It is very important what we classify as alternative music in Nigeria. By definition of music genres, Alternative Music is also known as Alternative Rock, a sub-genre of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s and 2000s.
Interestingly, we do not have the same meaning in the Nigerian music sphere. What we call Alternative Music here is anything that isn’t trending or doesn’t have massive exposure in the media (sort of saying it’s the opposite of Pop music).
This is obviously wrong. We have a major problem classifying sounds in the Nigerian music industry. This is because of the lack of infrastructure which sees us not being able to catalogue music properly.
This has not boxed a few artistes who should be placed in other genres into the ‘alternative’ sound which they shouldn’t be in – the likes of R&B singers Adekunle Gold, Simi, Di’ja and rapper Blackmagic are often referred to as Alternative Music acts which shouldn’t be so. They do not fit in this category simply because they do not perform alternative music.
So who are the Alternative Music acts in Nigeria? A clear and shining example is Bez – His debut album ‘Super Sun’ is a testament to this. Another act is soft rock singer Clay. Others include Aramide and Falana.
Has there been growth, yes. Has fast is it, pretty slow but people love it. Alternative acts now have the avenue to express their art; performance opportunities at Afropolitan Vibes and Bobogbiri, both in Lagos (the Mecca of media in Nigeria) are now available for them.
Osagie Alonge is a renowned music journalist. His vast experience of the Nigeria music industry has made him an authority of some sort. He is currently the Editor-In-Chief of Pulse.ng