When we're posting about an artist for the discovery portion of our site, rarely does it involve someone who's already been nominated for a Grammy. Daxz, real name Jahmar Carter, however, is different. He's been producing for years, and he landed his biggest placement back in 2015 when Drake dropped his legendary Meek Mill diss track, "Back to Back."
When Complex spoke to Daxz at the end of 2015, he described the whole process as "quick." Within a day, he went from knowing he was working with the biggest rapper in the world, to being an in-demand producer. Months later, "Back to Back" was nominated for a Grammy, and when Views arrived, Daxz had Drake rapping over another one of his beats.
"I really like a lot of '80s vibes, melodies, those synths," he explained to Complex, and now that he's releasing his solo music, that approach is really coming into focus. The now 22-year-old artist is gearing up to drop a solo mixtape and a remastered version of his first album later this year, and judging from "Cut it Close," he's very much capable of becoming Toronto's next big thing.
When we spoke to Daxz over email, his answers were short and to the point. His music is similar in a respect, combining videogame vibes with a throwback feel complete with very John Carpenter-inspired synths. This shines through on tracks like "XX" and "Cut it Close," two of his best solo songs to date.
He explained to us that he's been working on his music since high school, saying, "I didn’t know how to record myself at the time and it was hard to find people that wanted to help me so I started making beats and grew from there." His background as a producer first and foremost is what makes his approach to rap so interesting, often focusing more on melody and song structure than bars.
Daxz' effortless flows compliment the mix of deep bass and colorful synths in a melodic way that's similar to fellow Toronto rapper Killy, whom he's already collaborated with. He's very much a Toronto rapper, but thanks to the love of videogame sounds and retro synths that he brings to his production, he manages to stand out.
With an already immensely successful background as a producer, there's little doubt whatever comes next will be exciting. "Cut it Close," a song that sounds something like a cross between Drake and Yung Lean, in particular, already sounds like it's ready for a Travis Scott remix.
Look out for more from Daxz later this year.