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Y’all should have known better than to think that Dax would let a worldwide pandemic get in the way of his skyrocketing music career. It’s been heads down since the Ottawa-bred artist transplanted to L.A., and the focus is paying off into a laudable discography and a distinctive lyrical style noted for balancing both hard bars, tough subjects, and the kind of hope and optimism that has been hard to hold onto through 2020.
His latest release is "I Don’t Want Another Sorry," a breakup ballad with an unlikely conspirator, Trippie Redd. The two have been circling each other for the better part of three years and Dax, ever the daredevil, took the easy camaraderie they shared as a challenge to push himself musically.
“No one's ever seen me work with a mainstream artist like Trippie. It was great to get together with him for this project. I’m excited to see how I was able to like integrate someone like him into my world,” Dax told Complex Canada. “The song still has a lot of Dax energy and he fits perfectly into it.”
Dax’s infamous energy is all over the video for his new single—the clip quite literally visualizes the theme of heartbreak through a prolonged and gruesome cardiac transplant. There’s something about the vulnerability of being gutted open on an operating table that brings Dax as close as any human can come to expressing the unfathomable anguish of heartbreak.
Still, not even having his chest ripped open can stop the man—this is a comeback story before anything else, and Dax emerges from the harrowing experience stronger than ever. We catch up with him to chat about linking with Trippie and how he conceptualized his latest video, which drops today. Check it out above.
What’s it like working with Trippie Redd?
It was awesome—I've seen him on and off for maybe two or three years now. It was dope to watch him and the way he works. We're obviously two completely different people. So, you know, his creative process is dope as hell and he killed the verse.
Tell us about the production of the music video and the concept behind it.
The inspiration for the music video is basically heartbreak. I made this song two years ago, a month after I made one of my biggest songs called "She Cheated Again."
So basically, the concept I came up with is, essentially, my heart is broken, and I'm seeing a doctor to get it replaced because I no longer want to have this damaged heart. So I'm taking out my heart and I'm putting in a metal heart so I can no longer feel the emotions. And the girl who broke my heart is actually in the waiting room, and she doesn't know what I'm going in for.
By the end of the video, you know, I'm coming out with everything stitched back up and she's wondering why I'm not interacting with her. That’s when I rip open my shirt and show her the scar from the surgery.
That’s pretty raw. Was it hard for you to reach this place of vulnerability? And do you think men, in general, are discouraged from talking about their emotions like this?
I think it is sort of taboo for men to make songs like this, especially I'd say, you know, as a “rapper.” I consider myself an artist but a lot of people want to call me a rapper. Most of the songs you hear from dudes aren't from this perspective. But the way I worded this song and the pronouns and themes could be interchangeable for a male and a female, or for whatever gender and relationship dynamic.
"It can be hard when you’re telling yourself that the person you’re with knows every inch of your body and knows everything about you, only to do it all over again with someone else."
What do you think makes people stay in toxic relationships?
The feeling of not knowing if they can do better, the feeling of not knowing that they'll be able to find someone like that again. That, or the feeling of not wanting to start over. I think you get to a certain point in relationships where you’re like, Damn, am I gonna find another girl like this, or another guy like this? I don't want to have to start all the way over again.
It can be hard when you’re telling yourself that the person you’re with knows every inch of your body and knows everything about you, only to do it all over again with someone else.
You are blowing up. Has it changed your approach to relationships? Do you feel like you have to have your guard up?
Well, I'm independent so I think there's a different energy around what it is I do. I wouldn't call myself famous—I would say I’m somewhat well known, for good things and impactful music. That's why I'm really specific about the things I say in my music, my word selection, everything: everything I'm putting out into the world attracts certain types of people to me. I lead a very simplistic lifestyle, so I don't attract a lot of craziness.
Tell us about the tattoo you got to commemorate the song?
Whenever I make songs that I feel are special to me, I usually get a tattoo. I only have a couple: I got a tattoo for "Dear God," and I got a tattoo for "Joker," which are two of my biggest singles. I'm not saying this one is going to be one of those, I just like the message of the song.
The song is called "I Don't Want Another Sorry." I know that there have been times in my life where I’m tired of hearing apologies. Sometimes you have to take a stand and say no more. I got it tattooed on my back so when I'm leaving a situation, it's right there in plain sight for them to see when I'm done and walking away.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to heal from a broken heart?
From my personal experience, the only thing that fucking helps is time. Time heals all wounds, some just take longer than others. Being with someone new too early during that shift doesn't help, and honestly just makes it worse.
And what advice has been crucial for you as an independent artist?
I just try to protect myself and my energy because that's all we have in this world, you know? I think that’s how I stay true to myself, and how I’ll be able to keep doing what I do for the long run: living the lifestyle that I want to live, which is just a good, safe, and positive lifestyle. I think once you start doing things that are out of your own character to attract fame or become successful, people almost see that and feel this anger towards you.
That’s why I just want to make sure that I'm always putting 100 per cent effort, so when people watch my shit and listen to my music they can go, “Yo, I can tell this guy cares about what he does. He's not in it for the money. He's doing it because he cares about what he's doing.”