It is a foregone conclusion that Africa is the last unexplored frontier for global pop.
For years, the continent has shown promise through a number of standout acts that have carried Africa's flag on the global scene.
From Wizkid to Diamond Platnumz to Black Coffee, the infectious energy of these stars has reinvigorated what global pop sounds like and inspired numerous young talents on the continent.
But rarely has the continent seen music groups rise to the fore of music conversations. Namibian group, M.I.G, is aiming to change that. The sextet has already navigated the waters of the Namibian music industry and is turning its attention to making an impact on the wider continent.
Speaking of how they all met, Jimmy, a rapper and songwriter, says, "Some of us met at early stages in life. Callous, Slim-D and I met in Primary school. Rockid and Chuwee are cousins, and P-star grew up in the same neighborhood as Chuwee so basically, we grew up together.
"We all finally got to meet each other in senior high school at Elcin Nkurenkuru high school in the Kavango-West region and we've been kicking it since."
What started as a friendship eventually evolved into a musical relationship between them as their diverse musical tastes began to bounce off each other.
"We came up listening to different kinds of music," band member, Slim-D, remembers.
"Growing up in the southern part of Africa we would heavily listen to genres like Afro-pop, Kwaito, Kizomba, Dancehall, Reggae, and also our native traditional songs."
But at the base of all they tried to create over the year was an unequivocal love for hip-hop culture and the dynamics surrounding it.
The group's debut album, Unkurungu, came out in 2020, helping to define their sound for audiences not used to such genre-bending music predicated on hip-hop's tonality and aesthetics.
Chuwee, the group's drummer, remembers how the group tried to take their music in new, unforeseen directions while making Unkurungu.
"It was fun," he says of the process.
"We would go in the studio day and night experimenting with different sounds without looking or listening to what was out there at that time. There was not any pressure."
Unkurungu had peculiar highlights like "Trouble," "Sinner Man," and "Free Your Mind," demonstrating M.I.G's capability for further success.
Crucially, the album caught the attention of US-based music executive and producer, Donald 'Jefe' Jackson who signed them to his production imprint Foreign Game, kickstarting an international partnership with M.I.G's longtime management team Prince and Krazzy Hammex.
Chuwee has high hopes for the deal. "We just hope Foreign Game opens doors that weren't open for us before and bring more opportunities that will sustain us for life and help build M.I.G to be a global brand," he says.
Despite all the success M.I,G. enjoyed, it was hard to deal with not being able to perform shows due to the disruptions of the pandemic.
"It was a little bit challenging for us because we couldn't go out there to perform for a physical audience," P-Star says.
"That made us feel like we were robbed emotionally. Other than expressing ourselves, music is a way of living for us. On the bright side, the same year gave us more time to reflect and work on new material."
The release of a new M.I.G album is underway and their latest single titled "TINGOLO," is leading the project.
The new single harkens back to the joyous, extemporaneous music of African childhood; but Rockid says the song was more inspired by the group’s appreciation of beautiful women.
"TINGOLO was inspired by the beauty of our ladies from around the world," Rockid says.
"We are hoping to make them feel more appreciated with this record at the same time letting them know that they are loved. We fused kizomba with Afropop for this."
As the next phase of their career begins, Callous has lofty dreams of what he'd want to achieve, "We would like our music and brand to be recognized globally just like any other big names out there and also most importantly to make a Namibian, African child believe that you can get the whole world listening to you regardless of your background or language that you use to sing, music is a language on its own."