EXCLUSIVE: Lagos-based artist Smada signs to NATIVE Records

"NATIVE is family."

Rising Lagos-based artist Smada, sent the entire Internet into a frenzy when posters and merch with the words “Where is Smada?” began popping up around the city this past month. While some fans surmised this was a PR tactic, created to roll out new music, the online campaign got people talking about the artist who has spent the past two years, building a solid fan base of Gen Z listeners. Ever in tune with social media and his fan base, the viral campaign certainly served to further his ability to command conversations and remain an ubiquitous new name on the scene.

Following the announcement of their exclusive worldwide joint venture partnership with Def Jam Recordings, the first-ever by Def Jam with an African company, Nigerian and UK-based NATIVE Records have today unveiled their second signing–Smada, the heavily sought after viral star from Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s nearly impossible to have avoided Smada over the last 12 months – the rising star’s face practically unavoidable on social media, especially on TikTok, where his videos have amassed close to 2 million likes, with many soundtracked by snippets of his unreleased songs. This rapid rise, propped up by an organic community of followers turned fans, has seen Smada emerge as one of the most exciting voices out of the country’s burgeoning music scene. His debut EP, ‘Super Smada’ rocketed to #1 on iTunes, while his single “Family” peaked in the Top 100 songs on Apple Music – all while he was still a student at the University of Lagos.

Smada has spent the past few months fine-tuning his delivery and working on new material, the first of which is the much-anticipated single “Ye Anthem”, which Smada has been teasing on his TikTok for the last few months. The snippet alone has already been used over 200 times on the platform, and amassed hundreds of thousands of views.

With a firm grasp on trends and Internet parlance, Smada continues to ascend the ranks and present a refreshingly unfiltered evolution in Afropop. Now, with a record deal inked with one of the most exciting labels out of Africa, NATIVE Records, Smada has his sights set on what’s really important: the music.

Speaking about the new deal, he shares:

“Signing to NATIVE Records and working with my team is a new journey for me. NATIVE is family so I feel very much at home. A lot of things have changed, but nothing really changed. I can’t wait to see what we come up with and what we achieve. Big up to everyone, this is about to be crazy.”

Co-president of NATIVE Records, Teezee also shares:

“We’re super excited to sign Super Smada to the NATIVE Records team. He’s a very versatile, Gen Z Afrofusion artist and he has the potential to become one of the leaders of the next generation of artists and leaders coming out of the country. Super Smada let’s go.”

Featured image credits/