Music

Dax: 5 songs that changed my life

The singer and rapper talks about songs from Norah Jones, Luke Bryan, Lil Wayne and more.

The singer and rapper talks about songs from Norah Jones, Luke Bryan, Lil Wayne and more

Dax On His Country Music Party Days And The Songs That Changed His Life

4 months ago
Duration 3:10
Before he became an artist with millions of fans and billions of views, Dax was a Canadian kid navigating childhood and young adulthood with the music around him. While in Toronto for his “Nigerian Made, Canadian Raised” tour, Dax visited CBC’s studios and shared with us the five songs that changed his life.

Dax's career is proof that you can be exactly the artist you want to be and find success your own way. The Nigerian-Canadian singer and rapper was born in St. John's, but spent most of his childhood in Ottawa before he left for the U.S. to play college basketball — where he ended up building a music career that has attracted millions of fans.

Basketball was Dax's first passion, and the dedication he showed to the game would foreshadow the drive he has in his music today. Ten years after he fell in love with basketball, Dax was on a college team on the way to a game, writing his first ever poem — one that would change his life. After sharing it with teammates and reflecting on how "easy" it was for him to do, he knew he had a gift. From that moment on, he shifted his focus and dedicated his life to writing about the emotions and topics that many have trouble finding the words for. 

But before Dax became an artist with millions of fans and billions of views, he was a Canadian kid navigating childhood and young adulthood while listening to the music around him. While in Toronto for his Nigerian Made, Canadian Raised tour earlier this year, Dax visited the CBC Music studio to share five songs that changed his life.

'Don't Know Why,' Norah Jones 

"So this song reminds me of my childhood because my dad always used to play this song when he was driving back and forth between America and Canada. And I just remember as I got older, I was just wondering, why does this man listen to this song? And the words just started to hit deeper, as he was working for our family, working so hard, going back and forth between America and Canada. I'm like, 'Oh, I know why he plays this.' So, as I got older and now especially, being that I'm about to be 30, I'm like, he was feeling that weight and that pressure, so that song really hits deep."

'Country Girl (Shake it for Me),' Luke Bryan

"This is one people would never expect. So, my dad worked in Mississippi for a long period of time. Then I ended up going and playing college basketball in three different states: Wichita, Kansas; Casper, Wyoming; and Montana, in Missoula. So, I was in pretty country places and those were my party days. I just always remember when I would go to the bar, this place in Wichita called the Rodeo, that song was always playing. That was my first time really being exposed to country. Like really being like, 'Oh, this shit is hard.' So yeah, we were dancing to Luke Bryan, 'Country Girl.'"

'Fireman,' Lil Wayne

"That was my pregame for basketball song, because essentially, I was always on fire. I was hot. So, you know, before I went and scored 25 points a game, I would listen to that song to get me in the zone. That one's pretty simple."

'Let Me Love You,' Mario 

"I think as a young man, we all remember our first time being in love. And this song, not only is Mario amazing, but, [this song] paints a picture for you. I think we all go through our first heartbreak, and mine was my first time just being really angry, because the words in that song just sort of pissed me off but it was still such a good song and I kept listening to it. So it's like my first heartbreak song."

'Can't Be Touched,' Roy Jones Jr. 

"Oh, Roy Jones Jr., one of the greatest boxers of all time. 'Can't Be Touched.' This is just a song where you're feeling yourself, you know? So I would listen to that to get motivated every single day and just get in that dog mentality before practices  or before games."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bhaven Moorthy is a Toronto-based digital producer for CBC Music.

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