When Don Jazzy recently unveiled a new artist, Ayra Starr on social media, many people were surprised as it wasn’t a few days before when he welcomed Ruger to his brother’s label, Jonzing records.
A few hours following her unveiling, Ayra Star dropped her self-named debut EP. The five tracks EP caught the attention of music lovers and for a peculiar reason, she and Tems share similarities in their vocals range.
- RELATED: 5 Nigerian female artistes to watch out for this year
- RELATED: Top 10 Underrated Nigerian songs in 2020
First of all, Ayra Starr isn’t a replica of Tems, they might sound alike at first listen but when one listens deeper, you will realize that Ayra has a higher pitch while Tems has a bass to her voice.
Secondly, there is a certain Lamba to her song mixed with her use of Pidgin English and Yoruba language.
However, this writer predicts that the comparison between the two won’t be going away any time soon. In fact, we might be looking at Tiwa Savage vs Yemi Alade stan wars 2.0.
Ayra’s entrance into the music industry comes at a time when new school talents are emerging and are setting the pace for a new generation of Young Music Superstars, unfortunately, only 2% of that space is occupied by women.
While a lot of factors are behind this reason, this writer would choose not to talk about it as it is a story for another day.
Don Jazzy is known for his ability for picking talents since his days in Mo’hits, this is a man who has spent almost two decades topping the industry as one of the best music executives.
Ayra’s EP is a coming of age tale of love, heartbreak, and growth. The music fuses components of R&B/Neo-Soul with Afro-pop percussion. While her voice might give a Tems-like sound, part of her music feels like what Wizkid would sound like if he was a woman.
In ‘Away‘, Ayra is a woman fed up with a problematic relationship and decides for the sake of her sanity to put an end to it.
The R’n’B song is the Nigerian equivalent of Chloe and Halle‘s Do It”; maybe that’s why Ayra borrowed a few concepts from their music video.
On ‘Ija‘, Ayra flexes her muscle as she promises to start a fight to defend her place in her man’s life. One interesting thing about the song is its intro which shares similarities to Wizkid‘s ‘Sweet One‘.
While one would say, she samples Wizkid, research would actually reveal that the guitar chords have been used in different other songs such as Young Thug‘s ‘Killed Before‘ and Notorious B.I.G‘s 1994 track, ‘Everyday Struggle‘.
Ayra opens on growing up and indulgence in alcohol and drugs on ‘DITR‘. She sings of every parents’ fear, seeing their child stray from the path they were raised in.
Peer Pressure and social vices are the core of the song’s message. But despite the many flaws a child displays, Ayra pleads with the parents to hold on to their love for their child. “She’s still your baby, nothing has changed, she’s only aging…” She sings
On ‘Sare‘ which means ‘Run’ in English, this writer’s favorite, she tells her lover to run to her as they being together is her definition of a fairytale.
The wordplay on this song is promising and shows the potential of Ayra’s impressive songwriting skills.
The most interesting part of the song is the interpolation of ‘Orere Elejigbo’ by the legendary Nigerian girl group, Lijadu Sisters. Should there be a remix for this song, either Tiwa Savage or Simi would kill it.
- RELATED: New Artists signed to popular Nigerian Record labels in 2020
- RELATED: 5 Nigerian artistes that rose from grass to grace
The Mid-tempo ‘Memories‘ is filled with dreamy promises and love declarations. While she is too serious on this song unlike the rest, her promises are as tight as they come.
Ayra isn’t perfect but she is certainly a diamond in the rough. Just like how 2020 saw Omah Lay blossom into an African star, this writer holds much expectation for Ayra in 2021 if everything is done right.