Kold AF is Spotify EQUAL Africa’s Artist Highlight

Spotify’s EQUAL program supports female artists in music, giving them a global platform through playlists, content hubs, and partnerships. Rising Nigerian artist Kold AF, known for exploring diverse sounds, takes the spotlight for Spotify’s EQUAL Africa program this April, following her selection as Spotify’s Fresh Finds artists in 2023.

Spotify’s year-round EQUAL program empowers female creators with a global platform for growth. The dedicated EQUAL hub connects listeners in over 180 markets with this pool of talented artists.

“At Spotify, empowering women and creating opportunities for them is a true passion. We’re committed to continuing these efforts and showcasing rising artists like Kold AF, who serve as a reminder that dreams are valid. EQUAL Africa is honoured to be a part of sharing these stories,” says Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Senior Artist & Label Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2023 alone, Spotify hosted 15 EQUAL activations and over 14.8 million artist discoveries stemmed from EQUAL playlists, and EQUAL artists received 11,800 editorial playlist adds. This demonstrates the program’s impact and reach.

Kold AF, who recently released a 2-pack EP called “no PITY” alongside alternative soul artist Aema, emphasises the importance of staying true to her artistic vision; “People often try to fit me into their preconceived moulds, guided by their prejudices. Yet, as a young woman navigating the labyrinth of the music industry, I refuse to be confined by such limitations. My focus remains unwaveringly fixed on staying true to my artistic vision.” 

“Participating in the EQUAL program is a genuine honour, a testament to Spotify’s commitment to supporting female artists. It also serves as a gentle reminder to me to extend a helping hand to the aspiring women who will follow in my footsteps,“ Kold AF added.

We had a sit down with Kold AF to delve deeper into her music and creative journey.

What is that one surprising thing your fans might not know about you?

That I like video games. I had a Nintendo DS at some point in my childhood and I was STUCK ON IT. I played a couple of games on my friend’s XBoxes and playstations but I never had a console of my own.

Now I’m getting back into the groove of it and I’m loving every second of this reunion of sorts. 

When did you realise that making music was in your destiny and what is your WHY for pursuing this craft?

I only fully came to the realisation that it was what I was made for in 2019. As a child, I dreamed of being a star, performing in front of millions of people but I was riddled with fear for many years before 2019.

I decided that year that regardless of the intense fear, I would take the first step and keep moving till I see myself on the stages my younger self had been daydreaming about all day with no regrets. 

Which African songs or artists did you grow up listening to?

I listened to whatever my parents were a fan of at the time. That included icons like Fela Kuti, Lagbaja, Plantashun Boiz, Psquare, Angelique Kidjo, Fally Ipupa, Awilo Longomba, and the stars that came after them like Asa, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Cynthia Morgan and so on.

To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?

I would describe my sound as a Fusion. It’s electric and full of emotion. A fluid sound that will always infuse beautiful genres. My foundational genres are Dancehall, R&B and and Afropop but I’m as versatile as it gets and I’ll never be afraid to show it any chance I get.  I speak on real and relatable topics and I’m probably the biggest fan of my own music. When you press play on anything I’m on, you can be sure one thing is constant; QUALITY. 

Any advice for someone dreading following their dreams?

I was literally in their position before 2019 so I can categorically say this; Take the first step. It’s the scariest decision and action but it is the most important one. The ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes/maybe nots’ don’t matter in the grand scheme of things if you play it safe and never know. Things will come together with time, effort, showing up and consistency.

Check out Kold AF’s recently released single “Everyday (I Day Pray) on the EQUAL Africa playlist. 

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