Background information
Birth name Bukola Elemide
Born Paris, France
Origin Nigeria
Genres Soul, jazz
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Trumpet, Drums
Labels Naive
Website www.asa-official.com

Aṣa (pronounced "Asha") (born in 1982) is a Nigerian – French singer-songwriter and recording artist. Her stage name "Aṣa" means "Hawk" in Yoruba.


Early life

Born Bukola Elemide, Aṣa was born in Paris, France to Nigerian parents. She was two years old when her family returned to live in Nigeria. Aṣa grew up in Lagos, in the south-western part of Nigeria.

She states that the city is "buzzing with energy but also home to a deep-rooted spirituality. Islam thrives shoulder to shoulder with Christianity in an atmosphere of tolerance, and the turbulent city moves endlessly in an infernal and yet harmonious ballet of love and hate, laughter and violence, poverty and wealth."[citation needed]

However twenty years later Aṣa returned to Paris, which is where her life as an artist took wing. Aṣa was twelve when her mother sent her to one of the best schools in Nigeria Corona. But educational excellence had a bitter taste : five years of studies and hardship. When she came home, she discovered Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo, in whose footprints she dreamed of following.

At 18, Asa was very familiar with frustration. The university was on strike, the choirs were snubbing her. During these frustrating times, Asa used to lock herself in her room and sing; this she said was very comforting. Nevertheless, she managed to get her voice heard on a few radio talent shows and her first applause brought her boundless pleasure. She then signed up, in secret, for the Peter King's School of Music and learned to play guitar in 6 months. She sings Yoruba songs differently and these attracted more Yoruba people to her music.[citation needed]


Aṣa was the only girl in the family and had to share her parents with her three brothers. At a tender age she began to look after the house during her father and mother’s frequent absences. That is when Aṣa started to sing.

The desire to sing came to her and did not go away, carving out a permanent place in her soul. She preferred singing to talking, improvising endlessly until her mother made her stop. Over the years her father had built up a fine collection of records featuring soul classics and Nigerian music, including Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja and went on to draw inspiration from them. Aṣa said "I was a tomboy and when I was a teenager I became very shy because people made fun of me ... in my own way, I was already attracting attention ! I got in the habit of never doing anything like everyone else. People didn’t understand my low-pitched deep voice, the choirs didn’t want anything to do with me. I had to get to church first if I was to have any chance of getting near the mic"[citation needed]

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. He enabled Aṣa, the free spirit, to find her bearings and: songs in English and Yoruba, music falling somewhere between pop and soul, inspired by her musical heritage – with particular care paid to the melodies – and reflecting the feeling she puts into it. Her texts talk about her country, the things in life, the things in her life, all delivered with feigned naïveté and real irony. She states "I like writing or thinking about my texts on the bus, or the molué, as we call it. 49 seats, 99 passengers standing up, as Fela described it. Everyone’s squashed up together and mini-dramas break out all the time. And, at the end of the day, we still manage to laugh, that’s where our strength lies..."[citation needed]

At this stage of her life that Aṣa finally returned to Paris. This was her chance to test out her talent on the French musical scene, playing with artists such as the Les Nubians, Manu Dibango, Doctor L and Tony Allen. In the meantime, back in Nigeria, her first single, Eyé Adaba, then Jailer, were beginning to get airtime. MTV chose her as the ambassador for South Africa. Her popularity became big, that when she came back to Nigeria she opened for Akon, John Legend, Beyoncé and Snoop Dogg amongst others. She has also collaborated with well known Nigerian artists such as 9ice and Tuface.

Aṣa soon signed to the 'Naïve label'. Partnered by Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced her first album, Aṣha.

