Lagos has always been a buzzing urban hub whose cultural output has reshaped Nigeria’s artistic and cultural aesthetics. If it is crucial to sing the praise of the outstanding talents of the past, it’s also worth keeping an eye on the younger generation. Often thought to be withdrawn and alienated from society, somehow corrupt by social media, Lagos youth is actually playing a fundamental role in pushing the boundaries of mainstream culture to promote paradigm-shifting transformations. In fact, there’s a whole new movement of creatives which has been successfully taking a prominent position in the Nigerian artistic landscape, the Alté scene.
Alté means alternative and it defines the Nigerian youth known for creating, showcasing and promoting fashion styles and genre-bending music which strongly differ from the widespread standards. The Alté subculture has quickly become a real trend, so much so that it’s easy to find “guides to the Nigerian Alté scene,” especially compiled for those who want to find out what Alté cool kids are up to.
Well, we know what Santi—one of the scene’s spearheads alongside Odunsi and Zamir—has been up to. The promising young artist has recently released his latest track, Rapid Fire, featuring South African rapper Shane Eagle and Ghanaian singer Amaarae. Unpretentiously confident and keeping things very simple, starting from the slouchy nineties look, Santi makes the listeners rock with his dancehall inspired flow and mellow synths. Inspired by Nollywood movies, Santi directed the video himself, doubling up the nineties’ nostalgia with grainy VHS footage and groovy vibes which well describe the artistic attitude of Lagos creative youth.
Rapid Fire explores the themes of freedom and rage by following a young group of outcasts, The Lost Boys, as they enjoy life. The visual follows the previous VHS style videos also directed by Santi, Freaky, which includes the trailer of a spiritual thriller by the controversial evangelist Helen Ukpabio, and Alté Cruise feat. Zamir and Odunsi, which captures glimpses of daily life of the thriving members of Lagos Alté scene.
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