Interview: Magixx on Music Journey, signing to Mavin & self-titled EP

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Magixx

Over the course of the last two years, Mavin Records has stood in a place of prominence as one of the premier record labels in the country. From the success of Ladipoe, Ayra Starr and Rema, no label has done a better job of incubating talent. After the release of his self-titled EP, Magixx is definitely on his way to cementing his place in the music industry. His unique vocal ability, versatility and style make him one to watch in 2022.  Naturally, we caught up with Magixx and discussed his journey into music, musical aspirations and his self-titled EP:

Where did the name Magixx come from?

The name Magixx came from me being able to do so many things. That started when I was in secondary school- I used to sing and rap. Many people don’t know that I used to dance! I wanted to use the name Magic but, someone was already using that name so, I removed the ‘C’ at the end and changed it to two X’s instead. That was how I coined the name Magixx.

Your first single Mirrors was released in 2018. When did you start singing? 

So, Mirrors was the first song I ever wrote. I wrote it when I was 14 but I eventually put it out in 2018. I had been writing before but I had never written a full song. I started singing as far back as secondary school. I first did a freestyle that isn’t online. The first song I ever recorded was a straight rap song. 

When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?

I’ve never really wanted to do anything else with my life. I’ve never really had the passion for anything else. Along the line, I found an interest in fashion- I really like fashion and sport too. Those are things I would like to venture into in the near future but for now, I’m fully focused on making music.

What was your first musical memory?

It was my dad playing a whole lot of music in my house. I think that was my foundation. He used to have all the artists- from DMX to 2Pac, Celine Dion to Lagbaja and Fela- he had all the CDs. We used to play them every night. That was my earliest music memory.

Lovely! So, who are your musical influences?

I am inspired by a lot of people. I don’t have one particular person. My influences cut across a lot of different genres. I started rapping in secondary school so most of my influences for Rap came from Drake, Rick Ross and Eminem but, for Afro music, it’s 2Face, Fela and Lagbaja. The new generation guys also inspire me- the likes of Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy. Music is a never-ending thing- you always have to keep learning, so I look up to these guys. 

You are the newest Mavin artist! Congratulations! How did you get signed?

That’s really tricky because I actually don’t know! I received a random text at midnight from a friend saying, “Yo! Don Jazzy heard your stuff” and that was it. I was looking for an opportunity because I had just finished school. I was looking for a platform- a way to put my music in people’s faces. I wanted people to know that there’s a Magixx guy somewhere making great music and the breakthrough came when (Don) Jazzy reached out to me through someone. 

Magixx

Your EP has been out for just over three weeks. Before we dive into the EP, how are you feeling about that?

It’s beautiful! It’s very beautiful because the reviews have been great. It’s a great time to make music- especially for African artists now that it’s global. I mean we’re reigning! It’s a great time and it’s exciting to see how people react to the music. It’s one thing to make music and it’s another thing for people to react to your music and see the joy, excitement and how people genuinely love your music. So, it’s a great time for me. A really great time!

So, for anyone who hasn’t listened to your EP just yet, what would you say it’s about?

It’s about everything I represent. It’s about the struggle, it’s about love, it’s about good vibrations. You just need to pay attention and give it a listen. There’s something for everybody. Magixx is for everybody- I always say that. It’s not just for Africa or for Nigerians, it’s for everybody. 

What was the writing and recording process like while you were writing this EP?

So, at first, I wanted to make club bangers but then, I thought to myself that I need to put in a strong effort. Some people think that you need to be that hit music guy when you’re coming into the game- I wanted to be much more than that. I wanted to make an impression. I could make club bangers all year and choose to put those on my EP but, that wasn’t the drive. The drive was to make a statement that I’m not here for just a good time but, for a long time. So, I think that was the energy, that was the drive behind the EP. I won’t say that I went to the studio every day thinking “I want to make an impression on people.” No! That wasn’t the case but, I knew at the back of my mind that when we pick the songs for this EP, I must be making a statement. Fun fact- every song on the EP has been recorded since last September. So, it came out a year after.  

I’m going to touch on 3 songs from your EP starting with Love Don’t Cost A Dime especially because it seems like it’s a fan favourite. Where did the inspiration for that song come from? 

