Alternative music in Nigeria seems to be gaining a whole lot of depth thanks to the new crop of talents venturing into the genre.
The category which has seen scanty patronage from music adherents has thrown the curtain open to some unique set of artistes and one of them is Cill, a female singer and songwriter who is quite skilled with the guitar.
From having to secretly nurture the soulful musician in her due to disapproval from her parents and a few depressing events in respect to her pursuit of music, the soloist has much to say about her growth.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse in August 2017, she expressed hope and a strong conviction that the Alternative music category can in the future overtake mainstream music in its struggle for relevance in Nigeria.
Some would find such expectancy to be a distant dream based on the rather low appreciation for the category which is a less intense version of rock.
The singer took a bold stance when weighing the performance of her brand of music in Nigeria when she stated that the genre has started to reach more audience in the country. There are no known statistics showing the strength of this class of music in terms of following but Cill thinks it has begun its rise to prominence.
"I see it (Alternative Music) now getting more attention," she started.
"There is Industry Night this evening and the lineup are majorly Alternative artistes. Ric Hassani, Amaka, Tjan. I see a shift, a gradual shift. People are beginning to say 'you know what?', it is not every time we want to dance, we want to also appreciate the sound.
"I see that shift. It has been coming slowly and it is now becoming more and more obvious. I think in the future, Alternative musicians are going to be standing side by side if not higher than mainstream artistes."
Cill, who recently put out a Johnny Drille produced single titled 'Baby girl' has shown quite a lot of commitment in perfecting her style. She has adopted a more solemn sound if compared to her feisty performance in her second single, 'Sound the alarm', a track that saw her address the ills noticeable in government.
The songster is well rounded in her choice of music. She surprisingly listed Small Doctor as one of the artistes she listens to. According to her, there is something to learn in every musician, hence, her interest in the 'Gbera' virtuoso.
It was all about a passion to learn and improving her craft as found in her statement justifying why she listens to colleagues who don't necessarily perform her type of songs.
"If you don't listen to other artistes, you won't know what makes them attractive to fans," she submitted.
Just like most music stars who have now built a strong reputation for churning out good songs, Cill has had to toil and make huge sacrifices in a bid to achieve her dreams.
Not a lot of folks would consider resigning from a prestigious organization like KPMG just to pursue another career (music) which offered no guarantee of success at the time. But the singer took that risk with hopes that the hard decision can propel her to greatness.
For Cill whose real names are Chioma Ogbonna, the joy of performing in the presence of a live audience is far more gratifying than any other venture she has been involved in. She has had to push herself beyond limits to fulfill her calling as an Alternative artiste.
The singer, who taught herself how to play a guitar has let nothing hold her back as she works towards achieving her goals. She now shares the stage with genre devotees like Drille, Clay, Nathmac and a lot more who are now leading the campaign to popularize this type of music.
Everything about her journey has proved to be nothing short of divine, just like her stage name which she claimed was revealed to her in a dream. The reality for Cill however is that she has the world at her mercy as she seeks to use her voice as a device to tell all in her path that the best is yet to come.