Alté; Defining its existence and rise in youth counterculture

Author: Gboyega

Cover image: Emit


If you are as hip as you think you are, you must have heard of the alté wave. Though fairly new, its been around for a while now. It was popularized by Odunsi (the engine), a singer and a producer whose music is characterized by minimalist beats and lo-fi production with lyrics deeper than the Mariana Trench but easy to understand. It first came to my knowledge when i watched the video for Odunsi’s “In the morning“. I was hooked immediately, the way the beat progressed just before you heard his smooth, velvety voice croon “in the morning / you’ll be looking for me in the morning”. That was it, i just googled his name ( i didn’t have soundcloud then) to check his other songs and i wasn’t disappointed.

Fast forward to sometime later and a song called “alté cruise”was released, finally giving the sub-genre its name. Odunsi would later give props to BOJ, another alternative act for coining the term and actually birthing the genre. It is important to note that the alté wave is more than just the music, it’s more. It’s the way they communicate, the willingness of its followers to take risks musically or fashion wise which can be attributed to the fact that its followers are millenials and generation Z kids.


They’ve even been getting props from A-list artists, few weeks ago, Davido appeared on an Odunsi track, “DIVINE” and one of Wizkid’s old tweets was dug up showing him shouting out Santi. The likes of Nonso Amadi, Ajebutter and Odunsi were featured on MI Abaga Rendezvous album allowing them to reach a much wider audience, appearance at native magazine festival, nativeland and performing at shows like the 30BG concert with feats like this, it’s safe to say that the future of the Nigerian music industry is in safe hands.

You can listen to odunsi’s new album rare.

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