Spotify is celebrating Ayra Starr, the newest artiste to join the Equal Music Programme as the Equal Africa artiste of the month of November.
Spotify EQUAL aims to foster gender equality in music and provide a platform to highlight influential female creators.
A statement by Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu, said Spotify welcomes Ayra as she joins the list of fierce African women making waves in music.
Okumu said that the 19-year-old singer is a burgeoning Nigerian Afro-Pop and R&B singer whose charismatic music style was daring, undaunted impacting and empowering people, especially those who needed encouragement.
She said this announcement came off the back of Ayra’s popularity and fame since the release of her smash hit, Bloody Samaritan, from her debut studio album ‘’19 and Dangerous”.
According to her, the album featured the chart-topping singles that had catapulted the musician to the global stage.
Okumu said the super-talented and vibrant fashion killer was one of Nigeria’s most promising new voices and exuded confidence in her songs, joining Gen-Z artists who are pioneering the kind of sound that younger audiences were leaning towards.
” Our aim with the EQUAL programme is to create a space on the platform that allows us to solely amplify the work of female creators.
” Ayra represents the rise of new-age female artistes whose creativity and determination breaks barriers between genres.
“She possesses the boldness and swagger that we are used to seeing from pop artistes, but has an edge that feels symbolic of the listening habits of Gen-Zers.
” We aim to amplify more confident female voices like hers through EQUAL,” she said.
Ayra welcomed the acknowledgement given gender dynamics in the music industry.
” It feels good to be a part of the generation that is changing the narrative and being appreciated for our contribution to society, irrespective of the sector and age.
” I am grateful to Spotify EQUAL for this feature that shines a light on women in a male-dominated industry, it makes me feel seen, and I am sure it is done so for everyone who has been featured before me,” she said.
As the latest artiste to join the EQUAL Music Programme, Ayra Starr will also feature on Spotify’s Times Square billboard in New York.
Her breakout hit, Bloody Samaritan will lead the Equal Africa playlist and feature on the Equal Global playlist.
Ayra Starr, real name Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, was born in Cotonou 14 June 2002 to Nigerian parents from Kwara.
She began a fashion career at the age of 16 with Quove Model Management before deciding to pursue music.
She also went to Les Cours Sonou University and received a BA degree in international relations and political science.