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Aṣa

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

Aṣa (pronounced Aasha) means “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, and 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. Aṣa 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 six 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.

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