by Ogbeche Ohotuwo
There’s a musical revolution happening right now, and Santi is a huge part of the movement. Other players in this are Odunsi, Tems, Lady Donli, among others. These alté creatives are redefining music which appeals to the Nigerian audience, particularly young people. If you grew up finding it difficult to express yourself, or you struggled to find relatable yet exceptional music, Santi and his kin are here for you.
Santi, otherwise known as Osayaba Andrew Ize-Iyamu, has helped to bring the Nigerian alté scene to the limelight. His versatility as a singer-rapper, and his growth range shows fans his credible versatility. According to Santi himself, he is like “so many people in one,” with “so many characters to his being.”
His album, “Mandy & The Jungle,” released in May 2019 is firmly in the alternative genre of music, and is also quite popular with the Nigerian music crowd. Santi and his peers are currently steering people’s musical tastes: it’s like making a delightful discovery of songs you never imagined, but you find yourself nodding excitedly to the new rhythms.
Songs on the Mandy & The Jungle album like Freaky, Raining Outside, Raw Dinner and Maria hit the market squarely to the delight of fans. Since then, Santi’s popularity and acceptance have been steadily increasing, even among older musicians in the game such as MI and Naeto C.
Interestingly, Santi was first a fan of MI. He had earlier told GQ magazine in an interview that the first record he ever bought which “really pumped me up” was MI’s album.
But Santi has been working on his craft for a long time. He was first known as “OzzyB” and was gradually finding his footing within the scene before he found a different, perhaps more original way to express himself. Santi came out with “The Birth of Santi” appropriately warning us to prepare for the revolution he was going to bring.
After this came “Suzie’s Funeral” and with this, we could see the glow up! One remarkable thing about Santi is unique expression of style, pizzazz and creativity. It is also awesome to see people, particularly young Nigerians, respond positively to his gifts. Songs like Gangster Fear and Purple Juice on this album really resonated with crowds, especially on YouTube.
Today, Santi is proving that there is more to his art which he has not revealed. Young Nigerian musical creatives keep evolving their art and showing us their boundless creativity, and we absolutely love to see it.
Santi is set to star in the Late Night Show with Daisy Ola. The “Santino family,” which the show talks about, is made up of the characters Hamma Santino, Santino Criminal, Santino and the leader, Cruel Santino. In case you haven’t guessed, all these characters are the Santino you know, perhaps his way of revealing yet another crop of many personalities along with their different expressions and creativity.
Santi’s artistry has previously been described as a ‘cultural rebellion’. Clearly, this couldn’t be more apt because his range, his consistency, and his methods of finding new ways to stir Nigeria’s musical scene is laudable. “The name, the game, everything is changing” and we cannot wait to see what Fridays with Daisy Ola bring to us.