Get to know the uNder artists performing at NATIVELAND 2023

from a column to the main stage

Since our very first festival in 2016, the NATIVE has existed at the fringes of popular culture committed to highlighting, analysing and championing the rising talent coming from the African continent tomorrow: today. Right from the very start, we’ve aligned ourselves with telling important stories and connecting audiences at home and in the diaspora with culture from both sides of the world.

At NATIVELAND Festival, we serve as the bridge that connects the people at home with the diaspora. Our diverse roster of artists from around the world have attracted these audiences and artists alike to spend one memorable night with NATIVE every year. From headliners such as Burna Boy, J Hus, Dave, Naira Marley, Davido, Tems, Rema and more, our vision has always been clear in bringing together the best in class talent to an audience deeply connected to their music and sensibilities.


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In March 2020, we launched Fresh Meat (now known as uNder), a monthly column that stayed true to our mission to reshape the face of African popular culture with a monthly list that highlighted a rising generation of fearless artists who refuse to conform to norms, and are creating their own paths, on their own terms. The inaugural edition featured artists such as Omah Lay, Zilla Oaks, emose (now known as Bloody Civilian), Olayinka Ehi, FOREVATIRED and more stellar acts who have only grown to become household names today.

In 2022, we revamped Fresh Meat into uNder giving it a new name and face, albeit the same mission. The name was a play on the word underground. Usually, the trope attached to underground music is its distance from mainstream success, however, the Internet has revolutionised music streaming and success at the click of a button. As such, the artists who featured in this column were far from “under the radar,” but come from a line of talented artists, from around the continent and diaspora, including those that you may have heard of before, and others you might never have heard of, but are on the cusp of their biggest moment.

For our fifth edition of our festival, we’re merging the worlds of uNder and NATIVELAND with a special uNder artist presentation powered by our partnership with Hennessy. This Friday, we’ll be unveiling a new artist to perform on the NATIVELAND2023 stage with a “Very Special Freestyle” challenge that invites artists from around the country to submit a verse to Trill Xöe’s Very Special beat. While we wait to unveil the final artist on the lineup, we’re placing the spotlight on the talented spate of uNder artists who are all at various stages of their career and drumming up anticipation with each new release.

From 2023’s breakout star Brazy to new names such as xinsomniac, here are the exciting acts gracing the stage at NATIVELAND 2023 this Friday. 


Brazy is a name to get familiar with before the year runs out. After creating bright spots on the Afropop canvas this year with genre-bending music from “Attends,” “omg,” “Brazy Skank” and the recently released bopper, “Daddy,” Brazy makes her debut on the NATIVELAND stage this year. Given that she’s embarked on a near-peerless run, topping charts, weaving dance music with alternative Rap and racking up new listeners in the space of twelve months, we’re very certain the Afro Sexy rapper will bring the same heat to the main stage with an unforgettable performance.

Read our exclusive interview with Brazy here.


DEELA is no stranger to the NATIVE platform. Since her debut, we’ve been keenly covering her off-the-cuff raps and delectable cadence leading to her feature on uNder in August 2021. After two years spent improving her skills and working on her mixtapes including ‘DONE DEEL’ and ‘Is This On?..’ the London-based rapper makes her debut on the NATIVELAND stage after an impressive year spent racking up accolades including a guest feature from Flo Milli. The rising star has consistently fine-tuned her penmanship, armed with a youthful outlook on life and an unbridled confidence.

Read our full-length interview with DEELA here.


SGaWD has been running laps around her contemporaries since her debut on the scene in 2019. Since then, she’s been offering fierce reflections about life as a female rapper in Nigeria and delivering bars at a breakneck pace. SGaWD unapologetically comes with affirming sex-positive bars, reminding women that they call all the shots. She does all this armed with an experimental approach, constantly reshaping the face of rap music in Nigeria with fusions across EDM, R&B, pop and other soundscapes. This year, she debuts on the NATIVELAND stage after featuring on TRYBE in our NATIVE The Reset Issue 5.

Read our full-length interview with SGaWD here.


