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SENSATIONAL MUSIC: Who Do You Think Is Taking Over Bukola Elemide (Asa)

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By Damilola Olufemi

Bukola Elemide popularly known by her stage name as Aṣa (pronounced “Asha” in Yoruba) is a famous Nigerian singer, songwriter, stage performer and a recording artiste. She was born on 17th September 1982 in Paris, France.

She combines elements of soul, pop, folk, and reggae, among other international influences, in her warm neo soul songs.

After emerging with a self-titled debut in 2007, she released Beautiful Imperfection in 2010, leading to a Victoires de la Musique nomination in France, where she regularly charts.

A dozen years after her debut, her fourth studio album, Lucid, arrived in 2019.

Born Bukola Elemide in Paris to Nigerian parents, Asa moved to Lagos with her family when she was a toddler. Growing up, her father, a cinematographer, shared a record collection with her that spanned Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, and Nina Simone.

Asa would eventually move back to Paris as a young adult before launching her music career.

Her debut album, Asa, arrived on Naïve Records in 2007, with its lead single, “Fire on the Mountain,” receiving airplay on radio stations throughout Europe.

Though her songs feature mainly English lyrics, she also sings in Yoruba, a West African language widely spoken in Nigeria. The album was warmly received in France, winning her the Prix Constantin in 2008 and charting in the Top 20. She issued Live in Paris in 2009 before the proper follow-up, 2010’s Beautiful Imperfection, which reached number 14 in France and saw her nominated for a Victoires de la Musique award for Female Artist of the Year. Working for a third time with producer

Benjamin Constant , Asa ‘s next studio album, Bed of Stone, arrived in 2014. It peaked at number 38 in France, and also charted in Switzerland.

Asa parted ways with Naïve Records and released her fourth long-player, 2019’s Lucid , on Shanachie (U.S.) and Chapter Two Records/Wagram.

Aṣa was born in Paris to Nigerian parents who were working and studying cinematography in France. Her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was two. Aṣa grew up in Lagos city, in the south-western part of Nigeria, and 18 years later, returned to Paris, where her life as an artist took off.

In 2004, Asa met her manager and friend, Janet Nwose, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo , who in turn became the producer of her first studio album Asa (Asha).

Aṣa returned to France at the age of 20 to study at the IMFP school of Jazz music, where she was told by teachers that she should go ahead and become a recording artist because she was ready and needed no schooling. Back in Nigeria, her first single, “Eyé Adaba,” was beginning to get airplay. Aṣa soon signed to Naïve Records.

Partnered with Cobhams Asuquo, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy and Benjamin Constant, she produced her first platinum selling self-titled album, Aṣa. The release of the album saw Aṣa charting radios across Europe, Asia and Africa and went on to win the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008, when 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 , in collaboration with French composer Nicolas Mollard, was released on 25 October 2010, went platinum in 2011. The lead single fro Beautiful Imperfection is titled “Be My Man” was released in late September 2010. It was reported that by 2014 Aṣa sold 400,000 albums worldwide.

Asa’s third studio album, Bed of Stone, was released in August 2014. The singles are “Dead Again”, “Eyo”, “Satan Be Gone”, “The One That Never Comes” and “Moving On”. She went on a world tour from 2015 to 2017.

Her live album performance also was in 2009.

On 14th May 2019, she released a new single titled “The Beginning” and on 25 June 2019 she released the single “Good Thing”.

On 11 September 2019, she announced on her Twitter page that her new album, Lucid, was released on 11 October 2019.

STUDIO ALBUMS

• 2007 Aṣa (Asha)

• 2010 Beautiful Imperfection

• 2019 Lucid

SOME OF HER SONGS AND RELEASE YEARS

• Bed Of Stone 2014

1.Dead Again

2.Eyo

3.Satan Be Gone

4.Bed Of Stone

5.Moving On

6.Grateful

7.Society

8.How Did Love Find Me

9.Ife

10.Situation

11.New Year

12.The One That Never Comes

13.Sometimes I Wonder

14.Shine Your Light

• Arcane 2013

1.Arcane (Provided)

2.You Don’t Have To Be Sorry (Provided)

3.Ebony (Sorrow remix) (Provided)

4.Omega (with Sorrow) (Provided)

5.Omega (with Sorrow – feat MIK) (Provided)

Beautiful Imperfection

1.Why Can’t We

2.Bamidélé (Ba’Mi’Délé)

3.Baby Gone

4.Dreamer Girl

5.Ok Ok

6.Dreamer Girl (Have You Ever Heard)

7.Bamidélé

8.Maybe

9.The Way I Feel

10.Preacher Man

11.Be My Man

Asa: Live In Paris

1.Subway (Live)

2.Bibanke (Live)

3.360° (Live)

4.So Beautiful (Live)5.Feeling Good (Live)

6.Fire On the Mountain (Live)

7.Jailer (Live)

8.No One Knows (Live)

• Asa (Asha)

1.Bibanke

2.Eye Adaba

3.Peace

4.So Beautiful

5.Subway

• Miscellaneous

1.360

2.Awe

3.No One Knows

4.Jailer

5.Fire On The Mountain

6.Sætir kossar / Big kisses from Iceland

7.Natural Mystic

8.Bi’ban Ké – Live

9.Bibanke – Acoustic Live in Tokyo10.360°

11.I Made This For You

12.Why Can’t We (Radio Edit)

13.No One Knows (Acoustic Live In Tokyo) [Bonus Track]

14.Questions

15.The One That Never Comes (Live)

16.Bamidele (Live)

17.I Do Believe

18.Broda Olé

Some of the awards and recognitions added to her name include:

• Recording of the Year – Bibanke by Asa Headies 2008

• Headies Awards Album of the year – Asa 2008

Won Headies Next Rated Award- Asa 2006

• And many more

Asa signed a multimillion naira endorsement deal with GTBank after recording an official single for them years back.

 

Nevertheless, with the current trends in the Nigerian music industry, there are acts who are of the same musical pattern with that of Asa but the question is and remains WHO IS TAKING OVER FROM ASA – The international sensational singer?

The likes of Darey Art Alade (Pray for me coroner), Simi, Bez, Aramide (Nigeria most popular Female Drummer), Adekunle Gold, Linda 1nneka (Loke Loke Loke coroner), Chike, Temmie Owvasa, Cobhams Asuquo, Johnny Drille (Halleluyah coroner), Ara, Praiz, have been sighted by music lovers in the Nigerian music industry as those whose lyrically atmosphere fit in with that of Asa. Each of the acts no doubt are doing well in their line of music and many recognitions have they earned.

Whoever might finally take over from Asa, the international singer would have to sustain, promote and develop the musical vibes of the legendary act, Asa who has and currently represents the country positively across the globe.

• This piece is written and complied by Olufemi Damilola (Oluwadarmie)

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