Connect with us


Ayra Starr: The Amazing Rise of that Small Girl from Agbado Ijaiye



By Eric Elezuo

From day one, she knew she was going to hit hardest and make it big within a very short period, and so it was not a mistake when she chose the alias, Celestial Being. A name depicting divinity and heavenly royalty. Her is Ayra Starr, born Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe in 2002 in far away Cotonou, Republic of Benin, the talented songstress, who is better addressed as Sability or Miss Sabi, to buttress her intelligence, by fans, has become a household name in the music industry barely two years after she stumbled into the recording studio.

Unable to hold her gratitude to the Almighty God, the slim beauty, who is due to clock 21 on June 14, took to her social media handle to express her deep felt appreciation, saying “I really don’t even know what I’m gonna do when rush hits a 100 mil on YouTube, do I cry , do I jump ?? God, 2 years ago I was just a small girl from Agbado ijaiye.” That says so much about her personality, and not forgetting her upbringing, which has kept her on the right track till tomorrow.

Ayra Starr’s rise to stardom is meteoric, to say the least. Her boldness in posting her original song on Instagram in December 2019, was the straw that broke carmel’s back as well the strike that set the trend for a classy musical journey in a terrain where heavyweights in the guise of Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Tems, Niniola, Teni and many others held sway. The previously ‘small girl from Agbado Ijaiye’ was not intimidated. She took the bull by the horn, and rode it like meek and mild horse. Today, her superhit, Rush, has garnered 94 million views on Youtube, and counting, and it is just a matter of time before the ‘small girl’ hit 100 million. The feat is magnanimous, and of course celestial.

Ayra Starr started her career in the fashion world at the age of 16 with Quove Model Management before being divinely led to give full attention to musical career. Having been in the business of giving prominence to songs by popular artists on Instagram, she, in December 2019 posted her first original song. That was the icing she need as the attention of the one and only Don Jazzy was drawn. The long story ended with her berthing at the popular Mavin Records, reputed for raising stars. It was a new dawn for Miss Sabi.

Wondering why the songstress had an early musical start? The answer is not farfetched. She was raised in a music-loving family, and the fact that she found music as a leeway to drown frustrations that emanated from bullying and taunts as result of his small size and age while in high school. At the age of 10, she sang in a high school choir and began writing songs with her brother.  That didn’t in any way stunt her academic pursuit. She attended Les Cours Sonou University and obtained a BA degree in International Relations and Political Science.

According to her, she had a wide range of musical influences, including 2Face Idibia, Wande Coal, Angélique Kidjo, Lijadu Sisters and Tope Alabi while growing up, and in college, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Sia and Tiwa Savage. She credited Shakira as her biggest influence vocally along with Beyoncé, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.

In August 2018, Starr, who was born of Kwara parents modelled for companies such as Mazelle Studio, Complete Fashion Magazine and Esperanza Woman. In 2019, she began posting covers of songs by artists like Andra Day and 2Face Idibia online. She appeared in the music video for Eri Ife’s song “Dear Future Wife.” In December 2019, she uploaded an original song called “Damage” on her Instagram page. This was heard by thousands of people including label executive Don Jazzy and led to her first recording contract with Mavin Records.

In 2020, she started recording at Mavin Studios in Lagos with producers Louddaaa and Don Jazzy. Her self-titled debut extended play was released on 22 January, 2021 through Mavin Records. The album has been described as “a topsy-turvy chronicle of love or love-themed situations”. She said her intention with the record was to make music that would resonate with both young and old listeners, writing one of the songs on the EP alone, and co-wrote the remaining four with her brother Dami. Shortly after its release, the EP became the number-one album on Nigeria iTunes and Apple Music. By March 2021, it has reached the same position on Apple Music in 4 other countries, racking up over 15 million streams across Spotify, YouTube and Audio Mack. The project spawned the hit track “Away” which peaked at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and number 17 on US Billboard Top Triller Global. Its accompanying music video also debuted on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10. OkayAfrica included the song in their list of The 9 Best Nigerian Songs of January 2021. Ayra Starr released remix versions of “Ija” and “Away” featuring Tokimonsta and Lilo respectively between March and April. Around the same time, Crayon’s EP Twelve A.M was released with her vocals on the track “In Sync.” She performed at the UC Berkeley Nigerian Students Association virtual culture show titled The Olori Awards. On 28 April 2021, the official music video for her song “DITR” was released on YouTube via Mavin. In June 2021, the music video for another song titled “Sare”, was released.

