While most upcoming artists tend to lack a strong identity and position on their music and their message, Dax Lion, a Roots Reggae artist, is cut from a different cloth. Emerging with the heart of a lion, he is unabashedly clear on his mission to convey world-reaching messages while embracing Rastafari in a solid, bass-driven Reggae groove.
Hailing from the city of Kingston with a Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management, Dax Lion was infused with the rich musical roots of Jamaica from a young age. Writing since the age of 13, the distinct sound of Reggae fueled a musical passion within the young artist that lay dormant until he recorded his first song in 2009. “I realized that music was my mission when I recorded a song entitled “Gas Pon It”, says the rebel with a cause. After receiving positive feedback from his peers and validation from Kimani Robinson, former owner of Reggae Entertainment Television (RETV), he realized a connection had been found. “I found music, and music found me,” he declares. This divine confirmation ushered him into the life of a full-time artist/musician. “I just started recording more, performing more, meeting musicians, and doing a lot of acoustic shows. I had no doubt that this is what I am to do”, he explains.
Now an inseparable pair, Dax began recording both in his home with a laptop and microphone and at Tuff Gong Recording Studios in Jamaica. Zealously recording, he crafted his songwriting skills, taking from his musical influences, like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder, and using them to enhance his own style. Shaping as an artist, he began to open up to collaboration projects.
His first collaboration song was “Gwan Natty” featuring Biggz General. Long time friends, the collaboration between these two rising stars was inevitable. “Me and Biggz used to do music all the time from school days, and we were always writing together.” Initially writing one verse and chorus of the song on his own, Dax solicited input from Biggz. “He liked it and recorded on it. Shortly after, we redid the track with a live band adding our own flavor, and “Gwan Natty” was released”, he recalls. Marked with a message of upliftment to the youth, this debut song effortlessly drew fans to the Lion.
Starting out performing at underground Reggae venues and schools in Jamaica, his name began to gain recognition. In 2010, he co-produced his first big show, Rasta Vibes, at the Bob Marley Museum with Gatlin Entertainment. The show’s intent was to expose the underground Reggae movement in Jamaica at the time. This served as a catalyst to Dax’s non-stop work ethic which eventually put him in touch with producer, Makonnen Blake Hannah, who worked on “The Prayer” and “Breaker Breaker” and Eric Toussaint and Nestor of Roots Life Productions on “Lyrics”, “Boom Draw”, and “Rise Natty”. In addition to songwriting, performing, recording, and playing instruments, Dax also has his hand in production. Producing a few of his own tracks such as, “Gwan Natty”, “The Prayer”, and “Play Me Some Music”, he seeks to expand his horizons.
Gaining momentum, Dax has appeared on several high profile shows, such as Conversations with Julian Marley and Richie Spice and was named as one of Jamaica’s upcoming, positive artists by Julian Marley. Over the past few years, he has graced stages at The People’s Festival held in Wilmington, Delaware, Bob Marley Earthday Celebrations in Jamaica, CDXX 4/20 Festival in Boca Raton, Florida with Steel Pulse and Inner Circle. He has also participated in a number of collaborative shows with bands like, Uprising Roots, One Drop Routz, Black Lion, Artikal Sound System, and Judah Tribe Band. His recent performance exposure has led to media interest with the Jamaica Observer reporting his artistic style as “clawing away at negativity”. Ironically, this is just what the young lion has set out to do.
As he gained experience, his creative process enhanced, and a theme of interconnectivity emerged. “Sometimes, I get this great idea, and I start to write. And I get one line or two, and then it just stops. Then, a month later, I get the vibe to write again, and what I write connects to what I put down a month ago,” he reflects. Dax began piecing together what seemed to be dead end lyrics at the time, and his story, expressed through music, was birthed. “That’s why they say you should never throw away your lyrics”, he reasons.
Since the release of the “Rise Natty” mixtape in May 2013, Dax has shared the stage with Daniel Marley at the Reggae in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas, NV in June 2013. His most recent performances were in Ontario, Canada in July 2013 with Junior Reid and Biggz General and at Mandalay Bay Beach in Las Vegas, Nevada in August 2013 with singer Lady Reiko. With the advice of his mother to make clean and positive music tucked in his heart, and his weapon of choice, music strapped to his belt, this lion’s roar is sure to be heard around the world.
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