Cracking The Alté Movement Code

by Dikos Nestaa


If you type Alté Movement into Google search box, Google would tell you that people also ask who Santi is. This is because Santi, a young vibrant rapper/singer from Nigeria championed the course of this movement. He didn’t do it alone; Santi has the support of other artistes like Odunsi the engine and Zamir.

What is Alté?

The word Alté simply means alternative. And for the artiste that identifies with the ‘Alté movement, they combine different genres of music together, expressing their art beyond music but through intense creativity in other forms of art. 

It’s no news that Afrobeats has taken over the representation of music in Africa and Nigeria especially. Nigeria has enjoyed major international breakthroughs through Afropop and other sub-genres under Afrobeats. Top Afropop artists, like Wizkid and Davido, constantly shines at the top of global music charts due to collaborations with international artists. Nigeria’s Burna Boy was nominated for a ‘Best World Album’ at the Grammys, this goes to show how Afrobeats stand as a major representative of Nigerian music.

These new generations of artists are defining their own path, shifting away from the mainstream and creating a unique sound. Just like Afrobeats, Alté is also made up of a different range of styles, Alte draws inspiration from pop, dancehall, Soul, indie, R&B and many more. The DRB members Teezee and Boj were the first to coin Alté in their 2014 track “Paper” (“The ladies like me because I’m an Alté guy”)

The style of these ‘cool kids’ didn’t sit well with the citizens of Twitter, Nigeria. The Alté movement got a backlash from the social media network that houses a lot of Nigerian youths; they were criticized for what they wear and how they look. Some were of the opinion that the movement is opened to a bunch of rich kids just trying to feel special.  

The Alté’s kind of music is eclectic and definitely different if you’re a fan of Willow Smith and like any of alternative R&B songs, you’ll get what the Alté movement creates, an alternative to the mainstream. Wouldn’t it be cool to have options?

According to Santi, "Alté represents freedom, genuine love, expression, and most importantly the reminder to never suppress your ability." This movement is all about staying outside the box, never caged but wild and free.

Regardless of standing differently, these cool kids still roll with other seasoned artists. Santi has this to say when asked about connecting with mainstream artistes, "we grew up listening to a lot of them so we have a huge amount of respect and love for them… the ones we know and communicate with, whenever we meet, it’s always love. It’s always great to learn from them when we have the chance."

If we’re willing to look beyond cultural biases and more open-minded to the new age of music evolution, we’ll see that Alté is challenging the creativity of Nigerian youths in creating music. Not restricted by trends and able to showcase great artistic expressions.

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Just a regular guy

1 year ago

Alte is Life!!!

Brilliant analyis


Afrobeats enthusiast. I love music

1 year ago

I love that african music is recognizing genres. I particularly love the Alte movement.