The New Wave of Nigerian Street Musicians Is Riveting

The Nigerian music industry is very diverse. There are different sides (which make the Nigerian music industry up) who all have their unique sound and a certain audience they sell to. We have those who make music for the mainstream and are at the top of the food chain. They are the major acts who have the largest audience and are all about pop music. Some of them include top acts like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tekno, Mayorkun, Teni, and many others.


Another set of Nigerian artists are Alte musicians. Their music doesn’t appeal to a huge audience. Their approach toward music is from a place of their love for art and aesthetics. Their sound is usually different and they hardly bother about going mainstream so they don’t ever water their art down. The Alte acts derive pleasure in being sophisticated. They are the minority in the Nigerian music industry, going about their craft differently than the pop artists. They include Odunsi, DRB, Santi, Tay Iwar, Lady Donli, and more.

Street artists are another community of musicians in Nigeria. They make music for those who reside in the streets and live in ghettos and the less privileged areas in Nigeria. Just like pop musicians, they also appeal to a large audience. In the streets, their music is highly appreciated as those who are struggling to survive in a country that’s constantly trying to kill them live vicariously through their favorite street musicians. They mostly emanate from Agege, a place in Lagos popular for street music and different dance styles. These street artists include Olamide, Small Doctor, CDQ, Slimcase, Zlatan Ibile, and others.

Zlatan Ibile

Small Doctor

A new wave of young street artists is currently on the rise. In recent times, we have seen artists who make music for the streets gain prominence. These artists are reinventing themselves and are using available avenues to introduce their music to the world. With freestyle videos, they are capturing the attention of music lovers. A typical example is Picazo Rhap who got signed to Olamide’s YBNL after creating buzz for himself by uploading different freestyle videos on Instagram and YouTube. His friend, Yomi Blaze, also got himself a deal with the label.

Picazo Rhap

Yomi Blaze

Just like Picazo and Yomi Blaze, another set of street artists have emerged as their videos are going viral on social media. These boys have danced their way into the hearts of many with their freestyle videos. Their sound is fresh and unique. Their confidence, surreal. They are very creative with their art. Lil Frosh, who also refers to himself as Eruku Makanaki, and Zinoleesky are fast gaining momentum and propelling to lofty heights. They have a unique sense of fashion which has made some brand them 'Street Alte'. Lil Frosh featured Small Doctor on his hit single Firi Yahoo which is getting so much love and reception. They are steadily becoming the face of street pop music and it is quite interesting to see.

Lil Frosh, Zinoleesky, and crew

Lil Frosh and Small Doctor

Street music is original. It contains several elements of Nigerian culture. It tells the pain, joy, highs and lows of a typical underprivileged Nigerian. It is honestly entertaining to see how street artists are making use of different platforms to introduce themselves to the Nigerian audience.



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