think it’s going to really touch a lot of people.
AllHipHop: How’d it feel to have “Dear God” go Gold?
Dax: It felt great. I have multiple plaques: “She Cheated Again” is Gold, “JOKER RETURNS” is Gold. Because I finally did a publishing thing. Now that I’m doing a publishing thing for my songs, okay now they can get me my Gold thing. When you don’t have that it’s very hard to acquire these things. It feels good, because the way it went Gold to me is what I liked the most. Dropping it independently and all these dope things, so it feels good.
AllHipHop: I love that you say “my genre of music is called Impact.”
Dax: Yes ma’am, that’s the genre for real. I don’t know why I don’t have “impact” tatted on me somewhere.
AllHipHop: Next tat?
Dax: Yeah, it’s gotta be.
AllHipHop: You signed to Columbia, right?
Dax: I signed to RECORDS, it’s a small division of it. They’re attached to Columbia, and that’s attached to Sony. 4 months after “Dear Alcohol” dropped, I’m like man, this song needs to be on the radio. Let me figure out how I can try to make that happen. So I signed that song to RECORDS, and I’m doing an EP with them. Once I signed that, I woke up like oh s###, RECORDS is attached to Columbia. Oh s###, that’s Sony Music. Now I’m a part of Sony Music Canada. I signed with this small Records, all of a sudden it’s attached to this. Attached to that, G#####, that’s wild. You wake up, all of a sudden you’re attached to all this other s###.
AllHipHop: How‘d it feel to get one billion views on YouTube?
Dax: One bill feels good. It’s a lot of people, a lot of views. What I like most about views, every single view, it’s an individual person living their own life. That’s cool. I discovered this word called “sonder” about a year ago. It basically means everyone’s living a separate life with a separate story that you know nothing about. So the billion is wow, there’s that many people from different walks of life who have seen something I’ve made. It’s cool.
AllHipHop: What are your tips for YouTube?
Dax: Hashtagging is important. YouTube shorts are really doing well now, I’ve tried to start dabbling into that. YouTube was the last thing I did. I started on Facebook, Instagram. Essentially what I do for YouTube, I try to think okay, what’s big on YouTube is people who react to stuff. That’s big on there, music wise. Audio channels. Really the titling is important.
AllHipHop: When you post, that’s important?
Dax: Not as much with the way YouTube is now. It’s really more about the titling of it and engaging, what is the clip?
AllHipHop: Top 5 artists in rotation?
Dax: Who do I listen to a lot? Top 5 artists in rotation, besides myself, I listen to a lot of Chris Stapleton. He’s a country artist. I listen to a lot of Lily Rose, she’s a country artist too. I listen to that song, “I got a fast car…” [sings] People would probably never think this, I listen to Lil Baby a lot. “California Breeze,” I listen to that on repeat when I workout. I listen to Burna Boy. I listen to that one song, NBA Youngboy and Migos “Need It.” No one would expect that. When I’m working out, I play that one on repeat.
AllHipHop: What‘re you most excited for next?
Dax: My next songs. I’m doing Blues Fest, Calgary Stampede. I got a Canadian Tour, then American tour. To continue building, doing more shows. I got crazy songs coming out. Insane, impactful songs. I got a song coming out called “God’s Eyes,” that’s gonna be crazy. Man, I got a song called “Life” coming. I got a song called “The Abyss.” I got a song called “Divorce. There’s so many dope conceptual songs I’m excited to drop.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Dax: I’m excited to continue to fight to get my music the recognition it deserves. I’d like to do more “music industry” things people who make good music get the chance to do, so putting myself in a position to do more things. That excites me. Get respected for the work I do. I’d love to win a Grammy, a CCMA, all these different cool things.
AllHipHop: How did it feel to get all that recognition in the country genre?
Dax: It felt dope. What’s dope about it is I didn’t try to make a country song. “Dear Alcohol” was a poem I wrote when I was in college, when I was drinking. I was still drinking when I wrote the actual “Dear Alcohol” poem. I like it because it’s a real thing. It just happened that my voice sounded that way, then it was put in the country space.
Everyone’s super nice. The writing in country music is amazing. Every single song has a plot, a theme, metaphors, ways to describe it that connects cyclically. I really like what they promote: family, beer. [laughs] Nah I’m kidding.
AllHipHop: Were you nervous to do the TV performance at the Canadian Country Music Awards?
Dax: That was the most nervous I’ve ever been for sure.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Dax: Man, keep chasing your dreams. Get in the gym, workout. If you’re a man, do some push ups. Girls do push ups too. Workout, get the blood flowing. Life is better caffeinated, just control your caffeine intake. I tried both. I like life with a little bit of coffee. Pray