Shattering Norms with Alte: A conversation with AYLØ

AYLØ’s alte is an ideological platform for norm shattering norms.

AYLØ is a fast-rising  rapper, singer, songwriter and beatsmith is one of the seminal Nigerian creatives, alongside the likes of SantiOdunsi The Engine and others who are pioneering the fusion of sounds Nigeria Africa, popularly known as alté, which is currently making waves, disrupting the sound and culture on the continent, and quickly gaining traction and attention internationally.

Firmly steeped in alternative R&B, neo-soul, hip hop and afropop music sensibilities, while drawing inspiration from a widely varied pool including Fela Kuti, DMX, Whitney Houston, Sade, Herbie Hancock, Soulection, J. Cole, and Andre 3000, AYLØ’s soulful, warm and hazy sounds, as highlighted on his fan-favourite cult classics like ‘Island Girl’, ‘Gardens’ and ‘LITT’, have amassed over a million streams on Soundcloud and Spotify, alone.

On August 2, 2019, he released dnt’dlt, his third project in three years. The first was Honest Conversations EP which was released in 2016, the second was 2017 mixtape, < insert project name\ >.

What is the inspiration behind ‘Paris’?

Paris was inspired by an intimate connection. It’s about appreciating the beauty in everything. Especially our individual journies.

What do you think about the term ‘alternative artist’? Do you like being addressed this way?

Not really but I guess people have to be able to define something unless it doesn’t exist to them. So it’s cool and I made an alternative soul synthesis project so I must have helped. Laughs.

What is dnt’dlt about?

More experiments. Each song matching the totality of its purpose. Tones and textures, lyrics. Just more. More me on production as well, it’s another stepping stone for me and my self discovery.

I like to think that alte is more than a sound or a fusion of sounds. I think it is a revolution. What do you think?

Correct. An ideological platform for norm shattering really.

How long have you been working on DNT DLT?

12 months.

So, why the long silence before ‘Paris’ and DNT DLT?

I lost faith at some point. I was depressed at another. Growing through it all. I guess things take time. Content.

Can you tell me about Odunsi and Le Mav’s role in the making of ‘Paris’?

We just vibed in the studio for a few hours and came up with the beat. Then they left me with it.

Read next: Santi’s Mandy & The Jungle embodies the new standard of alté scene