uNder LIVE: Four artists performing at the live showcase

From a column to the main stage

At the NATIVE, our goal has always been to bridge the gap between the mainstream and underground, while championing tomorrow’s rising talent from the African continent: today. Through our annual end of year festival, we connect those home and abroad to the key cultural drivers and storytellers reshaping the face of music across the continent. For the December 2023 iteration of NATIVELAND, we showcased our dedication to the cause with our first uNder line up, transporting the alum of our monthly column spotlighting rising stars, to the mainstage. But for our inaugural uNder LIVE showcase, we’re focusing the attention on both artists who have graced the column and others who are pushing the envelope of their craft and are on the cusp of a big breakthrough. 

In partnership with Human Re Sources, NATIVE Magazine is presenting special performances from acts across West Africa. There’s SuperJazzClub, who are making significant strides across Electronic and Hip-Hop music with their unique production styles. Alongside the Ghanaian collective is Kold AF, whose sensitivity and visceral edge have earned her a spot amongst a new generation of young women musicians creating resonant epics, as well as the ethereal Nigerian Afro-soul star, Toyé. The fourth act will be Rigo Kamp, who’s already made a lasting impression with enchanting performances across niche audiences in Lagos. 

Get to know the artists performing at  NATIVE Mag’s inaugural uNder LIVE showcase. 


SuperJazzClub artfully side steps categorization. The Ghanaian interdisciplinary collective’s dreamy music is a rich fusion of lounge music, funk, neo-R&B, and hip-hop that’s deeply marked  by their lived experiences and eclectic interests. Formed in 2018 as a vehicle for its members’ penchant for risk taking and daring music tastes, SuperJazzClub have built their reputation brick-by-brick while nurturing a tight-knit community that’s deeply invested in every single highlight and success that has come along the way. The nine-member group first released its debut single, the self-affirming, reverb-heavy, post-soul experiment, “Couple Black Kids” in 2019, setting the stage for  their intention to subvert sonic expectations for artists operating from Accra. 

With afropop continuing to gain recognition on a global stage, SuperJazzClub have resisted the urge to waver on that  journey of authenticity, instead seeking out the most hypnotic, surrealist sounds as tools for self-expression. “Bordeaux,” the balmy follow-up  to “Couple Black Kids” is a chilling recounting of mental health struggles that is tethered by haunting shrieks at every turn. A couple of other singles like “Cellular” and “What You Want”  also help set the tone for the collective’s first project, ‘For All The Good Times.’ Released in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eight-track extended play glistens with their contemplations on placelessness (“July 4”), angst (“Wide Awake”), and manic euphoria (“Till the Morning”). It was a crowning moment for the collective and its ethos of freewheeling creativity. 

They have only continued to ascend in scope and vision since the release of ‘For All The Good Times. 2021 releases “Cameras” and “Jungle” saw more overt hip-hop influences on their work while the release of 2022’s soothing “MAD” was an act of self-mythologising that was met with critical acclaim and widespread commercial success. If anything, the success of “MAD” encouraged the group to lean even harder into their con-conformist style and 2023 was a year of explosion of sorts.  A series of mini-EPs, ‘ACT 2’ and ‘ACT 3,’ have shown their knack for layering specific anecdotes into thrilling experiences with a rich storytelling technique that marks them as a force to pay attention to. 


Lived experience is what lies at the heart of Kold AF’s music. Still in her early twenties, she’s consistently created songs that both capture and transcend this phase of her life. Listeners were introduced to her back in 2023, when she appeared on two songs from Aristokrat Records’ ‘Open House Vol. 1’. On those records an important sonic inspiration for Kold AF is revealed to be Dancehall, which supplies the sheen and grit of “Pisces,” where Kold explores the recent phenomena of young people using zodiac signs as basis for their personalities. Oscillating between that Caribbean-leaning flow and cold rap cadences, Kold AF may have emerged as a descendant of musicians like Jesse Jagz and Eva Alordiah, but her stories are entirely hers.

That much was obvious on ‘Kold Szn’, a two-pack which was released in December 2022. Totalling just over five minutes, it nevertheless bore witness to the musician’s expanding abilities, especially her song-making. Where previous releases leaned on poignant lyricism, here the production was allowed space to soar, resulting in the sort of pop-tinged accomplishment that’s a TKTK for an original musician like Kold AF. “Blues” sparkles with refinement; over stripped sonics, the musician bemoans the shortcomings of a past lover, but it’s her vocal delivery that really drives the message home. Even more novelty enters “Wasted,” the second song off that release. Understated synths are the production’s central feature, while subtle touches and a beat switch enables the singer’s trademark assortment of flows the space to shine. 

The singer’s debut EP, ‘KOLLIDE’ and her Aema-assisted releases on ‘no PITY,’  showcase the breadth of her artistic growth.  Kold’s sensitivity and visceral edge are her dominant trait and there’s no limit to how vulnerable she can get. Much like Ayra Starr and Bloody Civilian, Kold AF belongs to a generation of young women musicians who are turning everyday experiences into resonant epics. 


Toyé’s gravelly vocals hint at his origin clearly. The singer blends Yoruba, English, and pidgin to make a variant of chill soul-pop inspired by his childhood in south-west Nigeria and adolescence in the United States of America.But it is his voice and the way he blends words and feelings into euphoric rhythms that make him a star in the making. His debut single, “Shayo,” was a breathless dedication to Lagos, romance, and enjoyment that was helmed by Grammy-winning Liberian producer Ace Harris. Where “Shayo” is undoubtedly a high watermark for a singer still figuring out how to unleash the full potential of their voice, it’s follow-up, “Attitude.” is a slicker affair that allowed Toyé to simply float over lush, mid-tempo instrumentals that sound custom-made for his voice. 

Those early experiments with Ace Harris helped Toyé refine his sound as he settled on “Faaji” as a descriptor of his music, signalling at the deeply oral style of Yorba traditional music and the work of noted masked singer, Lagbaja. “Take Time,” a 2019 collab with dndSection and Zarion Uti offered evidence of Toyé’s growth as a singer as he switched between belting a falsetto and open-ended singing on his verse. He experimented with dancehall influences on his 2020 remix of “Attitude,” holding court with a rising Jada Kingdom while the release of “Payroll” in 2021 was a bold attempt of synthesising Afropop with his soul sound. 

Later in 2021, Toyé would receive props for his contribution to A Better Time, the third album by afropop giant,  Davido. Toyé was credited as the songwriter on the Chris Brown and Young Thug-featuring “Shopping Spree,” a highlight off the COVID-19-era album. Buoyed by that highlight, Toyé has continued to shine: “Takes Time” is perhaps the most experimental song in his oeuvre with the singer trying his hand at a ballad inspired by his southwestern Nigerian roots interspersed with pidgin. 

Stepping into the pop arena on “Ni Nigeria,” a collaboration with Tomi Tribe, Toyé’s “Faaji” sound is crisp atop a ‘piano-inflected instrumental where he declares that it’s not to be messed with. It’s a powerful impulse that hints at the sublime confidence in his work that would pave the way for his pondering on modern relationship dynamics on “BILLING = CHILLING” and the year-ending groove of “Paper.” At this moment, there’s no one quite as adept at fusing the sonics and feel of 2000s-era southwestern Nigerian music into a soul framework as adroitly as Toyé does. 


Coming soon…

[Featured Image Credits/The NATIVE]