Her second album titled Beautiful Imperfection was released on 25 October 2010.[1] The lead single off Beautiful Imperfection is titled "Be My Man" and was released in late September. A video[2] for the song was released in mid-October. Speaking in January 2011 to noted UK soul writer Pete Lewis – Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul – about her second album, Asa stated: "'Beautiful Imperfection' basically represents the way I see life. The name actutally came about from an interview I did about a year ago. I was asked to describe my life. And my reply was 'Well, its really beautiful- but at the same time it's IMPERFECT!... And what I realised from that is that I actually LIKE the imperfection! I like the little surprises that life gives you because I feel it HUMBLES you and makes you THINK!"[3]



  • Aṣha (2007) #15 FRA[4]
  • Beautiful Imperfection (2010)

Track listing for Aṣha

  1. "Jailer"
  2. "360"
  3. "Bibanke"
  4. "Subway"
  5. "Fire on the Mountain"
  6. "Eye Adaba"
  7. "No One Knows"
  8. "Awe"
  9. "Peace"
  10. "So Beautiful"
  11. "Iba"

Track listing for Beautiful Imperfection

  1. "Why Can’t We"
  2. "Maybe"
  3. "Be My Man"
  4. "Preacher Man"
  5. "Bimpé"
  6. "The Way I Feel"
  7. "OK OK"
  8. "Dreamer Girl"
  9. "Oré"
  10. "Baby Gone"
  11. "Broda Olé"
  12. "Questions"
  13. "Bamidelé (Bonus Track)"

Awards Won


  • 2007 "Fire on the Mountain"
  • 2008 "Jailer"
  • 2010 "Be My Man"
  • 2011 "Why can't we"
  • 2011 "Bimpé"



External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • aşa — AŞÁ adv., adj. invar. I. adv. (Modal) 1. În felul acesta; astfel. ♢ loc. adj. Aşa zis sau aşa numit = pe nedrept sau convenţional numit astfel; pretins, fals, aparent, impropriu. ♢ expr. Aşa o fi = e posibil; poate. Şi aşa = în orice caz; oricum …   Dicționar Român

  • ASA — (Heb. אָסָא; etymology uncertain), king of Judah, 908–867 B.C.E. According to I Kings 15:8 and II Chronicles 13:23, Asa was the son of abijah . maacah is listed in I Kings 15:2 as the mother of Asa and in II Chron. 15:16 as the mother of Abijah.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Asa — may refer to: Contents 1 People 2 Places 3 Other 4 See also People Aṣa (born 1982), Paris born Nigerian singer songwriter …   Wikipedia

  • ASA — ist der Personenname von: Asa (hebräisch אָסָא), dritter König von Juda, regierte von 913 bis 873 v. Chr. Asa (hebräisch אָסָא), männliche biblische Person; siehe Liste biblischer Personen/A Asa Akira (* 1986), japanisch amerikanische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ąsa — ąsà sf. (4) 1. B, K indo auselė paimti: Puodo ąsà nutrūko, nebėr už ko paimti Kp. Prikaistuvis su dvim ąsim J. Puodas su ąsomis SD41. Užverk lazdą už ąsõs, tai bus lengviau nešt Ml. ^ Puods vandenį neša, iki ąsà nutrūksta Sch94. Lig laiko… …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • Asa — ist der Personenname von: Asa (hebräisch אָסָא), dritter König von Juda, regierte von 913 bis 873 v. Chr. Asa (hebräisch אָסָא), männliche biblische Person; siehe Liste biblischer Personen/A Aṣa ist der Name folgender Personen: Aṣa (* 1982),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Asa — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Asa — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Asa quiere decir: en alfarería, las asas son las partes curvas de un cántaro o vasija por el cual éste puede asirse; en los recipientes existen las asa que suelen estar en los recipientes como los cubos. en biología …   Wikipedia Español

  • Aṣa — ([a∫a]; eigentlich Bukola Elemide[1]; * September 1982[2] in Paris) ist eine französisch nigerianische …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Åsa — ist ein schwedischer weiblicher Vorname.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Namenstag 3 Varianten 4 Namensträgerinnen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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