ASA: THE SOUND THE DREADS THE SOUL
Fierce vocals, conscious lyrics and smooth rhythm, these and more have continually endeared us to the melodies churned out by Asa. Born Bukola Elemide in Paris to Nigerian parents on the 17th of September, 1986, the only female among four children. Her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was two, in a small town called Alagbole, Ogun State in the south-western part of Nigeria.
While in pursuit of educational excellence at a young age combined with house-keeping during her parent’s frequent absences, Asa discovered musical acts while listening to her father’s fine collection of records featuring soul classics and Nigerian music, including Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, King Sunny Adé, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo and Asa went on to draw inspiration from them and she started to sing.
In 2004 Aṣa met her manager and friend, Janet, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo who in turn became her musical partner and producer.
Years later, Aṣa returned to Paris but back in Nigeria, her singles, “Eyé Adaba,” and “Jailer,” were beginning to get airtime. Aṣa soon signed to Naïve Records, partnered with Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced her first album, ASA in 2007. The album won her the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008, where she was voted best fresh talent of 10 singers or groups by a jury of 19 music-industry specialists in Paris.
Her second album, BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION was released on 25 October 2010. The lead single titled “Be My Man” was released in late September and a video for the song was released in mid-October.
While she was a guest on a popular midday radio show, the award-winning singer admitted that she had serious doubts about her third and latest album and decided to give up singing at some point even going as far as enrolling in the University of London to study something else.
DID YOU KNOW
1. She prays in Yoruba: Asa who speaks French often laces her lyrics with Yoruba and admits that she’s very at home with this as yoruba is her native language. She also admitted to praying in her native tongue as she believes ‘God listens faster in yoruba.
2. The title ‘Bed of Stone’ was inspired by her dead dog: Asa revealed that while writing the song ‘Bed of Stone’, she got the news that her dog, Fifi she’d owned since the time of the release of her first album passed away. This, in addition to the fact that she’d gone through a lot of challenges in recording the album informed her decision to title the album after the song which captured the mood and essence of the album.