Aesthetics are a big deal in the altè scene; they dress different, their videos stand out—they are cinematic and able to marry both Nigerian and Western influences, and the contemporary and nostalgic. For Odunsi, Santi and co, looking different is borne out of an artistic direction to stand out in a music industry that thrives on mediocrity and being stagnant creatively. The altè scene pushes boundaries; it doesn’t always work, but it speaks to a constant quest for excellence.
Odunsi’s Star Signs video embodies this: it is different not just for the sake of being different. The song is a tribute to the disco era of the 80s and this is reflected in the video where Odunsi, being the creative he is, goes further: an Owambe-themed, futuristic party with a live band whose lead, adorned in a glittery sequin outfit throws back to Off the Wall Michael Jackson and also manages to look like a happy Sunny Ade performing at a Yoruba party. This poetic little piece of art is timeless and vibrant.
In the mainstream Nigerian music scene, it is rare to see much thought being put into a video like this. Rarely do the cinematography, setting, and costume of a Nigerian music video catch your eyes like in Odunsi’s Star Signs.
In the altè scene, it is constant. The first Odunsi’s video I watched, Desire, comprises simple yet stunning frames. Then there is Santi, whose videos are often cinematic and full of symbolism. Wurld prefers kaleidoscopic videos, using colors to tell his story; in Paranoid, he uses blue to express the blues of his partner; in Trobul, he uses red which signifies trouble; in Show you Off, he favors a lush purplish palette which reminds you of the beautiful cinematography of The Burial of Kojo.