Odunsi the Engine: Representing the New Generation

Spotlight on Odunsi the Engine, a rising star of Nigeria's Alté scene.

By Homecoming

Homecoming Voices: Odunsi (The Engine) (2018)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Meet musician Odunsi the Engine, a rising star of Nigeria's Alté scene.

Odunsi (The Engine) performs onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Odunsi the Engine is a fast rising star of the Lagos alté scene. Born Bowofoluwa Olufisayo Odunsi, he has created global buzz around his synth-pop-meets-R&B music that smoothly infuses afrobeats production. Establishing this unique sound on his debut album, Time Of Our Lives (2016), Odunsi followed up with a second album, rare, in 2018. As an artist, Odunsi flies a flag for a new wave of Nigerian creativity - often flying in the face of traditional gatekeepers at a time when Nigerian culture is undergoing big shifts, spearheaded by the younger generation.

Here Odunsi tells us his thoughts on the changes currently being experienced in Nigerian pop culture.

Odunsi (The Engine) performs onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

As an artist, do you think you are a voice for your fellow Nigerians?
I feel like I represent a newer generation of young africans. Nigerians who are older may not understand. For them it’s just like ‘why are you doing this? This is not Nigerian’.

Odunsi (The Engine) and friends backstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Why do you think there is a generational shift in thinking?
Theres so much money being made from a particular narrative. But for us it’s like ‘what do you mean?’ We grew up watching cable TV, things from Asia, the US, the UK, we have way more access so it’s harder for us to be one thing.

Odunsi (The Engine) performs onstage. (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Do you think that Nigeria is becoming more diverse and open minded in it’s thinking, from a culture perspective?
The message of diversity just means when we don’t see enough representation in different ways, we only have a perception in place. The culture is what you grew up with, but it’s always changing. So when people say ‘this isn’t our culture’ because it was done fifty years ago, they always get that wrong. Because culture always changes.

Odunsi (The Engine), DRB and Motherlan onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

So what does culture mean to you?
It’s more about self-realisation. Who you are. What you could be. That for me is more important because I feel like eventually, because of the internet, we’re all going to be global citizens. What do you bring to wherever you’re going?

Santi and Odunsi (The Engine) perform onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Credits: Story

Founded in 2017, Homecoming is an annual festival of cultural exchange between Africa and the world. Held in Lagos, Nigeria, Homecoming puts a spotlight on African talent – from its up and comers to its biggest stars in Music, Fashion, Art, and Culture. Beyond the annual festival moment, Homecoming focuses its efforts on uniting a global community of musicians, artists, designers and creatives, through collaborations and partnerships between these trailblazers and international brands, institutions and thought leaders.


Find out more via our website, Instagram and YouTube Channel.


Homecoming thanks Odunsi for his involvement in making this exhibit happen!

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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