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WPGM Commentary: Ayra Starr On The Making Of Her Debut EP ‘Ayra Starr’

My name is Ayra Starr and I just released my self-titled debut EP titled Ayra Starr. It’s been an exciting, rewarding, terrifying ride but I believe the project authentically reflects my journey. I wanted to create something that was soulful enough to feel like therapy and the reception so far has been incredible.

I was privileged to work with some incredible producers and of course my brother who co-wrote some of the songs. The first track on the EP “Away” is for everyone who has ever been hurt by someone they love. I actually wrote it after a friend of mine went through a heartbreak and I watched the man try to crawl his way back into her life.

Recording it for the first time was so powerful, it felt like therapy. It’s about breaking free from the things that cause you pain and hold you back. It’s about liberation and chasing your own happiness. “Away” is produced by the amazing Louddaa, who was the first person I ever recorded in a studio with.

I worked in the studio for the first time ever in December 2019 and “Ija” was the first original song I recorded. It’s definitely the “sexiest” song on the project. I imagine girls listening to it while getting ready for a night out or a couple listening to it on the way to date night.

I remember having a lot of fun during the recording process. It was totally a new energy for me, and I think that comes through in the song. I see it as a soundtrack for living your best life, feeling confident in yourself and catching a vibe with someone special.

I went through some growing pains while working on the project and, along with interactions with some of the people I met on my journey, I was inspired to write “DITR“. ‘DITR’ stands for Diamond in the Rough and it’s basically an ode to Gen Z. We’re living in a very peculiar world and it’s particularly difficult for people coming of age right now. Things can be confusing and scary.

My brother and I definitely understand the struggles and insecurities of this generation. I hope my music lets them know that they’re not alone and that there are other ways to cope with the pressures. Things are tough but there are people that love you and want the best for you. As much as it’s about pain, it’s also about hope.

I absolutely love Afrobeats and the infusion of Nigerian culture with contemporary sounds. “Sare” blends some of my earliest influences with and my own sound. It’s probably the most unbridled love song I’ve ever recorded. It’s about loving someone so much that you never want them to leave.

Recording “Sare” was an incredible experience because it was my first time working directly with Don Jazzy. I was a little intimidated and very excited. It ended up being such a beautiful blend of both of our energies.

I wanted something fun, light and romantic on the EP and “Memories” is exactly that. I recorded it during quarantine. I was in a very positive and introspective space. I think it is a very soothing track sonically. I get a sense of calm every time I listen to it still.

The entirety of the Ayra Starr EP is an honest reflection of my experiences so far. It’s a beautiful blend of the musings in my head and the energy of the amazing team I worked with. I hope everyone who listens enjoys it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Listen to my debut EP Ayra Starr below:

Words by Ayra Starr // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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