Nigeria Afrobeats and afropop singer Ayra Starr has been listed among this year’s billboard 21 Under 21.
The annual publication celebrates the most innovative and influential young artiste in the music industry. This year’s 21 Under 21 package features the next generation of superstars who are savvier than ever — and know the importance of balancing nonstop careers while still maintaining at least a shred of privacy.
Signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, Ayra Starr is best known for her well-received singles ‘Bloody Samaritan’, ‘Away’, which reached No. 17 on Billboard’s Top Triller Global chart, off the 2021 EP self-titled EP Ayra Starr, as well as her debut album 19 & Dangerous. In October last year, she released the album’s deluxe edition, with Grammy award-winning legend Kelly Rowland on a remix of focus track ‘Bloody Samaritan’. Ayra Starr also guested on Wizkid’s latest LP More Love Less Ego.
In December, she was named by music video network Vevo, alongside fellow Nigerian musicians Oxlade and Nonso Amadi, as an artists on the cusp of global breakthrough in 2023. She believes “real talent, hard work and perseverance” are the biggest indicators of success in today’s music industry, adding, “Success can also be shown by how well you handle promotion on socials like Instagram and TikTok, in the way you put yourself out there and how you show a creative and entrepreneurial spirit.”
2023 21 Under 21 list was compiled based on impact on consumer behavior, measured by metrics such as album and track sales, streaming volume (each artist’s on-demand official U.S. career streams, according to Luminate), social media impressions and radio/TV audiences reached; career trajectory; and overall impact in the industry, specifically during the past 12 months.
The 2023 list includes other new names like alternative artist Riovaz, fast-rising R&B trio FLO and Afropop sensation Ayra Starr alongside more familiar chart-toppers like Olivia Rodrigo, The Kid LAROI and Lil Tecca — all of whom are teasing anticipated new projects on the way.