Aṣa is a Nigerian-French songwriter, soul singer, composer, and recording artist. She has been widely acknowledged as one of the most sensational talents and music artistes to emerge from Nigeria.
She is known to have a voice and melody that stretches to deep places, and leaves the mind and soul in a state of calm and serenity, and many have called her the lyrical goddess as her music always come through with both sweet melodies and mind-blowing lyrics.
Though the lyrics of her songs are mostly in English, she also sings in Yoruba, a West African language widely spoken in south-west Nigeria.
Asa music can be said to be a fusion of soul, pop, Afro-pop, folk, and other international influences, and is definitely not about hype and politicking for awards and recognition, she is contended with maintaining the good quality of her music.
- Birth name: Bukola Elemide
- Date of Birth: 17 September 1982
- Age: 37 years old
- Place of Birth: Paris, France
- Music Genres: Pop, jazz, indie-pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Soul, Alternative/Indie Rock
- Instruments: Vocals, guitar, and trumpet
- Labels: Wagram Records, Naïve Records, Shanachie Records
- Active years: 2000s/2010s to date
- Website: asaofficial.com
Aṣa was born on the 17th of September 1982 in Sign Virgo, Paris, France, to Nigerian parents who were studying cinematography in France at the time of her birth. She is the only female child in the family alongside her three brothers.
Her family relocated to Lagos, Nigeria, when Asa was just two years old. So she grew up and schooled in Lagos, where she finished her primary and secondary school education.
She was also admitted at the Lagos State University for a diploma course in theatre art and music but decided to drop out, and she got enrolled in Peter King’s Music School, where she learned music composition and how to play the guitar professionally.
Eighteen years after relocating to Nigeria, and when she was twenty years old, Asa would eventually return to France to further her studies and pursue her music career.
She applied to study at the IMFP school of Jazz music, but to her surprise, the school asked her to go on with her recordings because she was qualified and would not be needing any schooling.
Asa is currently one of the wealthiest, most influential female artiste in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Music and Career
Asa’s music was greatly influenced by the collection of great music her father had built up for some of his cinematography work, and she drew inspiration from them.
The songs in the collection included American, Nigerian and African soul classics and they comprise songs from musical greats like Fela Kuti, King Sunny Adé, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Diana Ross, Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, and many more.
She recorded her first single, ‘Eye Adaba’ in 2007, the title of the song ‘Eye Adaba’ is a Yoruba synonym that is interpreted as a dove.
It is a peaceful song with lyrics full of hope, prayers, and a cry for peace in the country. The song was recorded in Nigeria, and it was globally accepted and applauded in no time, and she got signed to Naive Records afterward.
Asa met her manager, Janet Nwose, in 2004. He introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, who, alongside Christopher Dupuoy and Benjamin Constant, produced Asa’s first studio album titles “Asa” in 2007.
The album was a major break for Asa as it did so well and saw her topping all music and radios charts across Europe, Asia, and Africa. As a result, she was voted the best fresh talent of ten singers by a jury of nineteen music – industry specialists in Paris.
In 2009, Asa released an album with a compilation of her live performances. The album was titled “Live In Paris,” and songs like “Fire On The Mountain,” “Jailer,” “Subway,” “So Beautiful,” “Feeling Good,” “Lya,” “No One Knows,” “Speech,” and “Eye Adaba” were included in the album.
For her second studio album, Asa collaborated with a French composer named Nicolas Mollard. The album, titled “Beautiful Imperfection” was released on the 25th of October 2010, it went platinum in 2011 and led to a Victoires de la Musique nomination in France.
Reports in 2014 claimed that Asa had sold over 400,000 albums globally before the release of her third studio album that year.
Asa released her third studio album, “Bed of Stone,” in 2014. The album only contained five songs: “Satan Be Gone,” “Eyo,” “Dead Again,” “The One That Never Comes,” and “Moving On.” She then went on a world tour from 2015 to 2017.
After five years off the music scene, Asa came back with the release of a pop single on the 1st of May 2019, the song was titled “The Beginning,” and on 25th of June 2019, she released another single titled “Good Thing.”
She then released her fourth studio album, “Lucid,” on the 11th of October 2019.
Honors, Awards, and nominations
- French Constantine Awards in 2008 (she was voted Best Fresh Talent of 10 singers or groups by a jury of 19 music industry specialists in Paris, France).
- Headies Next Rated Award 2006
- MTV Africa Music Award for Best Female 2008
- MTV Africa Music Award for Artist of the Year 2008
- The Headies Award for Best Recording of the Year 2008
- Headies Award for Album of the year 2008
- French Music Awards “Female Artist of the Year” 2011
- Victoires de la Musique – World Music Album of the Year (Bed of Stone) 2015
- MTV Africa Music Award for MAMA Evolution 2015
- The Headies Award for Best Recording of the Year (Eyo) 2016
- The Headies Award for Best R&B/Pop Album (Bed of Stone) 2016
- The Headies Award for Best Alternative Song (Satan Be Gone) 2016
- The Headies Award for Best Vocal Performance – Female (Bed of Stone) 2016