Born in Benin on June 14, 2002, Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe is a Nigerian singer better known by her stage name Ayra Starr. Before deciding to pursue a career in music, she started a fashion career with Quove Model Management when she was 16 years old.
She posted her first original song to her page in December 2019 after covering a number of well-known songs on Instagram. Don Jazzy, a record executive, noticed her as a result and signed her to his Mavin Records label.
Early in 2021, Starr broke through to the general public with her self-titled debut extended play and the single “Away,” which spent two weeks in a row at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 chart and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top Triller Global chart. This success paved the way for the 2021 release of Starr’s debut full-length mixtape, 19 and Dangerous.
The mixtape, which was primarily classified as Afropop and R&B, received positive reviews from critics and produced two Nigerian top forty hits. The lead single, “Bloody Samaritan,” reached the top of the Top 50 chart, making history as the first solo track by a female artist to do so. Starr made her debut on the Pandora Predictions chart and peaked at number three on Billboard’s Next Big Sound on August 28, 2021.
With the release of her song “Rush,” Starr would later gain widespread recognition on a global scale. The song made the charts in a number of countries, including Switzerland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, where it peaked at Number 24.
With the song, Starr made history by becoming the first African female artist under the age of 30 to reach 100 million views on a single YouTube video. She also broke a record by becoming the only female artist from Nigeria to chart a solo song on the UK official Singles Chart.
Sarah Aderibigbe’s Early life
Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, who was born on June 14, 2002, was raised in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as Cotonou, Benin. She has four siblings and was born to Nigerian parents from Delta and Kwara States. Due to the frequent moves caused by her father’s business during her high school years, she found it difficult to make lasting friendships.
Her interest in singing is largely a result of the fact that she was raised in a musically inclined family. When she was ten years old, she started writing songs with her brother and singing in a high school choir.
She studied political science and international relations at Les Cours Sonou University, where she earned a BA. She experienced a lot of bullying from her peers during her time in college because of her age and appearance. Starr used music as a coping mechanism for the emotions brought on by the taunts. “When I listened to Nicki Minaj on the way to school, I felt like Nicki Minaj. “Starr’s mother always urged her to pursue a singing career and showed a great deal of support for her musical aspirations.
Career: Ayra Starr 19 & Dangerous, and career initiations from 2018 to the present.
Starr signed a contract with Lagos-based modeling agency Quove Models in August 2018. She later began modeling for brands like Esperanza Woman, Complete Fashion Magazine, and Mazelle Studio. Online covers of songs by performers like Andra Day and 2Face Idibia were first posted by her in 2019. Because it “means woke and eye-opening and that’s what I stand for,” as she put it, she chose her stage name.
The song “Dear Future Wife” by Eri Ife featured her in the music video. She posted an original song called “Damage” on her Instagram page in December 2019. She received her first recording contract with Mavin Records as a result of this, which was heard by thousands of people, including label executive Don Jazzy.
Producers Louddaaa and Don Jazzy helped her get started recording in 2020 at Mavin Studios in Lagos. On January 22, 2021, Mavin Records released her self-titled debut extended play. The album is described as “a topsy-turvy chronicle of love or love-themed situations” and “merges elements of R&B/neo-soul with Afropop percussion.” Starr stated that she wanted to create music for both young and old listeners with the album.
Ikon, Louddaa, and Johnny Drille did the EP’s mixing and mastering. The EP’s five songs were co-written by Starr and her brother Dami, with the exception of one song that Starr wrote entirely on her own.
The album gave birth to the popular song “Away,” which peaked at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and number 17 on the US Billboard Top Triller Global. Additionally, the song’s music video made its debut on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10.
Starr gave a performance at the Nigerian Idol season finale on July 11, 2021. Her debut studio album, 19 & Dangerous, was released on August 6, 2021. She collaborated on the album with old friends Don Jazzy and Louddaaa, who both contributed to the production of her EP Ayra Starr, as well as newcomers London and Andre Vibez.
She was a featured vocalist on Johnny Drille’s Before We Fall Asleep track “in the light”. She was appointed brand ambassador for Pepsi Nigeria on September 4, 2021. Starr gave a performance the next day during a Big Brother Naija live eviction episode. “Dangerous,” the second song on Cheque’s album Bravo, features her as a co-writer. She was a Best Newcomer nominee at the 8th African Muzik Magazine Awards.
Different business endeavors
Starr joined Pepsi Nigeria as a brand ambassador in September 2021.
The Cover, published by Accelerate TV, featured Starr in the October 2021 issue. The ODDA’s Fall/Winter 2021 issue included a profile of Starr. She appeared in a Notion editorial in 2021.