This website requires JavaScript, please enable javascript or update your browser.

Interview: Aunty Rayzor's Cross-Cultural Beats

Describing her music style as a "smoothie," Nigerian artist and cross-genre innovator Aunty Rayzor revels in the boundless freedom of fusion, seamlessly blending diverse musical elements to craft a dynamic listening experience. Aunty Rayzor’s music transcends conventional labels, drawing from a rich tapestry of influences spanning Afrobeat, R&B, hip-hop, pop, grime, and experimental genres. Her music style is hard to pin down and profoundly linked to the artist’s Nigerian cultural heritage, adding layers of depth and authenticity to her sound.

Reflecting on her journey since breaking into the scene in 2020, Aunty Rayzor offers a glimpse into the creation of her latest masterpiece, Viral Wreckage (2023). The album acknowledges the artist’s personal evolution spurred on by the profound effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, while highlighting the intimate link between her life experiences and her music. 

You had a big breakout in 2020 with your tracks “Momo” and “Kuku Corona.” How did your debut album Viral Wreckage (2023) come together in the years that followed that?

It wasn’t as I thought it’d be. It was different because I went through a transformation and I started to see things quite differently. There was Covid, and the previous song was about COVID, especially the self-isolation. I had gotten used to it and it was a little difficult for me to go back to the way things used to be. The change impacted me and I knew it had to impact my music too. I like writing about my experiences, like, to put them in my music, and in the end it worked. I struggled a bit even though I had extra special friends whose mere presence motivates me and fills me with inspiration, but I knew I had to do it alone, to see what type of magic I’d make behind closed doors.

Viral Wreckage (2023) draws from a huge range of influences, including Afrobeat, R&B, hip-hop, pop, grime, and experimental. How would you describe your sound yourself?

I think I’ll describe it as a smoothie! That has always been my vision. I like to fuse different music genres and put them in one album or song. My sound is free, it’s versatile, it updates every trend, and I don’t mind dabbling in other genres even though I don’t understand the language fully, as long as it’s still music. In the future I’d like to experiment with soul music, rock, and dancehall pop but I’m mainly into hip hop and rap.


Are there any other genres or styles of music that you didn’t get a chance to dabble in that you’d like to touch upon in your future releases?

Yes, that would be reggaeton, indie pop, and country music – but most especially reggaeton. I have this special love for it because I grew up listening to reggaeton music.

Your album features collaborations with a wide variety of international artists such as Nigerian singer and producer Slimcase, São Paulo-based baile funk producer DJ Cris Fontedofunk, French producer Debmaster, and Kenyan avant-pop futurist Kabeaushé, each of whom brings their own sense of place in their sound. How do you situate yourself, as a Nigerian performer, among these sounds that each summon a particular place? And how does your identity as a Nigerian person inform the music you make?

It informs it culturally. Culture is the heartbeat of Nigerian music. It reflects in my lyrics and my style. Most of the stories in my music talk about Nigerian identity, societal values, societal problems, etc., through a cultural lens. It also informs it through language because language plays a crucial role and significance, it adds to the depth and makes it unique. I let the language dominate. So whether it’s Afro pop, hip hop, or hardcore, it’ll always bring you back to the same place.

What should someone expect from an Aunty Rayzor live show?

Wow! You should expect an honest performance and also an outstanding one. I don’t look forward to just enjoying myself on stage, I look forward to transforming the large hall into a small room where I can connect with all of the audience and leave a lasting positive energy with them.

Listen to Viral Wreckage on Bandcamp:

Aunty Rayzor performs at Rewire 2024 on Saturday 6 April