Released today, Bashment Trap House is a hard hitting, high energy Dancehall record infused with Lexxicon’s signature style. It invigorates listeners with infectious hooks, bass-booming rhythms and uplifting mantras. Lexxicon personifies diversity with a unique sound, weaving an array of musical genres including Dancehall, Reggaeton, Hip-Hop, R&B, Trap and Latin rhythms. It’s the kind of hip-shaking, chest-pumping music to spice up your next party or motivate your workout session.
This album explores a spectrum of different emotions as Lexxicon draws from personal experiences to showcase the various sides of himself. Tracks such as “Di Don Don,” “Fatty Fatty” and “Superstar” drip with confidence, while “Baddaz (Feat. Relly & IP The Poet),” “New Year, New Me” and “Booyaka Booyaka (Feat. StarStatus, Jewlz & Getchna)” energize and pump adrenaline into the album. Lexxicon typically preaches a “good vibes only” motto that is prevalent at the start of the album. However, tracks such as “I Think I Can (Interlude)” and “Lonely” uncover an alternative side to the artist as he reveals his struggles with self-doubt and despair.
Lexxicon’s moment of self-reflection is profoundly genuine and thought-provoking. As an artist, he pushes the boundaries, exudes a raw energy and holds nothing back. This Toronto icon has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with, with numerous records in the last few years, collaboration with multiple artists in the city and advocacy with several music initiatives. He founded Afrowave Toronto, an organization that showcases Dancehall/Afrobeat/Reggaeton talent and works to heighten their exposure to mainstream audiences. As Lexxicon continues to make music and immerse himself in Toronto’s music scene, he further expands the breadth of his experience and acts as a role model for up-and-coming artists within the city. Get your heart pumping and body moving this January 31 by listening to Bashment Trap House and unleashing the fiery force that is Lexxicon!
RX Music was able to catch up with Lexxicon this week to talk about his artistry, album and upcoming work!
RX MUSIC: You’re a Hip-Hop/Dancehall artist from Toronto who pushes the boundaries of genre convention and blends an array of musical styles such as Dancehall, Latin, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soca, and Trap. Can you talk about the exposure you’ve had to these genres over the years and the experiences that have influenced your sound?
LEXXICON: I get Reggae and Dancehall through my family, as well as being in Jamaica. And then once we moved to London, there’s music there, you know there’s like Grime and UK Pop and UK Hip-Hop as well. And in New York there’s a lot of Hip-Hop, a lot of Rap. And in Toronto you have that as well and R&B has all different Toronto style. So I think just being around all of those gave me a different perspective on all the different sounds of music and because I listen to so many different things, it’s hard to just create one thing when I’m listening to all these different things.
RX MUSIC: Do you feel like there’s a specific place you’ve been that really influenced your music style, because as you touched on, you’ve lived in Jamaica, in England and New York, Toronto – do you feel like there’s a specific place that really resonates with you?
LEXXICON: Yeah definitely Toronto…definitely Toronto.
RX MUSIC: You definitely love Toronto! It’s mentioned a few times on Bashment Trap House and “City Pon Mi Back,” that’s definitely a Toronto anthem. Can you touch a bit on your experience in Toronto and how would you characterize the Dancehall scene here?
LEXXICON: So my experience in Toronto, I would say it’s very R&B/Hip-Hop dominated, but I feel the Dancehall scene is really growing. Like the Dancehall/Afrobeat/Reggaeton scene is really starting to grow. I’ve been seeing so many other artists starting to gain more confidence in themselves, ready to put out music, ready to showcase the different sounds of the city. And even with the showcase, it’s just a great way for other people to get to know them because I meet so many of them and they’re all so talented, and I just feel like it’s really growing and soon, maybe in a couple years it will be at the same level as where Hip-Hop is in Toronto.
RX MUSIC: That would be great! And based on the showcase [Afrowave Toronto] the other day, I’m sure you can get there. I think what’s really cool is the blending of all of these different music styles. And it seems that you’ve created such a unique sound. When I was listening to the album, there’s certain songs that a genre maybe has more of a dominant role, but altogether you’ve become quite a unique artist – I think that’s pretty cool.
LEXXICON: Well thank you! I try my best.
RX MUSIC: Can you tell me a bit about the commencement of Afrowave? Like how you started it and why you felt like it was something that needed to be started in the first place?
