Ayra Starr’s The Year I Turned 21: A Dynamic Fusion of Voices and Styles

June 1, 2024 0 Posted By Kaptain Kush

Ayra Starr‘s latest album, “The Year I Turned 21,” has already amassed over 232 million streams on Spotify, showcasing the power of collaborative effort in the music industry. While the album boasts many commendable elements, a few aspects warrant closer examination.

One of the album’s standout features is the inclusion of her family’s voices, adding a deeply personal touch. However, the uncredited sampling of Wande Coal‘s sound raises ethical concerns. The album’s loud production occasionally overshadows Ayra‘s poignant lyrics, potentially detracting from the overall listening experience.

The collaborations with Asake and Seyi Vibez are particularly noteworthy. These artists bring their unique energies to the project, enhancing its appeal. As Ayra‘s contract with Mavin Records nears its conclusion, her talented team of writers must remain accessible to support her future endeavours. The focus must remain not only on her current success but also on sustaining her artistic journey.

Track Analysis

Goodbye (Warm Up) (feat. Asake)

This track immediately stands out due to its striking resemblance to the “SOCO” beat. Listening to both tracks back-to-back, the shared rhythm becomes apparent. Despite having a team of writers, Ayra‘s lyrics are compelling, and Asake‘s contribution elevates the collaboration. The intensity of the sound is perfectly executed, making it a highlight of the album.

Bad Vibes (feat. Seyi Vibez)

Bad Vibes” is a favourite, as Ayra and Seyi Vibez deliver stellar performances. Their chemistry is palpable, and the track meets all expectations. Future collaborations between these two artists promise to be even more exciting.


Orun” showcases the meticulous effort invested in its creation, highlighting Don Jazzy‘s influence. The melody is timeless, appealing to a wide age range, and the lyrics are thoughtfully crafted. Whether the concept originated from Ayra or the record label, it stands out as a strong addition to the album, blending a nostalgic 1970s vibe with contemporary Gen Z energy.

Jazzy’s Song

This track raises intriguing questions about ownership and credit in the music industry. The background echoes Wande Coal‘s “You Bad” ft. D’banj, leading to speculation about the source of the sound. Despite the confusion, the track’s execution is commendable, although personal preference leans towards Wande Coal‘s original version.

The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright” is beautifully executed. It features what appears to be her mother’s voice and delivers heartfelt messages about enjoying life and coping with loss. Including her siblings’ voices adds a rich, historical layer to the track, enhancing its emotional depth.

Overall Assessment

I would rate “The Year I Turned 21” a 6/10. While half of the songs are penned by writers, which might make listeners feel like they are experiencing perspectives beyond Ayra‘s, the album’s impact is undeniable. International collaborations have played a significant role in its global reception, proving that collective creativity can lead to extraordinary outcomes.

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