Alté is a Nigerian lingo coined from the English word ‘Alternative’ and was first used by the DRB Lasgidi Teezee and Boj in their song ‘paper’ in 2014. But dating back to 2007, these artistes found a niche (Alté) in the Nigerian music industry that distinguishes from the mainstream genre. This niche gave rise to a revolution of freedom and expression among the youths. It has since then become a movement, a community of people who unconventionally and unapologetically express themselves via their creativity, their dress sense, style of music and their lifestyle generally. Musically, the Alté genre cannot be defined as it is incongruous and disparate in style. One may just call it the genre of liberty as it doesn’t limit you to a space. The genre
gives you the freedom to explore, infuse, generate, blend and recreate various styles of music to create a piece. With each artiste being distinctively different from each other, Alté genre can be said to be the home of essential uniqueness. The alté music scene feels more like an institution with different departments, each scholar in the department of their choice. This is to say there are people who are still quite conservative with their style while some people are daring enough to introduce elements that seem impossible in the alté genre. Teezee, one of the pioneers of the Alté movement is relentless about his blend of hiphop and afrobeats. Boj serves us a blend of afropop and rnb
that transecends the listener to a soothing yet groovy realm. Prior to the previously mentioned statement, Santi is one of those artistes that can fuse any genre or style of music and still give an indistinguishable effect. From Dancehall to afrobeat to hiphop, he creates magic with whatever he works with. Odunsi the Engine is particular about his fusion of rnb, pop and disco that sometimes come with afro toppings. Lady Donli happens to be one of those who are still quite committed to conservativeness when it comes to their style of music. With influences from afrobeat, hiphop, jazz and rnb, she’s a neo soul artist who is deeply rooted in African culture and identity generally. It’s amazing to see that the gospel of the
alté movement is spreading to different countries and parts of the world. Quite a number of artistes from other countries are imbibing the culture. Amaarae who is a Ghanaian-American ariste happens to be doing exceptionally well in the scene. With a voice as smooth and refined as silk, she’s the type to send chills down your spines and goosebumps over your skin. With styles like rnb, afropop, alternative rock and hiphop, this artiste has won the hearts of so many as her records always leave listeners with a divine and unforgettable sensation. It’s amazing to see that the alté movement is becoming something to reckon with. According to the pioneers (DRB), they just wanted to be different. There was no need for the struggle of recognition.
Who would have thought that Tems could have Rihanna starstruck? Who would have thought that Pretty BoyDo could have an international fanbase that sing every word to his songs while performing? Alté is a movement based on identity that portrays fearlessness, limitlessness, self realisation and actualisation. Alté is here to stay, Altè is the future.