LEXXICON: So I started it last September. I had the idea last summer, just from all the performances that I’ve done, all the showcases that I see in Toronto, they’re all very…at least in the urban section, they’re all very Hip-Hop and Rap, and R&B focused. So I would certainly get on some of them because the fusion would still I guess qualify but for the others, it didn’t necessarily have a specific place for it. So this is not something that I was seeing available in the city. So trying to do something about it was how Afrowave started. From like, there is not going to be other opportunities. We’re going to have to just try and create them and then see what happens from there.
RX MUSIC: Where have you seen it grow since you’ve started?
LEXXICON: I’ve definitely seen it grow, one, I mean especially just word of mouth in terms of even the artists. Like I know like a couple, but even after we started, as more have been reaching out that I didn’t know about I’m like, oh, you’re here too, like this other person’s here too and oh, it’s even bigger than I thought it was initially and just having more people in the city come out and support has been great.
RX MUSIC: That is great! And have you been meeting artists that you’ve collaborated with since you’ve started this?
LEXXICON: I have! I have been collaborating. A lot of them are in the works or haven’t been released yet. That’s why they’re not on this one but some of them will be coming up on the next album for sure.
RX MUSIC: Sounds great! I noticed that with Bashment Trap House there’s a lot more features on the album than some of your other stuff. Can you talk a bit about the collaboration that went into the album and what all these artists bring to the table?
LEXXICON: Yeah! So I mean, before my last projects were Dancehall and Reggaeton. So I worked with the two Reggaeton artists that I met at the time in Toronto. But during that time, I was meeting lots of artists, lots of R&B artists, just throughout the city and going to events and meeting new people. So when I finally decided I want to do more fusion of Hip-Hop dominant and Dancehall dominant songs I just basically reached out to those friends that I already met because I’m like, now’s the perfect time where we can actually work on something together that would actually hit. I just reached out to them and of course, they’re all really excited and I feel like they all brought their own energy to it and it made it so much more fun.
RX MUSIC: When you were producing the album in general, would you say it was a collaborative process? What’s your creative process is more what I’m getting at? Do you work on things alone? Do you like feedback from other people?
LEXXICON: What usually happens is I have an idea. I have a vision of what I want to do, and then I kind of pull all the pieces together. I’ll bring the producers that I’ve met that I think would fit with the vision and then the direction we’re going. So, ‘do you have anything in this direction or create something in this direction.’ So for this album I would say okay, this is what the sound is going to be. This is the feel, this is the energy we want to have in it. Like work around these parameters or I’d be like for this specific one it needs to be this BPM and needs to have this feel and they would create around that and then after I create the hooks. Then I’m like okay, which is the artist that I know would best fit on which song. And then like okay, so I know IP [The Poet] and Relly would be really great on this one. I know Jideo will be great on this. I know HafnHaf would be really good on this. I know Dynesti [Williams] is going to love this one because it’s the perfect Hip Hop/Dancehall blend and this is what she does as well…I just kind of like curate the whole thing to the vision that I have in my head.
RX MUSIC: You’ve only been doing this for a couple years, but the way you speak about music is really advanced. How did you get into being a music artist and when did that switch happen?
LEXXICON: That switch happened in like 2015-2016 when I was at studying at Ryerson, I went to a songwriting workshop. After that workshop, I kind of realized what song writing actually was. That those times where I was humming in the shower and making stuff up, technically that was actually song writing. I didn’t understand the world of music before that. I kind of was just like an obsessed listener. I just listened to lots of albums, lots of music, but I didn’t even realize that you could make music. I didn’t know you have all the engineers, you have the background vocals, this-that. I didn’t know any of that until I went to this workshop and then I learned about that and since then, I just started reading books about song writing. I just started practicing. I’ve really just been obsessed since then. And then put out my first EP kind of like a year after that and I’ve just been going since then.
RX MUSIC: What a change in course! Of course, there’s so many people that want to be a musician, but it feels like for you it was like a calling.
LEXXICON: Yeah that’s exactly it. Like I feel like I have to do this.
RX MUSIC: That’s great! I know that you produced The Vision with RyeSWAT which is now RyeRecords and you have a track on there that’s very R&B focused, but then the same year Island Fantasy your EP came out which is definitely more of a Dancehall album. I just want to hear about how your sound has changed since you started with The Vision, or I don’t know if Island Fantasy came first?
