Biography of Asa
Bukola Elemide, known commonly by her beautiful stage name ASA is a Nigerian French soul singer, a brilliant song writer and recording artiste whose voice stretches to a placer deeper than the heart and strokes the soul to a state of calm and serenity.
She is one of the most sensational artistes to emerge from Nigeria. Many call her the lyrical goddess and in her own words: ‘when I write and sing, I just want the music to touch you; my music is not world or soul music, I find that very limiting’.
Bukola was born on the 17th of September 1982 in Paris to Nigerian parents who relocated to Nigeria when she was only two years old.
She is the only daughter and has three brothers whom she grew up with in Alagbole, a small town near Lagos. At a young age, she began to play a motherly role by looking after the house in the frequent absences of her parents.
She started singing quite early, drawing inspiration from her father’s collection of soul classics and Nigerian music which included Aretha Franklin, Ebenezer Obey, Lagbaja, King Sunny Ade, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and Marvin Gaye.
She also discovered and listened to music from Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti , Aretha Franklin, Angelique Kidjo and dreamt of treading their path.
As a young girl, she developed the habit of singing instead of talking. She sang her responses in conversations; her mother found this weird and tried to stop her.
Asa was admitted into the Lagos state university to study for a diploma course in theatre art and music but dropped out and later enrolled in Peter King’s Music School where she learnt music composition and how to play the guitar professionally. Today she plays the guitar, trumpet and violin with ease.
In 2004, Bukola met her manager and friend Janet Nwose who introduced her to Cobhams Asuquo who became her producer and musical partner.
Her stage name ‘ASA’ means hawk in Yoruba, it was inspired by her childhood days when she will drift away from home with no particular destination in mind.
She released her first singles ‘Eye Adaba’ and ‘Jailer’ which hit the air waves and were beginning to get airtime. She was signed to Naïve Records in partnership with Cobhams Asuquo and the involvement of Christophe Dupouy when she released her first album Asa. She later returned to Paris to pursue her music career.
Her second album, Beautiful Imperfection was released on the 25th of October, 2010 with ‘Be my man’ as the lead single.
Her first album Asa was embraced so much that it won several awards which includes the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008 where she was voted best fresh talent of 10 singers by a jury of 19 music industry specialist in Paris. In 2011, she performed with fefe at the Sydney festival.
Her third album ‘Bed of Stone’ which was produced by Blair MacKichan a British producer who has work with Sia and Lily Allen was released in 2014 and she had a tour with it in Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, France, London and in some parts of Africa.
The album was written while Asa toured Europe. It covered issues like love, corruption, pain, the emotional state of rape victims, friendship and societal stereotypes.
She admitted that she had serious doubts about this album and considered quitting music and enrolling in the University of London to study something else; she ended up recording ‘Bed of Stone’ twice because the first recording didn’t feel true to her.
She held a concert for the first time in Nigeria 2016, it was tagged ‘Asa live in concert’ it held at Eko hotels in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Asa gave a thrilling and electrifying performance on stage for over two hours without getting tired; she held the audience bound with her professional delivery and expertise. Nigerians tagged it the best concert they had ever seen.
On the 29th of April, 2017, Asa had a second Nigerian concert tagged ‘Asa Encore’. This was magical with the 30 man orchestra that accompanied her renditions with beautiful tones from violins, bass, guitars and more. With this concert, she raised the bar so high that will be difficult for anyone to match or surpass it.
In 2012, a Lagos based celebrity magazine published a story, claiming that Asa and her manager, Janet Nwose were lovers.
This enraged the singer who was slammed a law suit against the publication for defamation of character; she asked the court to declare that allegation of lesbianism against her and Janet was false, illegal and a violation of their rights.
She demanded a compensation of seven hundred million naira from the writers of the story and urged the court to restrain the defendant from further publication of malicious statements against them.
They claimed the defamatory publication was aimed at discrediting and maligning their unblemished career as international artists of reputable standards.
In 2007, her single ‘kokoya’ was used as the sound track to the film ‘the first cry’ and in 2004, her single ‘360’ was used as a sound track in the movie ‘Alfie’ by British actor Jude Law.
Discography of Asa
Asa’s release in 2007
Live in Paris’ release in 2009
Beautiful imperfection’ release in 2010
Bed of stone’ release in 2014
Songs And Collaborations of Asa
Asa has had hit singles from the onset of her carrier. Fire on the mountain’ and’ jailer’ were massive hits upon their release in 2009 and until date, many have refused to sleep on these songs.
They are considered as timeless and classic hits and remain the favourite of some of her fans. Others include: Awe, eye adaba (2007), Be my man (2010), Bamidele (2010), So beautiful (2010), Subway (2010) Preacher man (2010), Satan be gone (2014), Eyo (2014) The one who never comes (2014), Society(2014). She has collaborated with Jeremiah Gyang, Korede Bello, Cobhams and few other Nigerian artists.
Deals, Endorsements And Net Worth of Asa
Asa does not live in Nigeria, but resides in Paris, France. This means that her endorsements and deals are quite limited.
This however, hasn’t stopped the singer from bagging a few deals. She once had a deal with GTBANK and recorded a single for them. Her net worth is estimated at $2 million.
Awards of Asa
The quality of Asa’s vocals are so strong and resonant that it could fit in any musical context, whatever musical style, choice of instruments she chooses to perform, she leaves her audience in awe.
Now, Asa is not all about hype and politicking for awards, she’s original and more contended with maintaining the quality of her music. She has won the following awards:
2008: Prix Constantin
2008: Recording of the year, Headies Award
2008: Album of the year, Headies Awards
2006: Next rated, Headies Awards
Nominations of Asa
2011: French music awards victoires de la musique nomination for Female artist of the year
2015: HEADIES nomination for best R&B/POP Album. Best Alternative song, Best Female Vocal Performance, and Best recording of the year.
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