Fast-rising artist Ayra Starr talks musical influences, individuality and her new release ‘Away’ from her self-titled magnetic and enthralling debut EP

Ayra Starr, the newest signing to Mavin Records, Africa’s No.1 record label has released her self-titled debut EP. A spectacular and assured debut from an international star in the making, ready to hit the ground running. Through the magnetic and enthralling five-track project, Ayra effortlessly showcases her soulful vocals and diverse musical influences, sonically running the gamut of Afro-pop, R&B, trap and alté.

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I was inspired and encouraged by my family to start my music career. They’ve always believed in my gift and gave me the confidence to explore my voice and pursue music. I grew up with music all around me. My aunt and grandmother both sang, and my grandfather played the guitar. My brother would write songs and ask me to sing them. I always understood the power of music, so it was almost inevitable that I ended up doing music professionally.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

I believe that my music is a unique reflection of my experiences. All my joy, pain and triumphs are reflected in my music and that will always set me apart from the crowd. I try to make sure my music comes from an authentic place. My process is also beautifully collaborative. I have influences from around the world and I’ve been blessed to work with incredible producers and creatives that bring in their own distinct styles and cultures to the music.

Your debut release ‘Away’ taken from your self-titled EP is out now. Please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the EP?

I spent about 10 months of focused recording time at Mavin Studios. It was an incredible experience. I met and worked with so many talented and creative people. I recorded dozens of songs but these five were most reflective of my journey and versatility. I also co-wrote most of the songs on the EP with my brother. We both have grown so much together as artists and he definitely brought his special sauce to the creative process.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I’m a very spiritual person. My faith often gives me strength to get through difficult days. When I feel down or uninspired, I pray and spend some quality time with my family. It keeps me grounded and gives me the clarity I need to move ahead.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

That would definitely be ‘DITR’ because I feel like it speaks to a generation that often feels unheard. The pressures that a lot of teens and young adults face are often misunderstood, and it leads them to fall prey to a host of vices. That song lets you know that you’re not alone and that self-harm and drugs aren’t the way forward. It’s tempting to fall into self-destruction as a coping mechanism but you’re special and we need you here.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

I started out doing covers of popular songs and original freestyles on Instagram. I started to gain traction and other young girls started to do their own covers of my original freestyles. Watching that was so humbling and surreal because in a way, I felt like I was watching myself. Knowing that girls like me connected with my music brought me so much joy and inspired me to move forward.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Don’t overthink things. Enjoy the moments as they come instead of projecting onto the future. There is beauty in every stage and it’s hard to enjoy if you’re always worrying about the future and things beyond your control.

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

Honestly, I just want my music to resonate with as many people as possible. I want people to feel heard through my music. I want my fans to feel like family. Whatever comes with that, I’ll be happy with.

Ayra Starr’s self-titled debut EP is available now via all major platforms.

Connect with Ayra Starr

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube 

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