LEXXICON: Island Fantasy came after you’re correct. So I was still finding myself at that time. Cause I’m also a songwriter. So I like working with other artists as well to create songs even just for them or whatever I’m listening to. So I was a songwriter first and then an artist. So at that time I was still writing, still trying to figure out who I wanted to be as an artist. So that first thing on The Vision is like my first kind of attempt of, I’m going to put this out, let people hear this. And then after that, I kind of did some more soul searching and some more of what I enjoy, what I want to be known for, what do I actually want to create and that’s when I eventually did The Island Fantasy.
RX MUSIC: Bashment Trap House is definitely more of a vulnerable record and feels more personal to you. Can you talk a bit about the inspiration for the record and what went into making it?
LEXXICON: Once I started with the vision, this project was definitely the one I feel like has all the different sides of myself in there…It was definitely the most ‘me’ project I’ve put out yet. So I’m like, I want it to have all my different sides. You know, the happy side, the up-tempo side, the aggressive side, the soft side. I just wanted more of me to be layered through it. So if you listen to it, you can kind of get an idea of all the different ways that I see myself.
RX MUSIC: Absolutely. I really liked listening to your record. It starts off high energy, hard hitting and it’s got positive vibes. At one point you say “good vibes only, that’s our motto” which I love. It’s a really nice dancy record, but then there’s this kind of change up that happens. I think it starts with “I Think I Can” where you have this interlude where it’s a spoken word and a lot of self-doubt comes into it. Can you talk about “I Think I Can” the interlude and the mindset of that song?
LEXXICON: Oh yeah. Yeah you caught all that…As an artist you don’t necessarily always believe in yourself. There’s multiple times where you either think you’re just not… You’re like ‘you’re garbage, this song is trash, no one’s going to listen to this, nobody really cares about whatever’ you know especially when you tell your family you want to be an artist it’s like ‘oh okay, coooool’ you know what I kind of mean? So I think it was just a lot. I just put all of the different self-doubt that I’ve gone through into that track, so it’s supposed to be kind of like a mind frame if you listen to it. You can hear me trying to persevere but also hearing all the different doubts in my head that are also trying to keep me back.
RX MUSIC: It’s a super vulnerable track but I think that’s what’s so compelling about it, is you opening up and showing us a raw side of you. And then it leads into “Lonely” which seems like a standalone track on the album. Where before you were singing about good vibes only, there is this element of despair with that track. I just want to hear more about this little part of the album where you do get deeper and the significance of tapping into that side.
LEXXICON: So far I haven’t really tapped into that side previously. So it’s like okay, I didn’t necessarily really want to but you know I kind of felt compelled to. Just based on my life and while it was happening while I was writing records, so it all really came together and that’s definitely the section where everything slows down. Where it gets a little bit more introspective…where you get a little peek behind the party I guess. There was definitely a lot going on throughout the year, so I just let those emotions come out as well. Cause I know a lot of times we don’t want you to see artists to be just like we’re only ever happy cause it’s not true. So it’s just showing against this. Cause I want to show all the different sides of myself, I kind of had to let that side come out as well.
RX MUSIC: And what has the response been with “Lonely” because I know you released it before Bashment Trap House has come out.
LEXXICON: Actually, it’s been really great. Everyone that’s heard it said they loved it. I definitely got lots of messages about it. So I’m like oh okay, I wasn’t too sure what the rough reaction was going to be, cause it’s definitely not what I usually make. But no, it’s been really really positive, and everyone’s been really connecting to it and it’s been really good.
RX MUSIC: I’m glad to hear that because it does seem like one of those tracks that is going to bring people together. If I have an idea about you, it’s that you preach unity and positivity. When I went to your show the other day, you had that great moment where you said ‘we’re about unity here, we’re not trying to discriminate anybody.’ And just making that point I think really sets you apart. It’s part of your good vibes only mantra.
LEXXICON: That’s just who I am and it comes out in the music as well.
RX MUSIC: What’s next for you? You’ve been releasing albums every year since you started making music and you like to keep busy. You also have Afrowave going on. So what is to come for you this year? What is lined up?
LEXXICON: For this year? Well there’s videos coming from this project. And also another album this year as well. It’s 2020 so I’m like, I should be doing two albums….Definitely look out for that sometime late summer/early fall there’s going to be another project…and it’s going to be amazing!