Ayra Starr achieved mainstream recognition with her eponymous debut extended play and its hit track “Away” which spent two consecutive weeks at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and went to number 17 on US Billboard Top Triller Global, paving the way for the release of her first full-length mixtape, 19 & Dangerous in August 2021. Categorized mainly as Afropop and R’nB, the album has been met with favorable critical reception. It spawned two top forty hits in Nigeria. The lead single “Bloody Samaritan” peaked atop the Top 50 chart, becoming the first solo song by a female artist to reach the number-one position. Starr debuted on Pandora Predictions chart, and on 28 August 2021, she ranked number two on Billboards Next Big Sound.

Growing up in Cotonou, Benin, and Lagos, Nigeria, gave her access to diverse cultures and languages. Though her constant movement occasioned by her father’s business did not allow her make much of close friends, she nonetheless acquired untold experiences inhabiting several locations.

Starr has come a long way ever since, no only dishing out hits after hits, but also performing on high profile stages, On July 11, 2021, she performed for the season finale of Nigerian Idol and during a live eviction episode of Big Brother Naija.  Her 19 & Dangerous marked her first time recording alongside guest artists such as Fousheé and CKay. It was met with favorable critical reception with most critics characterizing its sound as primarily Afropop and R&B. It spawned two top forty hits on the TurnTable Top 50, the highest being “Bloody Samaritan”, its lone single, which became Starr’s first number-one single on the chart. The song climbed the Top 50 for several weeks, and, on the chart dated 27 September 2021, it reached the number one spot, making Ayra Starr the first female artist to do so with a solo single. She debuted on Pandora Predictions chart, and on 28 August 2021, she ranked number two on the Billboards Next Big Sound. She was featured on “in the light”, a track on Johnny Drille’s Before We Fall Asleep. On 4 September 2021, she was named brand ambassador for Pepsi Nigeria. She collaborated with Cheque on “Dangerous”, the second track on his album Bravo. At the 8th African Muzik Magazine Awards, she was nominated for Best Newcomer award. She featured in the October 2021 issue of Accelerate TV’s The Cover and in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of ODDA. In 2021, she appeared in a Notion editorial.

With a voice described in the media as “silky”, “cozy”, “delicate”, “sturdy”, “arresting” and “soulful”, Ayra Starr has succeeded in serenading all calibre. The dynamic nature of her range and emotional delivery also lend credence to acceptability. She plays with a mixture of English, Nigerian Pidgin English and Yoruba, often exploring contemporary topics such as love, relationship, empowerment and freedom.

Starr has received so many rave reviews, and all have turned out positive. With hit songs like Blood Samaritan, Beggi Beggi with Ckay, Sability, and Rush, Ayra Starr has cleared the doubts of many who felt she may not enjoy the limelight for long.

The sabi girl, who is blessed with four siblings, has arrived, and has arrived to stay! All thanks to her brother, who assisted her write songs, her mum and aunt, who tutored her in the act of singing, her dad, who encouraged her to complete her education first and the Almighty God, without who, there is no her.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Iyabo Ojo Accuses Lizzy Anjorin of Defamation, Demands N500m Damages




Actress, Iyabo Ojo, has demanded a sum of N500million from her colleague, Lizzy Anjorin, accusing the latter of defamation.

Ojo, through her lawyers, wrote to Anjorin, demanding an apology and retraction of libelous statements. The Real Housewives of Lagos star shared photos of the documents on her Instagram page on Tuesday.

Part of the document read, “In your numerous publications (via video contents) you misinformed your large followership with several defamatory statements to the image of our client.

“Blatantly, at the comment section of your publications, you freely aligned and corroborated the comments of your followers who readily knew your defamatory publications were attacking the person of our client with your response to their comments.

“Ridiculously , no attempt was made to deny this facts by you.

“You willingly confirmed that your publications were towards the image of our client even though you attacked and referred to her as ‘Sepeteri’.”

The demands include N500m  damages, retraction of statement in four newspapers, and public apology, which should be done within 14 days.

Anjorin is yet to react to the notice on her Instagram page, as of the time of this report.

The duo had been at loggerheads on social media for days, as they called out each other on their social media accounts.

The Punch

Continue Reading


Glo Powers Nigerians’ Ambition with Unforgettable Evening of Undiluted Entertainment




Grammy Nominee, Asake and velvety-voiced singer, Chike were the major highlights of a wonderful evening of fun and laughter when proudly Nigerian telecommunications company, Globacom launched its new marketing campaign dubbed “Powering Ambition”

Hosted at the Eko Convention Centre, the event aptly titled “An Evening With Glo” showcased Globacom’s 20 year-track record of innovation and impact, while bringing to fore the company’s consistent introduction of product and services aimed at customer satisfaction while demonstrating that it is possible for a Nigerian company to be true innovators, world class and a giant in its own space.

Throughout the classy and colourful evening, that sense of Globacom’s quest to always encourage excellence was evoked in terms of the experience of guests.

