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Afro-beat sensation Ayra Starr spills the tea on her inspirational journey

West African megastar Ayra Starr's inspiring music journey is only beginning but she continues to attract more people with her progressive sound.

Starr’s lyricism is attracting a strong support base, and more people resonates with her fresh, honest sound that glides effortlessly between R&B, Afrobeats, Afrofunk, and neo-soul.

She says her music is about tales of heartbreak, self-empowerment, and quashing stereotypes in English and her native Yoruba.

Ayra Starr, Image: Supplied

The 20-year-old musician broke into the music scene in 2021 after being discovered by Mavin Records founder Don Jazzy, who spotted a post of her singing an original song, Damaged on Instagram.

In recent months, Starr become the face of Radar Africa - a playlist of new releases that updates every Friday - on Spotify.

The west African artist has now broken boundaries as she features on the streaming platforms international Radar - a roster, comprising artists from across the globe.

She sat down with us to chat about her inspirational journey and the impact of the inclusion on the biggest music playlist.

What are you looking forward to most as Spotify’s latest RADAR artist?

I am really looking forward to being discovered by new people who will find different meanings in my songs.

You know, different people need different things at different times of their life, and that’s what music does - it helps fans connect on a deeper level.

As an artist, it’s such a surreal feeling to know that there are people out there discovering my music and relating to my lyrics. It’s so beautiful.

With RADAR, I am excited for my music to reach new audiences and be shared on a global platform.

For new fans, how would you describe your sound?

For new fans I’d describe my music as soothing but fierce yet soulful.

Who have been some of your biggest musical inspirations?

Some of my biggest musical inspirations are Rihanna, Lijadu Sisters, 2face, Nicki Minaj and a host of others.

You have a pretty musically inclined family. How have they influenced your career?

Oh, in almost every aspect really. Having a family with a musical background gave me the confidence to soar and helped in discovering my love for the art of music.

With their guidance, they encouraged me to pursue my dreams and shared some tips on navigating my career early on.

Growing up in Benin and Lagos, and moving around a lot with your family, must have brought with it some vastly different experiences from a cultural and personal standpoint. How has that played a role in your music?

There’s nothing better than having a broad perspective when making music.

Coming from a family that’s deeply rooted in different cultures gave me the opportunity to view the world through more than one lens and contributed to my sound.

What message do you want listeners to take away from your music?

I think my music conveys the fact that I am not scared to spread my wings wide and I would love for listeners to feel like that too. Bet on yourself and never back down, keep going.

Do you have any advice for other emerging artists?

Know who you are, know your worth and do you respectfully but unapologetically.

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