In late 2019, an intriguing new talent named Ayra Starr was discovered by the outstanding record producer, Don Jazzy, at age 17. Arguably Nigeria’s most prolific record producer to date, Don Jazzy co-founded Mo’ Hits Records in 2004 with Afrobeat sensation D’banj, going on to sign a stream of successful artists such as Wande Coal, Dr Sid, D’Prince and K-Switch. Don Jazzy later founded Mavin Records in 2012, not long after the closure of Mo’ Hits Records, and signed a new league of artists, including Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, Di’ja, Reekado Banks, Ladipoe and Johnny Drille.
In 2019 the award-winning producer and label boss introduced the world to Rema, who has gone on to achieve international fame thanks to hits like “Dumebi”, “Lady” and “Woman”, and Ayra Starr is just the latest addition to his all-star (or should we say, all-starr?) line-up. The stellar artist signed a record deal with Mavin Records in 2020 and released her debut EP, the self-titled Ayra Starr, in January 2021 to rave reviews. Ayra recently announced the release date of her impending debut album, 19 & Dangerous, via social media. The project is expected to hit music platforms on August 6th 2021. However, as Ayra Starr was only introduced to the world half a year ago, there’s still a lot we don’t know about her, so MusicWormCity has done some digging to bring you five interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Ayra Starr.
1. Her real name is Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe
Her stage name, Ayra, is an Arabic name that means ‘highly respected’ or ‘eye-opening’.
2. She comes from Edo State
While the budding superstar hails from Edo State in the southern region of Nigeria. However, growing up she spent most of her time between Cotonou and Lagos State.
3. She has a younger brother named Dami Aderibigbe who is also a musician.
Known by the moniker MILAR, he is credited for co-writing the single, “Away” from Ayra’s debut EP, Ayra Starr, as well as Johnny Drille’s song, “Mystery Girl”.
4. Ayra Starr was discovered via Instagram
She started out by uploading covers of her favourite songs by artists like Omah Lay, 2Baba and Andra Day and later on, she summoned the courage to upload her original song “Damage” which was co-written by her brother, Dami Aderibigbe. The song went viral, catching Don Jazzy’s attention and not long after that, the music boss reached out to her via DMs. She met with him at the Mavin Records studio 3 days later and the rest is history.
5. Ayra Starr is the third female artist to join Mavin Records
Afropop superstar Tiwa Savage joined the label in 2012 but left the label amicably in 2019 when she signed a deal with Universal Music Group. In 2014, Don Jazzy also signed female artist, Di’ja – real name Hadiza Blell-Olo, whose debut single “Rock Steady” was nominated for Best Urban/R&B Single at the Canadian Radio Music Awards in 2009.