THE UNBOUND ALTÉ: Nigeria’s Genre-Bending Music

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To define popular music from Africa, one goes with Afrobeats or Afro fusion, acceptable blanket terms for new pop music from Africa, but in this very continent, there are very many sub-genres that help shape the modern urban sound even as we acknowledge the traditional genres that modern music borrow from. These genres are limitless, unique and lately have become even harder to box or classify, it’s a take it all for the lively African creative industry. In Nigeria Alté is the new sound taking this form.

Well, the idea of what the term is just as you thought; alternative, the movement being championed by a group of young musicians from the West African nation’s urban spheres. Lagos might arguably be the headquarters of the Afrobeats, but the ever creative young inhabitants of this city continue to invent and create more different music.

The birth of Alté is attributed to the likes of Odunsi The Engine, Wavy The Creator, Lady Donly and Santi among others, their music is a creation that fuses highlife, afrobeats, funk with dancehall, electronic, R&B, Hip Hop among others, their type of sampling weaves through the music eras of the 70s to the 80s, bumpy 90s to the active 2000s, to the inspired 2010s, each of their projects providing a unique perspective of how much the different eras feed into the Alté sound.

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