An insight into the uprising of Nigeria’s most popular subgenre
Most Nigerians have at some point asked themselves this question, WTF is Alté? What’s so special about a group of young creatives across the spheres of Music, Fashion, and Art, honing a cult-like collective that has rapidly grown to become a haven and a unique community for like minds. Take a breath and ease your mind.
The Alté community is more than just another music subgenre, unconventional fashion, or aesthetically pleasing hairstyles, tattoos, and piercings. This collective encompasses free-spirited individuals poised with the sole purpose of living life exactly how they want to live; fair and freely.
‘WTF is Alté?’ portrays the journey of friends and colleagues who built their culturally diverse community despite cultural and political constraints and have successfully carved an ever-growing, ever-welcoming niche that champions individuality in Nigeria.
Culture pioneers such as Teezee, Boj, Santi, Odunsi (the engine), and Lady Donli are amongst the crop of creatives who championed this subculture through their music, video aesthetics, and lifestyle. The core idea is to stay true to oneself without conforming to existing traditions or cultural restrictions. This simple story aims to inform conversations that surround the Alté community with insights from its defining members.
At a glance, Alté in music spans through the psychedelic aesthetic of Santi’s videos and lifestyle, the rasping soulfulness of Tems, the galvanizing aura of Pretty Boy D-O’s music, and the Nollywood-inspired vibe that serenades Lady Donli‘s Artistry.
Without bias in fashion, it is the radically and sexually progressive designs of Mowalola and Ashley Okoli or WavyTheCreator‘s eclectic style. The Alté culture is also prevalent in photography through Tse’s riveting and galvanic photos and through the lenses of his colleagues.
As the Alté community rapidly grows amidst adamant stereotyping and gatekeeping, there is increasing adoption of young Nigerian creatives to give them an outlet for self-expression.
What started as a subgenre of music and fashion in the Nigerian entertainment scene has exploded into mainstream media and has seen the likes of Burna Boy, Tems, Rema, and Arya Starr, tap from the self-expressive aura to express and build their artistry. This rapidly growing community leaves nothing short of a pint in the mainstream entertainment scene and is poised to stay.
Watch the full documentary on WTF is Alté here.