The funny thing is that the song was just a vibe. It wasn’t really inspired by something that I was feeling at that moment, it was just based on past experiences. You know when you make music and it’s not just about your current feeling? It’s about something that must have happened to me probably when I was dating my first girlfriend. That was the memory I brought to life on that song. I recorded it around 7 AM in the morning. I was supposed to record another song overnight but I wasn’t feeling the vibe till I slept. In the morning, I woke up and another beat was playing and that was the beat for Love Don’t Cost A Dime. The first set of vocals that I recorded was what it was and I never changed anything from the song. It was just that pure. It was just pure emotions.

So, the next song I want to touch on is Parti because it’s the only upbeat song on the project. Where did that come from? Was it freestyled as well? 

I wrote Parti over two days. London (Producer)  gave me the beat two months before I recorded it. I wasn’t feeling the beat at first then, I went back to it. You know sometimes when you listen to a beat and you’re just not feeling it. It’s not like the beat is not making sense, it’s just that you’re not in that zone- your mind isn’t there. When I finally went back to the drive, I played the beat and my guy (friend) was like, “Yo, I like this beat!” I was like, “You do?” He said, “Yeah I do!” That made me think that I should at least vibe to the beat since my close friend liked it. I started vibing to the beat and that was how I wrote Parti. I wrote the first verse and everyone was like “Whoa! Guy, you need to record this!” I was in my room at home with my junior (younger) sister and my friend when I wrote that song! It’s a funny song because, after that first take, I knew the song was crazy! So yeah, that was how we made the song!

Amazing! Like you said earlier this project is very versatile because there are a lot of different sounds on it. I also want to talk about Like A Movie which is probably my favourite song on the project! How did Like A Movie come about?

It’s a banger! So, the first time I met Randay (Producer) was the first time I heard the beat. When he played it to me, I told him to turn the mic on and I freestyled the first verse. It doesn’t sound like it but it was freestyled. After I freestyled, I started putting words and melodies to it. That was how the song came about. It was fire! I listened to the song for like 3 months- literally every day! I was that crazy about the song. I love every song on the EP but it (Like A Movie) is my personal favourite. It seems like Love Don’t Cost A Dime is what everybody likes. A lot of projects are usually centred around one song but, with this project I find a lot of people saying, “I love Like A Movie!”,  “I love Motivate Yourself!” So, it’s a good thing. 

Absolutely! Earlier, you said the project is not just about love or struggle, it’s about your life. What were the challenges of making this EP?

I won’t say there were really any challenges because I made it during the pandemic. There was nothing happening- everywhere was calm. Around that time mentally I was thinking about the fact that I’m new to this. I’m new to being signed to a big label. I never felt any pressure, I just knew that I needed to focus. So, focus was probably the only thing I struggled to maintain. When I got there, I just went all in because money wasn’t an issue anymore. Money was an issue before I met (Don) Jazzy. I didn’t really have any struggles. When you record at length, you find creativity a little bit forced because you’re creating every day. At some point, you need to go back, refresh and come back with more vibes! That was a challenge that I hadn’t dealt with before. I had never recorded for four months straight before. 

The last song on your project is Motivate Yourself– what motivates you to make music?

I just really love making music. I feel a deep passion for what I do. It’s the one thing that keeps me going and keeps me sane. 

Touching on that, if you could tell Magixx of 2018 anything, what would you tell him? 

I’d tell him to keep going. It’s not like he was perfect but, he was still trying to figure things out sound-wise and he was yet to peak and mature. It’s not like I’m there now but, that is what I would have told him. 

You are still at the very beginning of your journey but you have had success. So, how would you define your success so far?

When you sign to Mavin, there’s a very high expectation. I feel like we’re getting there! I have big dreams for myself-  this is just the tip of the iceberg. I believe there’s a long, long, long way to go. I celebrate but these are the little wins- bigger things are on the way!

So, the Love Don’t Cost A Dime video is out now and I’m sure there’s more videos coming. What else should we look forward to?

More great music. What I’m looking forward to the most is promoting this EP and giving it volume. We need more people to listen to the EP. We need more people to check it out and vibe to it. It’s a great body of work. That is what is on my mind for now. I want to go on a world tour but I can’t do that if you don’t stream my music! Great things are coming! Future collaborations with great artists- I want it all!

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