Ayra Starr, 18, is undoubtedly the next big thing to happen to us in the Nigerian music industry in the first quarter of 2021. This is a fact and no Nigerian music pundit can make a contrary opinion about this. Ayra is here to stay and her reign is cemented with generation-Z’s taste in music.
If given the opportunity to sound this to the ears of every music lover in Africa, I’d reiterate the above statement loudly or would rather advise you take my word to the bank. Ayra is indeed a star!
The new signee of Mavin Records brings to fore a refreshing sound through her new single ‘AWAY’ which has thrilled music fans and given her a solid start in her career. From a critical listen of her self-titled E.P ‘Ayra Starr’, it is crystal clear that the singer is heavily influenced by Afro-pop, Alternative R&B and Trap music. On the five tracks EP, she exudes a whole range of emotions, from the sadness of a break-up to the joy of a new beginning.
Speaking on Away, being the hit single on the EP, the soft-spoken singer said: “I freestyled half of ‘Away’ at a time I was feeling down. It was like therapy. Singing the song out loud was like freeing myself from my burden. ‘Away’ is not just a heartbreak song, it’s a song that empowers you to stand up to that thing or person that is causing you sadness.”
On the flip side, I carefully followed the roll-out phase of Ayra Starr and activation of her EP, I must say that indeed, it was done so well that you’d give a big thumbs up to the Marketing team at Mavin Records who handled her activation.
Don Jazzy as the ‘Starr’ Maker:
As the President and leader of Mavin Records, Don Jazzy seemed to have taken Ayra’s activation very personal. He practically led the whole activation process and announcement of Ayra Starr. Of course, with a cult-like following on social media, anything that Don Jazzy touches will definitely turn into gold. Having been awed by the wonderful discovery by Don Jazzy, Adekunle Gold had to make a very controversial tweet, ‘Fear Don Jazzy’.
Playlisting of music on digital stores has become a vital medium of marketing music in Africa and the world at large. Just after Ayra’s activation, DSPs across the world featured the singer on their premium playlists covers. This was a great marketing tool that sustained the release of the E.P.
3. Influencer Marketing:
To a larger extent, you’d agree with me that Influencer Marketing is a powerful marketing tool that influences consumers to take decisive action whenever a product appeals to them. While tracking conversation about Ayra, I noticed that many social media influencers talked about Ayra during the release of her E.P.
Few days after the E.P was out, I sighted several billboard placements in Lagos Island done for Ayra Starr to amplify the entire push for the E.P and even the singer as well. As a resident in Lagos, I doubt if the same billboard placements were done in other states in Nigeria.
5. Paid/Earned Media:
For the records, Paid Media still plays a key in any product activation. ‘Away’ was heavily distributed to major radio stations in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. From Hit FM, Cool FM to Beat FM, Away became a favourite for OAPs and is still banging the airways.
For Ayra, many would opine that Mavin Records must have implemented the same template in the unveiling of REMA. However, it is evident that with over 1-million Youtube views on ‘AWAY’ and huge numbers on other digital platforms, Ayra is here to stay and has gained massive recognition in the Nigerian music industry.
Do you think Ayra will likely make it to the Next Rated Nominee list in Headies Awards?
(Written by Iddy Brown: Copywriter, Brand & Communications Strategist)