“Can I get your number, girl...Can I get your number, girl" were the lyrics that made Ayo Jay quickly rise to fame. The scene, his sound, the vibe; everything about his single, “Your Number,” was the perfect showcase of how to blend the afrobeats sound with an American twist.
In an exclusive interview with AfroVibes, Nigerian singer, Ayoola Ogundeji, popularly known as Ayo Jay, discusses the success of his hit single and how he manages to connect both America and Nigeria through his music.
Ayo Jay’s road to fame began when he was signed to One Nation Records and released his single, “Your Number” in 2013. When asked about how he came up with his stage name, Ayo Jay attributed his father who he shares the name with.
“Ayo is a typical name in Nigeria, it means joy,“ he said. “My dad has the same name so he calls me junior at home, so it’s Ayo Junior.”
When asked about how he started his music career, Ayo Jay said he hit the internet for the first time in 2011 - the year he started to frequently visit the studio in an attempt to record a hit song. Then, when he produced “Your Number,” which is now one of his most popular tracks, Ayo Jay said the song went viral on its own.
“It’s crazy," Ayo said. "The song carried itself. A lot of these guys liked the song, everybody liked the song and it went viral.”
That track would birth a series of collaborations with U.S. music artists including Chris Brown and Fetty Wap. Ayo Jay's rise to fame continued when he was then signed to RCA, a global record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Along with RCA, Ayo Jay create an official “Your Number” remix with Chris Brown which was a sequel to his initial remix that featured Fetty Wap.
Ayo Jay acknowledged the apparent differences between his American and Nigerian audiences but said he tries his best to relate with both and tries to bridge the gap through his music.
AfroVibes asked Ayo Jay about America's recent acceptance of African music and thoughts about where he thinks the future of afrobeats lies. The "Your Number" crooner gave accolades to mainstream music icons for incorporating the African sound in their music. “Shout out to people like Drake [and] Rihanna because they also embrace that kind of sound in their recent stuff,” Ayo Jay said.
He further credited the music icons’ influence as a tool that helped his American audience embrace African music. He opined that this made it much easier for people to accept the sound of “Your Number” and other songs that have a similar tune.
Ayo Jay wrapped up 2019 with 24.1 million streams on Spotify; 4.1M listeners across 79 countries worldwide.
To catch up with his latest releases, follow Ayo Jay on his official Instagram account and listen to him on Spotify.