No summer in England is complete without the sonics of afroswing pulsating from cars, houses and parks across the country. The concoction of jazz, hip hop and electronica has broadened the scope of British music, diversifying pop and paving the way for artists like Big Tobz and Not3s to succeed in a very saturated market. What these artists have in common, is their heritage. They are all of Nigerian descent, where afrobeat and afrofunk formed through the perseverance of pioneers like Fela Kuti and Tony Allen.
In 2019, Lagos is a completely different place to how it was for Kuti and Allen in the 70s, the age of the internet has broken down the barriers blocking native stars like Skepta and Wizkid from their homeland - influencing young creatives in Nigeria to establish new music, fashion and skate scenes that were non existent a decade or so ago. The country is by far the most exciting in Africa at the moment; watching the movement from afar has instigated a burning curiosity between us here at Repeat that we feel is essential to be shared with everyone.
Run by Skepta’s manager Grace Ladoja, the Nigerian Homecoming festival is a celebration of how impactful Niger’s culture has been on the rest of the world. It brings international stars and local talent together, instigating collaboration and cross over in the worlds of music and fashion. 2019’s line up expressed a new generation of musician’s hailing from Lagos; Santi, Rema and Odunsi (The Engine) are leading a new wave of sonics called ‘Alté’ and they all featured on last years line up. The genre/subculture amplifies traditional African rhythms, whilst drawing on sounds from dancehall, trap and afrobeat.
It is difficult to find places with as prominent subculture as Nigeria, but ‘Alté’ is completely unrestrained, free from the shackles of industry. Santi’s new album ‘Mandy And The Jungle’ uproots soothing summer bangers and moody, introspective melodies to complete a project intrinsic to the new scene coming out of Nigeria.
Not only does the homecoming festival cover musical talent, it also sheds light on the thriving fashion scene coming from Lagos. Angelo Baque’s AwakeNY collaborated with streetwear label ‘Motherlan’, who Skepta has avidly promoted; he included member Slawn in his ‘Dystopian Society’ collection, and they are paving the way for Lagos’ skate scene to succeed on the international stage. Places+Faces did a capsule of tie die tees, caps and glasses, whilst local brand like WafflesnCream and Vivendi showcased their steez with some exquisite exclusives.
Publications like ID magazine and Highsnobiety have been supporting these boundary breaking labels over the last year; whilst a lot of western streetwear seems so sincere, Motherlan, Vivendi and WafflesnCream are bringing eccentricity and entertainment to fashion by embracing the colourful nature of their culture.
2018’s World Cup wouldn’t have been the same without the Super Eagles. Secretly, they were everyone’s second favourite team, and the shirt Nike created for the squad was the most sought after of the whole competition. In just 10 seconds, the jersey had sold out. Replicas popped up everywhere, but it was near on impossible to cop the official shirt, which Nigeria flexed casually throughout the group stages.
Although they didn’t make the knock outs, the competition displayed just how cool of a country Nigeria is, and the family orientated nature of the nation. England can definitely take a leaf or two out of the way the fans conducted themselves despite a slightly disappointing series of performances.
Creativity often comes when people are met by marginalisation and strain. Historically, the best of music comes as a form of anarchy, or a backlash to the authorities that prevent people from making art. Naija's political state is suffering through the rule of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, extortion is high and poverty is too. When people have little though, they innovate. This is happening in Nigeria, and the artistry that is breeding from the country is some of the most unique and captivating out there.