From the heavenly walkway, to the lovely cocktail area, the captivating decor to the first-rate entertainment. Each aspect was well-orchestrated and choreographed to leave an indelible memory in the hearts of guests.

The essence of the occasion was well captured by Globacom’s Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr, who noted that “We are creating a world of limitless opportunities for the millions we serve.”

Dr Adenuga’s hands-on approach to the growth trajectory of the company was then affirmed by Globacom’s Executive Vice Chairman, Mrs Bella Disu in her welcome address

According to her “This event is special for many reasons, one being that Globacom celebrated its 20th anniversary this past August. We’re incredibly proud of this feat, which symbolises two decades of our commitment to excellent service delivery, quality, innovation, and outstanding communication strategies. This remarkable journey and the heights we’ve reached are all thanks to the visionary leadership and tenacity of our founder and Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr.

“Tonight, we are thrilled to unveil a new communication direction that focuses more on powering and driving ambition, while ensuring success for our existing and future customers. These creative campaigns will undoubtedly inspire accolades for our hardworking Marketing Communications team. They deserve it, but I’ll let you in on a secret – The creative genius steering us and whipping up most of these ideas is none other than the great guru himself, our Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr. I’m not sure he would have wanted me to share that, but after 20 years of his creative direction, I think it’s fair to let the cat out of the bag!”
She also used the opportunity to thank partners and stakeholders whose contributions have been essential to Globacom’s success story over the past two decades. While expressing her optimism of what the is to come in the future.

“We are excited about the next 20 years of serving our customers by pre-empting and fulfilling their needs in ways that help them achieve their ambitions. We count on you all to be by our side as we write tomorrow’s success stories.”

Explaining further on the new marketing communications campaign, the company noted “one thread holds together the achievements of the past, the wins of the present and the aspirations of the future: Ambition. Ambition is what has brought us this far, and ambition is what will take us farther. This is true, not only for Glo, but the entire world.

Indeed, Globacom has been driven by an ambitious streak to provide qualitative and excellent products and services to Nigerians, that is why till date, it has a bag full of firsts to its credit. It is this history of achievements that has given birth to the new campaign which is centered on preaching what it has practiced in the last 20 years: Powering Ambition.

To mark this auspicious occasion, the spectacular evening was hosted to inspire Nigerians and its other customers and subscribers worldwide -and it did not disappoint. There was an air of electric anticipation.

From the green carpet where Tobi Bakre and Tope Olowoniran were in charge, interviewing guests and setting the tone for the day, to the event compere, stand-up comedian, Gordons, who was at his hilarious best, churning out off-the-cuff jokes, interacting with guests and putting everyone in stitches with laughter.

Then to the performers! Beejay Sax put everyone in the right mood for the evening when the popular saxophonist reeled out a medley of christian, secular and African tunes that thrilled many in the audience.
Chike too was on point. He worked the audience up steadily with his repertoire of love songs and hit a crescendo before exiting the stage. The star of the night was Asake. He sparkled like a zillion stars.
Showing his craft as an artiste who has excited audiences and filled venues across the globe, he made a grand entrance with his multiple award-breaking song, “Lonely At The Top.”

Of course the audience was on its feet and many who were earlier looking prim and proper on their seat, rushed to the front of the stage. During his pulsating performance, Asake engaged the audience by allowing them sing-along to choruses of his hit numbers, came up-close and personal by dancing into the audience and generally working them into a musical frenzy before leaving with a bang!

That was not all, the hotel’s chefs prepared a feast that tantalized the taste buds of all in attendance, and the aroma wafted through the air, adding to the festive ambiance.

According to Glo, the event was aimed at showing that “When the ambitions of Nigerians thrive, Nigeria too rises to the heights of its ambitions. And because Nigeria’s unlimited potential is forged in the unlimited ambition of the unwavering Nigerian spirit.It is only right that Nigeria’s one and only Unlimited Network is at the heart and forefront of Powering the Ambition of our great country.

“Ambition makes people get up every day. Ambition makes us start families, build new dreams against all odds, build ideas into businesses and make immeasurable sacrifices. That is why at Glo. Powering Ambition is much more than just a premise, it is a promise. A promise to keep you above the curve in all manner of ways”

Without a shadow of doubt, “An Evening With Glo” was a tapestry of joy and a celebration that showcased just a few of the extraordinary talents that abound in Nigeria.

The evening was not only all about food, drinks and entertainment, four customers also smiled home with goodies from Globacom. They were lucky winners of Lagos-London-Lagos business class tickets.

Continue Reading


GLO – Powering Ambition




By Eric Elezuo

Powering ambition is not a premise, it’s a promise, happens to be the catchphrase as communication giant, Globacom, embarked on a no holds barred activities to mark it’s 20th anniversary, with the sole aim of unveiling new communication direction for its operation.

