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Ikstarr in March 2019
Birth nameBennie Ike Opene
Also known asIkstarr
  • Delta State
  • Nigeria
  • Afrobeats
  • Contemporary R&B
  • R&B
  • High Life
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Record Producer
  • Vocals
  • Piano
Years active2012- present
  • Ikonik
  • Ikstarr

Bennie Ike Opene known professionally as Ikstarr, is a Nigerian -British singer, songwriter and music producer.[1] His debut extended play EP album CLUB was released in 2010 and gained popular and national airplay in his home country Nigeria.[1]

Early life and career

Bennie Ike Opene grew up in Lagos and is the great great grandson of Omu Okwei the Okwei of Osomari,[2] a respected Nigerian merchant queen who served as the Chairwoman of the congress of women leaders under the British colonial government in Nigeria in the 1930’s. [3]

Ikstarr grew up listening to his father’s large music record collection while living in Lagos state where he experienced a wide range of musical influences from musical artistes like Led Zeppelin to Fela Kuti. [4]

In 2018, Ikstarr released the High-life influenced single "Willemina" re-releasing it two years later as part of his second album “Afro ASMR” which he said in an interview with the This Day Newspaper, meant Afro Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.[2]

Ikstarr has cited artistes like Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson as his key contemporary influences. [2]


Ikstarr has described his sound as "melodic" Afrobeat, Highlife and Hip hop Music and that he makes music which respects women and empowers men. [2] Daniel Anazia of The Guardian Newspaper characterized Ikstarr’s sound as "happy and groovy" stating that "His lyrics are poetic and often romantic with sharp production and beats". Ike’s album “Afro ASMR” has been described as a new musical genre.[1]


In an interview with The Nation Newspaper, Ikstarr controversially stated that African music acts particularly those from Nigeria were potentially more talented than European or American stars. He went ahead to use Nigerian artistes Davido and Wizkid as examples of such talented acts [5]

In culture

Ikstarr in an interview with a reporter from Nigerian Tribune| The Nigerian Tribune Newspaper was quoted as saying that his music supports positive body image among women particularly, and that he was against the modern societal pressures resulting from unrealistic “ideals of beauty”. [4] He referred to his sophomore album Afro ASMR which was released in the fall of 2020 as truth music. In an interview with The Guardian Newspaper, Ikstarr commented that there was pressure from certain unnamed corners of society for artistes ‘to conform their art or sacrifice their conscience and integrity to a specific narrative. He referred to this as the meaning of ‘selling your soul’ .[1]



  • CLUB [1] (2010)

Studio Albums

  • Harmony (2017)
  • Afro A.S.M.R [2] (2020)


List of singles, and Track details
Title Track details
Get You In my Life
  • Released: July 25 2016 (NG)
  • Label: Ikonik
  • Formats: music download|digital download, streaming
  • Released: November 25 2017 (NG)
  • Label: Ikonik Records
  • Formats: music download|digital download, streaming
  • Released: January 18 2018(NG)
  • Label: Ikonik Records
  • Formats: music download|digital download, streaming
  • Released: September 25 2018 (NG)
  • Label: Ikonik Records
  • Formats: music download|digital download, streaming
Sexy Business
  • Released: February 13 2020(NG)
  • Label: Ikstarr Records
  • Formats: music download|digital download, streaming

In the media



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "IkStarr Without artistic integrity, you have no legacy". The Guardian Newspaper. 7 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Ferdinand Ekechukwu (7 November 2019). "Not All Artistes Are School Dropouts". ThisDay Live. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  3. Commire, Anne, ed. (1999). "Okwei of Osomari (1872–1943)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Waterford, Connecticut: Yorkin Publications. ISBN 0-7876-4080-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Femi Oguntayo (7 November 2020). "My Music is meant to lift women"". Tribune. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  5. Alake, Motolani. "Wizkid, Davido more talented than European stars". The Nation Newspaper. Retrieved 9 November 2020.

External links

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