The Alte genre, taken from the word “Alternative,” was born out of people rebelling against mainstream music. Although the sound has been in existence since the ’60s, it became more popular when DRB Lasgidi, the Nigerian collective of BOJ, Fresh L, and TeeZee started combining a unique blend of Afrobeats, hip-hop, R&B, and funk to form a stylish, laidback, and cool sound way back in 2007.
Since then, Alte music has grown into a popular sound that allows you to embrace your uniqueness. Here are 9 Nigerian Alte artists you should know:
Ogranya is an Artist from Rivers state. He does a combination of slow, alt-pop, jazz, and highlife that just pierces into your soul and makes you feel like you are floating on the clouds. His debut EP, Eden evermore was released in August 2019 and since then he has done other projects such as Imperfect EP, Vanity EP, and Show dem camp’s assisted Gbese.
Odunsi the Engine
Odunsi has easily become one of the driving forces and inspiration in the Alte industry. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Odunsi’s interest in R&B and soul was nurtured by artists like Sade, Prince, Donell Jones, and King Sunny Ade. Odunsi defines himself as unpredictable which shows in his style of music as you never know what to expect. His seven-track EP Time of Our Lives and the EP Everything you heard is true, has made him a fan favorite.
Born in 1994 in Benin city, Aylo grew up listening to his mother’s gospel and his father’s jazz collections, as well as rap and soul music from his uncles. His inspiration ranges from Fela Anikulaopo Kuti to Whitney Houston. He produces an intriguing fusion of alternative R&B, neo-soul, hip hop, and Afropop that has earned him worldwide recognition. Some of his hit songs are Paris and This sh!t.
Sadiq Onifade, popularly known as WurlD, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, WurlD relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue a secondary education and record music. He describes his kind of music as Electro-fusion. He released his debut EP Evolution in 2013 and since then he has become one of the contributors to the Alte scene. His recent two-part single MWWU, has left us basking in a world of bass tunes combined with Melo sounds.
Zainab Elizabeth Donli, known as Lady Donli is a Nigerian musician. She was influenced by the music of Angelina Kidjo, Asa, Erykah Badu, Brenda Fassie. She is part of the Nigerian Alte scene and has been able to capture listeners with her sweet and riveting voice through her newly released EP wild.
Melvitto has shown us how talented he is with Trouble where he teamed up with Gabzy. Melvitto started creating music in 2006. He became popular with his group song, Azonto. Since then, he has released the Summers EP with Gabzy and Soon EP.
Gabzy is a talented Nigerian-British-born Artist. In 2012, Gabzy started rap battling his fellow peers in his secondary school during break times. The battles were on a banter level and although it was all fun and games, the other students were impressed with his punch lines and wordplay. He describes his kind of music as chilled and laidback. Some of his songs are Toxic and Come over from the Summers EP with Melvitto.
Wavy the creator
Wavy the creator just recently released the song Harmonies featuring Wurld and it was a hit that left us vibing. Just like her name implies, she creates sounds that seem kind of wavy and leaves you in a bouncy mood. She has done collaborations with top Artists like Skepta, J Hus, Wizkid, and Davido.
Championed as one of the most prominent women in the Nigerian Alte scene, Tomi Agape is well known for her single Rapid fire and debut album This way. The singer’s sound is a direct reflection of all the cultural elements of her upbringing in the UK inspired by greats musicians such as Jill Scott and Beyonce with a rendition of the Nigerian cultural heritage. She delivers her music through a smokey voice that blends R&B with a Caribbean flavor.