“There is fire on the mountain, and nobody seems to be on the run, there is fire on the mountain top and no one is a-running…”
That’s Asa’s husky voice crooning her soulful music into our homes and hearts and just making us love her!!!
Bukola Elemide aka Asa was born to Nigerian parents in France in 1982, and spent most of her growing years in Lagos, Nigeria. Singing was second nature to her, and although she was constantly turned down by conventional choirs, her music would not die. She sought other means of expression and training by singing to herself and listening to her father’s collection of music greats like Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey; their music and message inspired her to continue along the path her soul longed for.
Registering in a music school secretly, Asa learnt how to play the guitar in six months, and upon returning to Paris in 2004 to study, she set about the work of finding and perfecting her musical style, with some assistance from the songs of her musical contemporaries — Erika Badu, D’Angelo, Rafel Saadiq, Lauryn Hill and Angelique Kidjo.
Asa was introduced to music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, and under his mentorship and direction, Asa worked at releasing her debut eponymous album which fuses pop, R&B, funk, soul and reggae in 2007. The album which was rendered in English and her native Yoruba was a world-wide hit, attracting rave reviews and propelling Asa into almost instant global acclaim. The release of the album saw Asa win the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008, and led to an extended transcontinental tour from Europe, North America, Africa and Japan, with Asa also gaining the public support of globally-acclaimed music greats Lenny Kravitz and Angelique Kidjo.
Her second album ‘Beautiful Imperfection’ was released in 2010, and hit the #3 spot on the World Music Chart Billboard USA, and in 2011, she was nominated for ‘Female Artist of the Year’ at the French Music Awards Victoires de la Musique .
Asa who shares her time between Lagos, Nigeria and Paris, France has been auspiciously compared with Bob Marley, Macy Gray and Nina Simone. She has since opened live shows for musical superstars like Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Akon and John Legend. Someday soon, others will be opening shows for her!
I bet Asa’s greatest challenge will be in seeking ways to outdo her prior efforts. Sing on Asa, we are proud of you!!!