Home Music Ayra Starr Releases Highly-Anticipated Sophomore Album “The Year I Turned 21”

Ayra Starr Releases Highly-Anticipated Sophomore Album “The Year I Turned 21”

by Zaria Davis

GRAMMY-nominated global Afrobeats star Ayra Starr unveiled her much-anticipated sophomore album, “The Year I Turned 21.” Accompanying the album release is the atmospheric Afro-R&B single ‘Last Heartbreak Song,’ featuring the soulful American singer Giveon.

Hailed as Ayra Starr’s coming-of-age record, “The Year I Turned 21” showcases the Gen Z singer-songwriter’s most personal storytelling alongside the empowering anthems that have become her trademark. The album’s themes of growth, love, heartbreak, and self-discovery are underscored by a newfound artistic maturity, reflecting the whirlwind year the Nigerian star has experienced.

Ayra Starr expressed her vision for the album, saying, “This is a coming-of-age story. The rollercoaster of emotions and genres intertwined tells the story of a 21-year-old African girl and superstar. 21 isn’t just an age; it’s a moment of change in your life. A time of necessary growth, hurt, realizing your power, love. Not everybody’s ‘21’ happens at 21. Whenever it is for you, learn from it, feel through it… that’s what matters.”

In ‘Last Heartbreak Song,’ Ayra Starr and Giveon explore the end of a one-sided relationship, with Ayra embracing self-protection and independence. Over atmospheric beats, she declares, “This is my last heartbreak song, I’ll be better on my own.”

The album also features ‘Commas,’ a feel-good hit that has amassed over 100 million streams in just two months and topped the UK Afrobeats Chart for five weeks. Another standout track, ‘Woman Commando,’ sees Ayra Starr collaborating with Anitta and Coco Jones, blending Afrobeats rhythms with Latin pop and R&B to create a global summer anthem.

Throughout “The Year I Turned 21,” Ayra Starr emphasizes self-care and personal growth. In ‘Bad Vibes,’ featuring Nigerian wordsmith Seyi Vibez, she commits to protecting her energy from negativity. On ‘Goodbye (Warm Up)’ with Asake, she experiments with jazz, taunting an ex before moving on.

Love songs like ‘Rhythm & Blues’ and ‘Lagos Love Story’ reveal Ayra Starr’s romantic side. ‘Control’ offers a seductive siren’s call across a crowded Havana bar, with summery guitars and hip-swaying rhythms.

However, it is the deeply personal tracks where Ayra Starr truly shines. The album’s centerpiece, ‘21,’ captures a range of emotions from youthful bravado to self-doubt. In ‘The Kids Are Alright,’ the album closer, she pays tribute to her late father with heartfelt lyrics and voice notes from her family.

With over 1 billion global streams, Ayra Starr’s influence continues to grow. Following her sold-out world tour last year, she is set to make her Glastonbury Festival debut on the Pyramid Stage next month. She has also garnered three BET Award nominations and received critical acclaim for her debut album “19 & Dangerous,” which now has 500 million streams.

Ayra Starr’s collaborations span some of music’s biggest names, including Wizkid, Stormzy, David Guetta, Kelly Rowland, Tiwa Savage, Aya Nakamura, Leigh-Anne, and her recent Latin music crossover hit ‘Santa’ with Rvssian and Rauw Alejandro.

Tracklist for “The Year I Turned 21”:

  1. Birds Sing of Money
  2. Goodbye (Warm Up) ft. Asake
  3. Commas
  4. Woman Commando ft. Anitta & Coco Jones
  5. Control
  6. Lagos Love Story
  7. Rhythm & Blues
  8. 21
  9. Last Heartbreak Song ft. Giveon
  10. Bad Vibes ft. Seyi Vibez
  11. Orun
  12. Jazzy’s Song
  13. 1942 ft. Milar
  14. The Kids Are Alright
  15. Santa (Rvssian, Rauw Alejandro, and Ayra Starr)

As Ayra Starr steps into this new chapter, her sophomore album solidifies her position as one of Africa’s brightest stars, with a global influence that continues to rise.

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Jayda May 31, 2024 - 10:21 AM


Simi May 31, 2024 - 10:19 AM

I love her ❤️


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