Revered as a leveler in the telecommunications operations in Africa, especially in Nigeria, Glo’s influence precedes it, and with the newfound direction in signing most Nigerian entertainers and celebrities, it has become not only the network to beat, but the network of choice.

Consequently, on November 25, the mega company, under the leadership of Africa’s top liquid billionaire, Michael Adenuga, rolled out the drums to give Nigerians a show of a lifetime at the Eko Hotel and Suites. The much talk about shindig featured superstars of the entertainment industry, including the wave making Asake, whose ‘Lonely at the Top’ is sitting pretty atop most charts, and buga master, Kizz Daniel.

Other artists featured were Chike, Gordons and Tobi Bakare.

In electrifying displays, the artists gave the guests a time of their lives, keeping them on the feet, and swinging to and from to uncorruptible rhythm of originality flow from the sounds and steps of the mega stars.

The major highlight of the evening with GLO was the raffle draw, which saw a good number of Nigerians winning first class tickets of Lagos to London round trip.

It is worthy knowing that GLO, since 2003, when it officially kickstarted operations after a few summourtable hiccups, the company has remained in the forefront pioneering and powering the healthy ambitions of not a few Nigerians with the latest in their long list of sign-ons being Asake, Kizz Daniel and Chike.

Others artists, sportsmen and entertainment buffs under the GLO being continuously powered to their ambitions are boxing superstar, Anthony Joshua, hurdles queen, Tobi Amusan, comedian Gordons, actor Tobi Bakare and a host of others.

Globacom has always been associated with the development of the Nigerian music industry, since its inception, from its involvement with Nollywood and leading Nigerian music talents to the sponsorship of music shows such as Rock ‘n’ RuleGloNaija Sings, Laffta Fest, and  the world’s number one music singing talent reality TV show, X Factor. Others are Slide and Bounce concert, an entertainment tour which went round all the Geo-political zones of the country as well as Glo mega Music show, another platform through which Globacom entertains and delights Nigerians.

These programmes are meant to discover and help nurture budding talents. The company also supports the movie industry in Nigeria (Nollywood) and in Ghana (Ghollywood). Many of the actors and actresses in both countries have been chosen as Glo Ambassadors, thus projecting the continent in a refreshing light through African movies.

Globacom brought the world’s biggest dance reality show, Battle of the Year, to Nigeria. The winners in seven different categories went home with mega millions in cash, space wagon , and also bagged an opportunity to represent at the global edition of the competition.

Indeed, no corporate organization has had the kind of assemblage of entertainment heavyweights as it brand ambassadors as Globacom. All through the years, the cream of the country’s musicians, footballers, actors and comedians have either been signed on as brand ambassadors or featured in the company’s television commercials. The long list includes veterans such as late Osita Osadebe, late Oliver d’Coque, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezar Obey, Nelly Uchendu, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie  and Emmanuel Emenike. Others are MI Abaga, D’Banj, PSquare, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Flavour, Wizkid, Davido, Basketmouth, Gordons, I go Dye, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua and track queen, Tobi Amusan.

GLO has also powered cultural engagements across the country, the latest being the recently concluded Ofala festival in Anambra State. Others include Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Lisabi in Abeokuta, Imeori in Abiriba, Oru – Owerri in Imo state, Afia- Orlu In Nnewi, Abia –Ugwa in Isialangwa in Abia State and counting.

The list of GLO’s phenomenal impact in powering ambitions to fruition remains inexhaustible, and continues to grow on a daily basis.

A game hanger, and originator of many firsts, GLO is reputed as the following based on words reported by the firm:

“Since inception in 2003, Globacom has been true to  its resolve to provide world-class communications and digital services through constant deployment of latest technologies in line with the corporate promise to build a robust ICT network infrastructure that would consistently deliver value to its esteemed customers.

“Glo has been at the forefront of revolutionary changes in the telecommunication sector in Nigeria. It crashed the cost of acquiring SIM cards in the country from about N25,000 to just about N200. The network also disappointed bookmakers as it launched operations on a Per Second Billing platform, a feat others had described as impossible to achieve until another five years.

“Prominent among the innovations Glo pioneered in Nigeria are Blackberry, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Magic Plus, Glo Direct, Glo Fonepals, Africhat, Glo Mobile Internet, GloFleetmanager, M-Banking and Glo Mobile Office. Glo was also the first to launch 2.5G, 3G and 4G LTE networks. It also singlehandedly built an international submarine cable, Glo 1 to connect West Africa directly to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. It also connects 12 nations in the West African sub region, including some of them that are landlocked.

“Glo1 is credited with crashing the cost of internet services and is today the preferred cable system by global OTT providers. It connects thousands of kilometres of national fibre to all parts of Nigeria.”

GLO is a force to reckon, and that’s difficult to behold.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: