meet santi: a musician at the heart of lagos's alté scene
“The creative scene in Nigeria is filled with people who can change the world with their minds,” says 26-year-old musician Santi.
This story originally appeared in i-D's The Homegrown Issue, no. 355, Spring 2019.
“The music scene right now is really amazing, like an open world full of different destinations where each yields a fruitful addition. The possibilities are endless.” Five years ago, Santi moved from his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, to study in Dubai. He now lives between the two. “Lagos is fundamental to my existence,” the 26-year-old musician and director says of the fast-paced energy, the individuals and especially the cult Nigerian horror movies that filled his childhood and inspired so much of his aesthetic. But Dubai offered up something new; the kind of alone-time that led to him experiment more and land on his signature dancehall-with-a-difference sound. “It opened my mind and my eyes,” he says. “The photographers, designers and musicians are immensely gifted, and the way they support each other and show genuine love allowed me to learn from them and implement that back home.”
Santi is now a key player in the alté scene, a game-changing new wave of Lagos creatives pushing boundaries by celebrating individuality and freedom of expression in a culture more accustomed to fitting in. He and his collaborators are known for their lo-fi nostalgia, for fusing their Nigerian roots with western influences. “The creative scene in Nigeria is filled with people who can change the world with their minds,” he says as he gears up to release his debut album. “The ultimate goal is for all of us to show the world what we can do. What we create is pure, from the rawest parts of our soul, and the more people that receive it, the better.”
- the homegrown issue