I’m not writing this article to compare any of the mentioned acts. (Or maybe I am *evil grin*). After promising myself to desist from writing about artists and their craft, I find myself still being opinionated. Maybe it is a curse I can’t bid away. Especially as I believe that there is a certain misconception that should be corrected. Alpha P is what people think Rema is. I don’t say this to undermine the great work that Rema has invested in his sound. Rema is, and will continue to be, a talented act. Nothing can change that.
Inspiration Behind This Article
What inspired this article is the fact that there’s an unconscious comparison between the two artists. Surely, that’s not unusual, considering that they share similarities in sound and style. Rema was introduced to us sometime in 2019 and he immediately won a huge number of people over. His sound was fresh and unique, his style completely different from what was trending. In no time, Rema became a mega star. Alpha P, on the other hand, didn’t get introduced to the Nigerian audience until late in 2019.
Rema and Alpha P in a Band
Many years back, Rema and Alpha created a music band. Two talented acts with great ambition and profound love for music. Together, they manufactured a contemporary and unconventional sound, tapping from different genres such as Hip-hop (trap), RnB, Afrobeats. Life, however, happened and the duo split, eventually following different paths (in the music industry) and pursuing their careers individually. It is rumored that Alpha P used to write their songs back then.
Rema’s Overnight Success
Rema got a head start on Alpha P. He was groomed by D’Prince and was put on a pedestal that many artists only dream of. He was signed to Jonzing World, a sub-label under Mavin Records. He has since released three EPs (Rema, Freestyle, Bad Commando), all of which are commercially successful projects. The projects have cumulatively garnered more than 100 million streams on digital platforms and they have spread beyond Nigerian borders. He has won awards including Headies Award for Next Rated, Soundcity MVP Award for Best New Act. He has also enjoyed an extensive media run in the US and his music has caught the attention of reputable people such as Obama.
Who is Alpha P?
Apparently, not a lot of music lovers know Alpha P. Alpha P is a singer and songwriter that hails from Benin, Edo state. He is currently signed to Universal Music Group (UMG) Nigeria. The 17-year-old act gained prominence when he released his first body of work, King of The Wolves. The project contained interesting songs such as Paloma, Radar, More. It was appreciated by the few people who thought to listen; critics and music lovers alike.
Before the release of the EP, I had heard about Alpha P before. As a matter of fact, I once met him at a friend’s place. He was unusually calm and appeared to prefer solitude. I also remember that another friend of mine played me some of his songs and boasted that the Nigerian audience wasn’t ready for him. He stated that Tiwa Savage is a big fan of Alpha P and strongly believes in his craft.
Alpha P and Rema: Similarities and Differences
There’s a similarity between Rema’s and Alpha P’s sound. And it’s majorly the infusion of trap music/Hip-Hop into Afropop. While Rema tends to explore Afrobeats and Indian sounds with a mix of Hip-hop, Alpha P does more of Alternative RnB and Afrobeats.
The major difference between their sound, however, is in their respective vocal dexterity.
Rema’s style is one of a kind. He is more confident with his look and unbridled in his fashion expression. On the other hand, Alpha P is more laid back. He seems to only wear what he’s comfortable in and has lesser piercings than Rema. They both have their unique sense of fashion.
Image and Branding
When it comes to image and branding, Rema beats Alpha P to it. In fact, one of Rema’s strongest suits is his image. For some reason, Alpha P’s image doesn’t quite resonate with music lovers as much as Rema’s. I guess time will tell.
Alpha P or Rema; Who’s a Better Act?
I’m sorry but if you think you’re going to read about who’s the better artist in this article, not only are you sitting on a long thing, you are seated in the wrong place. There’s no benefit in pitching both artists against each other. It’s unnecessary. What I intend to make the reader understand, however, is that they have a wrong notion of both acts. Wait. I go explain.
Rema’s sound is refreshing. He stormed the Nigerian music industry and switched things up. It didn’t take long before people started referring to Rema as the face of contemporary Afrobeats. Many people saw Rema as the messiah that was sent to save Afrobeats and if we are being honest, he has been playing a pivotal role in the proliferation of the genre. It is only logical to see Rema as the future of Afrobeats.
But, you see, I have to disappoint you a little. When it comes to the music, Rema’s sound doesn’t have the African flavor that characterizes Alpha P’s sound. Listening to Alpha P, there’s a richness in his sound. From his beguiling chants to his lyrical contents, the original Afro vibe is palpable. Alpha P is also a better singer than Rema. His sound is more cohesive and his lyrics are more mature. You should give his EP, King of The Wolves, a try and take some time to listen without seeing him through the same lens as you see Rema.
Now there have been rumors that Rema lifted Alpha P’s sound and made it his. That I do not know and frankly, there’s no reason to fuel the rumors. The two artists can cohabit in the Nigerian music industry and succeed beyond anyone’s imagination. Again, there’s no need for comparison that doesn’t have objective backing. (I know. I know. Rules are meant to be broken, right?)