Nigeria: Is Ayra Starr’s new song the gay anthem we didn’t know we needed?
Enthralling slow-burn afro-beat ‘Disturbing U’ has a powerful message.
Nigerian music sensation Arya Starr, joining forces with British singer/rapper Darkoo, has released a powerful new song with an important message.
By NoStringsNG writer
For all the right reasons, the lyrically positive and enthralling slow-burn afro-beat new track ‘Disturbing U’ is gaining popularity among listeners, particularly those in the LGBTQ community who can relate to the song’s overall message.
Arya Starr has gained widespread acclaim since her breakout hit “Away”, with successive hits like “Bloody Samaritan”, “Rush”, and “Sability”. Her album “19 and Dangerous” has cemented her status as a leading figure in afro-beats music. The self-proclaimed “Sabigirl” has won audiences over with her positive lyrics and unique sound, earning her recognition both locally and globally.
In her latest collaboration, Arya Starr teamed up with UK-based Nigerian artist Darkoo to create a refined and mellow afro-beats sound, departing from the traditional dance music in Nigeria. Produced by Grammy award winner Dera, the result is a song that speaks to the challenges faced by young, creative and thriving individuals, which can be likened to the situation for LGBTIQ+ people in Nigeria.
The LGBTQ community has long been subject to speculation, legislation, bullying, and intrusion by Nigeria’s homophobic mainstream society. So, when the song’s chorus asks the poignant question, “Why is my happiness disturbing you?”, that expresses queer people’s desire to live their lives without interference or intrusion.
Nigeria obsession with the LGBTIQ+ community springs from a deep-seated curiosity about queer lives, which can metamorphose into fear and insecurity and from there into a desire to harm LGBTQ Nigerians.
Arya Starr’s new song addresses most of these issues. For example, the chorus packs a powerful and clear message: Live and let live.
Why is my happiness disturbing you? The singer replies to the chorus.
LGBT people want to be left alone and not have their joy and private lives questioned, much less interrogated.
The lyrics address important themes such as self-confidence, self-worth, loyalty, self-care, authenticity, and bravery in the face of adversity. Queer people can relate to those themes, as they constantly struggle to push back against oppression. As the lyrics say:
Even if na wheel barrow carry me come
I go still raise my shoulder
I don’t have time I’m just involved
And I know what I offer
All my friends say I’m loyal
If no be money na focus
I don’t have time for no one
That’s not putting food on my table
I’m unstable, I no send, I no send you
I no fear, I no fear you
I no pretend, no strength
No strength, I no got fit lie
This is the reason I just keep things to myself
I mind my business, I don’t mind
I stack my cash in silence, no one has to know
I’m on my own”
Overall, “Disturbing U” is a well-thought-out and a refreshingly positive addition to the Nigerian music scene, standing out from the lyrically bland afro-beats songs that have dominated in recent times.
Source: African Human Rights Media Network member NoStringsNG.