Lifesize Teddy launched into our radar at the top of the year when she arrived as Mavins Records latest act on its growing all-star lineup. Arriving with a self-titled EP laced with confident hits and charming slappers, Lifesize Teddy introduced herself as the rapper and poet with a heart of gold. Not up to a year after her debut on the scene, the rapper is already recording wins from performing with Ayra Starr on the London leg of her tour to making her memorable debut at NATIVELAND. Lifesize Teddy is only getting better and better.

Read everything we know about Lifesize Teddy here.


Last year, Yarden reiterated his penchant for feel-good hits on Afropop chart-topping single “Wetin,” a melting pot of mainstream sounds padded with his uniquely alternative touches. This reintroduced Yarden to a new world of listeners, only just getting familiar with his sweet-sounding synths and smooth cadenced raps as he tells stories of love and life. With each new release, Yarden continues to navigate a gradual come up, learning the ropes of mainstream audience appeal while staying true to himself. This is what makes him the perfect addition to our all-star lineup.


xlnsomniac’s chameleon-like tendencies allow him traverse bedroom pop-leaning sounds with flagrant touches of electronic music and other relative influences. His debut project, ‘House of X’ snagged production credits and features from artists within the alternative pop soundscape such as Tochi Bedford, T3agray and Icitooicy. With an electrifying sound and fierce rhyming skills, xinsomniac has a lot to offer the NATIVELAND crowd as he makes his debut on stage this weekend with hit songs such as “Running” and “All I Had.”

Read xinsomniac’s uNder feature here.


Davido’s return was marked by a classic album titled ‘Timeless,’ and the introduction of two new acts in the revamped version of his record label, DMW 2.0. After the global superstar discovered her through a freestyle on Instagram, Morravey went on to deliver a noteworthy debut on “In the Garden” for the album. The Rivers-born crooner came clutch with dreamy chords and awe-inspiring delivery for the Amapiano-driven record. Since then, Morravey’s star has only continued to shine and it’s this energy she brings to NATIVELAND 2023.

Revisit Project Timeless with Davido here.


In the age of social media, one viral second can change the course of an artist’s whole entire trajectory. For an artist like Adhnok, he’s no stranger to the success of viral moments. After working behind the scenes with the NATIVE as a videographer, Adhnok is making his debut on the NATIVELAND stage off the back of his viral hit single, “Straight From Naija.” The memorable track invites audiences to share memories of being Nigerian and proud. Adhnok is a performance you don’t want to miss.


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Kold AF is a name to get familiar with this year. Her sonic influences span genres such as Dancehall commingled with Caribbean-birthed sensibilities and rap cadences which have honed the singer’s trademark flow. With a two-pack release and debut EP now under her belt, Kold AF’s unique sensitivity and refined vocal delivery gives her a visceral edge among the new generation of young women musicians waxing lyrical through song.

Read her full uNder feature of September 2023 here.


REEPLAY is a member of the ANTI WORLD GANGSTARS–a music collective emanating from the country’s capital city, Abuja. The rapper’s effervescent bars shine through across solo releases like ‘The Jig is Over’ and on “Homebase” with ODUMODUBLVCK for tracks like “SAINT OBI” or “BADMAN BOUNCE.” With his gritty bars and clever wordplay, he’s a prime candidate for wowing the crowd at NATIVELAND 2023.


Chi’s mellifluous vocals glaze through a series of R&B, pop and dance sound waves, gleaming with a pomp and sensual energy allows her define her craft on her own terms. Her recently release extended play, ‘I’ve Seen The Lizard People’ perfectly encapsulates this, showcasing Chi’s dexterity and air of honesty as she tells stories of love and life in bewitching vocal performances.


The way Trill Tega tells it a few years ago, he and his friends were hustling tickets to get into NATIVELAND and this year, he makes his memorable debut on the stage of a lifetime. Armed with gritty bars and textured palettes, Trill Tega has always displayed an ear for transforming Hip-Hop with a slew of other genres. His charismatic energy shines through on his music and translates to high-energy performances which you can catch this Friday.

Read our review of Trill Tega’s EP here.

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