Aṣa (pronounced "Asha") (born in 1982) is a Nigerian - French singer-songwriter and recording artist. Her stage name "Aṣa" means "Hawk" in Yoruba.
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, 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."
However twenty years later Aṣa returned to Paris, which is where her life as an artist took wing.
She drew her inspiration from artists like Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja.
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..."
After returning to Paris she 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.
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 October 25, 2010. about her second album, Asa stated: "'Beautiful Imperfection' basically represents the way I see life. The name actually 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
Label: Question Mark Ent / 51 Lex Records | Released: 2014 | Length: 67'44"