Alternative Music And Its Misconception In The Nigerian Music Industry…
For the longest time, I have been hearing about alternative, but I never got my head around its true meaning. Is it a music genre or just a tag for songs that don’t belong to a genre? (if this is even possible).
Alternative music (also known as just ‘’alternative) started in the 1980’s and became well-known in the 1900’s – as stated by 1031alternativemusic. It began from underground bands (bands that are not well-known) from the 80’s and it has grown over time in the music industry worldwide.
These underground bands created music but didn’t go into any known genre of music like classical, country, blues, hip-hop, or pop. They played in small pubs, clubs and parties, and were only known through an informal form of music exchange.
Most importantly, they were not signed to any label.
However, music in the 21st century made alternative music popular and more sub-genres, like rock, have been added to it.
In Nigeria today, artists like Falana, Nonso Amadi, Tay Iwar, Odunsi, and Santi (who is also known as Ozzy b) have been labelled as alternative naija artists, but why are they called alternative artists?
Probably because they have not completely reached the mainstream audience, yet.
I would say that the Nigerian music industry does not, fully, understand the whole idea behind tagging a song as alternative because songs that are in the mainstream, like Adekunle Gold’s pick up, was identified by The Headies Awards as an alternative song.
Is this because the sound is different?
Is tagging your music as ‘’alternative’’ limiting? Dunnie, a Nigerian musician, believes that it is and no artist will want to label his or her music as ‘’alternative’’.
‘’We have someone like Adekunle Gold whose music is different, but he does not call himself an alternative artist,’’ Dunnie Said.
‘’Rice Hassani said he does Pop, Adekunle Urban Highlife, Simi Afropop/Soul. That is the sound. It is different, yes, but has mainstream value,’’ she added.
In Nigeria today, alternative artists have been given different avenues to perform their songs live at the Afropolitan Vibes (in Lagos), Bantu Studio (in Abuja), Bogobiri (in Lagos), and probably in many bars and restaurants.
It is safe to say that the Nigerian artists listed above are called alternative artists not because they have not identified their style of music.
This genre of music is here to stay in Nigerian music industry as there so many amazing artists, who make good music but are not in the mainstream, yet.
What are your thoughts on alternative music?
See you soon,