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5 Talented Nigerian Alté Singers You Should Know

Posted by on June 9th, 2020 Under Music


Alternative music is classified as anything that is eclectic, original, or challenging than most popular music. The term intends to give a platform for artistes to break from the norm. It gives space for an artiste’s tendency to be innovative and reinvent genres. It has led to a small group of Nigerian artistes to define themselves as part of a movement called ‘Alté.

Alte guys? Who are the Alte guys? According to the Urban Dictionary, they are ‘a bunch of Lagos kids who wear ugly glasses and oversized jeans with ugly shirts all in the name of being different, they also wear dirty sneakers which why they look like miscreants. They listen to weird music in the name of being edgy but in reality, they are stupid. You might spot them at a party flocking together like cattle if they want to be mad they show up to motive shirtless’.

Obviously, this is one person’s opinion so they shouldn’t be judged based on that. A lot of listeners don’t seem to understand them in terms of their eccentricity and vibe, what they offer is not regular so it makes them easy preys for criticism. Alternative music is not for everyone, so it is fine if you can’t relate to it.

Although Alte has been around for a while, the use of the term ‘Alte’ can be traced back to 2010, when it was coined by DRB Lasgidi members Teezee and BOJ around the same time Black Magic started gaining prominence for his alternative music. It has also been credited to the members of the group, LOS. Alté was born out of a rebellion against mainstream music.

Sadly, alté artistes aren’t catering to a mass audience yet as many of them began their careers on SoundCloud, which allows performers to have full control of their music and its promotion.  But now they seem to be getting more recognition in the music industry. In this article, we would be listing 5 Nigerian alter singers you should know.

The DRB LasGidi (previously known as “Rap Royals”) Nigerian musical group was formed in 2007 by BOJ, Teezee, and Fresh L. In 2012, they released the DJ Caise produced single, ‘Toyin”, which became an instant hit especially among the new wave of young listeners at the time of its release.


BOJ is the stage name for Nigerian singer Bolaji Ojudokan. Initially of the group DRB, the singer released a mixtape #BOTM (Boj on the Microphone) in 2013 which saw some success. Also known as the Alte bank of Africa, he has worked with Davido, Reminisce, Show Dem Camp and Olamide, and Tiwa Savage. The singer is popularly known for his smash collaboration “‘Awolowo” single which features a trio of Ghanaian acts: Kwesi Arthur, Darkovibes, and Joey B. The song also received a Nigerian version that had Falz, Ycee, and Fresh L on it.

Fresh L.

Fresh L, whose real names are Ladi Ladenegan is the longstanding member of DRB. The rapper is known for his stunning debut EP, SUNS, and has worked with notables like Davido, Dremo, and others.

The Alté pioneer Teezee, also known as Teni Zaccheaues JR, has always been the type of slightly below-the-radar artist that fans connect within a fiercely personal way. The rapper is the founder of Lagos-based African culture magazine, Native Mag, and is a well-known face within the music scene. He is known for his single with Skepta and BOJ, “Like To Party


Temilade Openiyi, known as Tems, is a Nigerian alt-R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer. In 2018 she recorded Mr Rebel – a song of her own composition. She gained prominence with her smash hit “Try Me” and she was recruited American singer Khalid to join him with fellow Nigerian Davido on an Afrobeats remix of “Know Your Worth“. Tems is also known for tracks like “Mr Rebel” which bagged two Headies nominations, “Looku Looku”  and “These Days“.

Odunsi The Engine

Referred to as The Dark Prince of Afro-Pop, Odunsi, born Bowofoluwa Olufisayo Odunsi, created buzz around his synth-pop-meets-R&B music that smoothly infuses afrobeat production. He was born and raised alongside his three siblings in Lagos, Nigeria, Odunsi’s interest in R&B and soul was nurtured by artistes like Sade, Prince, Donell Jones, and King Sunny Ade. The singer is known for his EP “EP Better Days / Wetin Dey” and has worked with pop star Runtown and British singer, RAYE.

Lady Donli

Zainab Elizabeth Donli, known as Lady Donli, is an alternative R&B, hip hop, alternative jazz and Afrobeat singer and songwriter. Lady Donli was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the youngest of six children. She spent her early years in Abuja and Kaduna, where her dad is from.

After her secondary school education, she moved to the United Kingdom where she obtained a degree in law, from the University of Surrey. She was also influenced by the music of Brenda Fassie, Angelique Kidjo, Asa and Erykah Badu, as well as Nigeria’s pop pioneers. Donli has also worked with new-age music acts like Adekunle Gold, Nonso Amadi, Tomi Thomas, M.I Abaga, Mr Eazi, SDC, Davido, Ayuu, Odunsi the Engine, and Tay amongst others.

In 2018, Lady Donli lent her vocals on a number of projects. She teamed up with Nigerian rapper, Boogey on ‘Motion’ and veteran MC Terry Tha Rapman on ‘Open Letter‘. She also worked with Mr Eazi on his sophomore album, ‘Life is Eazi Vol.2‘, including a featured track off M.I Abaga’s A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl album and in 2019, she entered the music scene with the explosive banger, “Cash” which earned a Davido Remix


Osayaba Ize-Iyama was born on June 3rd, 1992. Growing up in Nigeria, he was a big fan of rap music mostly because of the limited choices he had. Artistes like 2Pac and DMX inspired his initial direction as an artist as he started out as OzzyB. With his Diaries of a Loner journey, he garnered love and was recognized as an underground rapper and even recognition from Wizkid. Apart from the music, Santi has had a good eye for creating visuals and it shows in the music videos he has directed. Santi is known for his critically acclaimed album ” On Mandy & the Jungle”

The post 5 Talented Nigerian Alté Singers You Should Know appeared first on tooXclusive.

Source: Entertainment

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