Aṣa

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Biografía

A ṣa, Bukola Elemide (born September 1982), is a French-Nigerian singer and song-writer. She combines styles of funk, pop, reggae, jazz, folk and soul.

Asa (pronounced Aascha) means the "little hawk". She was born in Paris to Nigerian parents, but after two years she moved with her parents to Nigeria and grew up in the capital of Lagos. Her music is thus linked to her time in Western Africa. Asa grew up under the influence of her father's record collection, which included legendary artists such as Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin.

At the age of twelve years, her mother gave her the opportunity to attend one of the best music schools in the country. Asa not only developed her voice and her technique, over time she also discovered more about the musicians who fascinated her. 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 the age of 18 she secretly signed up for the Peter King’s School of Music and learnt to play the guitar in 6 months. 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. She wrote songs in both English and Yoruba, with the music falling somewhere between pop and soul, inspired by her musical heritage. Particular care was paid to the melodies 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..."

It was 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 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.

Aṣa soon signed to the 'Naïve label'. Partnered by Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced a magnificent debut album, ASA a 12 track album with chartstopping tracks. R&b rubs up against pop, with reggae also making an appearance on 'Fire On The Mountain', the first track released from the album, an impertinent and barely-disguised metaphor for an ignorant and indifferent world. "Jailer", another highlight of the album, reinterprets the old adage “you reap what you sow”. This emblematic song with its irresistible refrain opens the album by denouncing modern slavery in all its forms.

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Fuente: lastfm

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