Native Sound System Releases Debut Single Titled Runaway with Lojay & Ayra Starr
DJ collective and production supergroup, NATIVE Sound System, born out of The NATIVE Networks — a multi-platform media entity born out of a drive to document African stories, by Africans, for Africans releases its first musical body of work boasting young sensational talents Lojay and Ayra Starr in its first single 'Runaway' to be accompanied by breathtaking visuals set for release on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Building a community of synergetic musical talent, together with its trybe, the NATIVE Sound System album — yet another channel by which sounds are identified and championed from this side, to the world — has been born. Produced and curated according to the climatic and cultural seasons found in Lagos, Nigeria, this album paints a picture of the sounds that highlight a typical year in Nigeria. From the murky Hip-Hop beats that keep us energised through the rainy weather, to the Amapiano bangers that sustain our festive period; from the breezy bounces that accompany us on boat rides to the beach to the intermediary lull of our dry season. In meteorology, seasons are defined by climatic patterns. For this album, seasons are defined by The SOUND.
One of the first tracks to be recorded and what is duly termed the rainy season track, “Runaway”, which began as a ballad by Lojay, was woven together in London, by the production hands of New World Ray, and Sholz (Cordae, Kaycyy Pluto), ultimately arriving in Lagos where Ayra Starr laid down her vocals. Over a year after its completion, “Runaway” emerges as the lead single off this long-awaited debut release, having gone through additional touches from producers Lido (Ariana Grande, Chance the Rapper) and Adey (Ycee, Tems, Tiwa Savage).
In visuals, directed by Black Is King's Dafe Oboro, in partnership with Bottega Venetta and spotlighting the works of African designers such as Kenneth Ize, the “Runaway” visuals are an artistic rendering of the impassioned and turbulent love story narrated by Ayra Starr and Lojay on this beautiful sound. Coupling two of 2021's most prolific breakout Afropop artists in what will be their first ever collaboration, "Runaway" strikes the perfect balance between the familiar and the new. As the video aligns the worlds of these distant childhood lovers, so the single marries two well-known artistes in a pioneering sound that straddles Pop and Alternative tastes as never before heard.
As a first submission from NATIVE Sound System, "Runaway" is an accomplished representation of the foundational purpose of this debut album; showcasing the depth and the scope of their SOUND.
As the visuals drop on April 8, 2022, listen to "Runaway" by Native Sound System with Lojay & Ayrra Starr here and all streaming platforms.
Born and raised in Lagos, LOJAY is the fast-rising singer, songwriter and producer who has become an Afro Fusion mainstay thanks to his unique tone and lyrical delivery.
With a musical style largely indicative of his Yoruba roots and the voice to match, Lojay, born Lekan Osifeso Jr, began creating music as a means of escaping reality and suppressing anxiety. Music allowed him to create beautiful fantasies in his mind, exploring a concept of wellness not just for himself but for his listeners.
In 2016 he released his first solo project “Midnight Vibes” which was a curious collection of his promising ability as a singer. His first official hit came in 2019 with “Ariel” which he worked on with Grammy Award winning producer, Telz. The song portrayed Lojay’s sound in its true element and officially introduced his musical style. In 2021, Lojay teamed up with the reigning king of Afrobeats production, Sarz, releasing a joint EP “LV N ATTN”.
Born June 14, 2002, Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, better known as Ayra Starr, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and model. She began her career in fashion and entertainment as a model at the age of sixteen. Her musical talent was discovered by record producer Don Jazzy after posting covers of popular songs to her Instagram page.
She rose to fame with her self-titled debut extended play and its hit single “Away,” which spent two weeks at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 and reached number 17 on the US Billboard Top Triller Global, paving the way for the release of her first full-length studio album, “19 & Dangerous,” in August 2021. The lead track, “Bloody Samaritan,” reached number one on the Billboard Top 50 list, making it the first solo song by a female artist to do so. Her discography includes the hit singles Away, Fashion Killer, Sare, Bloody Samaritan, and the album 19 & Dangerous.
NATIVE Sound System is the DJ Collective and production supergroup under the Lagos-born media company, The NATIVE Networks, also known for its annual music festival NATIVELAND, and its biennial magazine, The NATIVE.
DJing live shows, producing music, throwing parties and curating playlists, NATIVE Sound are a beacon in our community and an example to the world of the talent, creativity and success coming out of Africa now. Tapping into underground movements from all corners, NATIVE Sound has earned a reputation as first in class innovators in music and culture, bringing together familiar voices in our community as we pioneer new sounds.
Having played for crowds of over 12,000 across the world, including Lagos, Paris, London, Las Vegas, Accra, Portimao, New York & More as a DJ collective, NATIVE Sound have recently inked a landmark distribution deal with The Orchard to produce a compilation album of original music from the latest acts on the continent, due to be released in April 2022.
Dafe Oboro (b. 1994) is an artist working predominantly in photography and film. Dafe has taken on the roles of casting director, producer, director, and photographer, embracing a multifaceted approach to storytelling. Drawing motifs from fashion and popular culture, Dafe uses evocative sound and imagery to contemplate questions of masculinity, movement across time and space, and the social-political state of contemporary Nigeria, and greater Africa. Dafe aims to destabilize the often reductive understandings of Africa in mainstream popular media, and open up room for a more nuanced engagement with the realities of the artist’s cultural context.
Dafe was the 2020 recipient of the film prize in The Future Awards Africa. The artist was one of the 2020 nominees for Dazed and Confused magazine’s Dazed 100 list of people shaping youth culture. Dafe’s film work has been screened at various venues in London (V&A Museum, 2021), Lagos (Art X Live, 2019), Milan (Fashion Film Festival Milano, 2019), and Eindhoven (Dutch Design Week, 2019).
Furthermore, the artist’s work has been featured in several film festival selections including the Yale Africa Film Festival (2021), London Short Film Festival (2021), Africa in Motion Film Festival (2019), Cinewax Online African Film Festival (2019), and Fashion Film Festival Milano (2018). Dafe has collaborated with various organisations within and outside Nigeria such as Art X Lagos, Nike, WaterAid, Mowalola, Ottolinger, Vlisco&co, The Face magazine, WePresent, Dazed Magazine, i-D Magazine, Guernica Magazine, Zalando, Patta x Tommy Jeans and Parkwood Entertainment/Beyoncé.
Dafe has drawn the attention of a number of creative agencies and organisations, including AdobeCreate and The Art Momentum. Dafe holds a BA in broadcast journalism from Nottingham Trent University, UK. Dafe Oboro currently lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. NB: Dafe Oboro is Nullpronominal and Non-Binary.
Listen to "Runaway" here