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Asa was born Bukola Elemide in 1982 in France to Nigerian Parents. However, Asa did most of her growing up in Lagos, where she discovered musical acts like Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo.

She has released four albums; Asa, Live in Paris, Beautiful imperfection and Bed of Stones. She has won awards and has been nominated in several awards. She won the Headies award for Album of the year in 2007 and was nominated in the French Music Award Victoires de la Musique for female artist of the year amongst others.

Not only does this melancholic singer stand out in Nigeria, she has kept the eye of the international audience firmly on her. She writes and sings on themes as love, spiritual calling, womanhood, relationships etc.

Asa is one of the most exciting artists in the last decade. She is a lot of things, but here are 5 reasons why we love her:

1. She’s got a unique sense of style: Someway somehow, Asa is unique and different from most Nigerian artistes. Her art, style and individuality distinguish her from the rest. Maybe this is due to the influence from the international scene. Whichever way, she always somehow incorporates art in her style. In the clothes she wears, in her hair – trademark dreadlocks that always look so damn good, in the funky glasses frames she rocks. She’s such a bundle of uniqueness.

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2. She is easygoing and carefree when performing on stage: If you’ve ever watched her perform on stage or seen her instagram posts, you would know that Asa is an amazing performer. Her cheerful spirit, along with her melodic grace always moves the crowd. She’s also an amazing dancer – not the Beyoncé kind that is highly choreographed but rather the dynamic kind that has her taking off her shoes on stage and flowing to the rhythm. She has been hailed as one of the best entertainers in Nigerian contemporary music.

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3. Her voice is exotic: The first thing most people fall in love with is Asa’s voice. Her voice is deep and often light and with this edge that gives it its exclusivity. With her amazing voice, she churns out original and refreshing music. Her voice has been described as precise and emotionally pure. Even without understanding the words, you will feel the melancholy that resonates in her voice.

4. Asa is a story teller! Whether it is an upbeat tone that makes you just want to dance wherever you are, or a ballad sung on a pentatonic scale, Asa always tells a story with her music. It might be of a mother whose impressionable child is being influenced by a notorious neighbor as in Broda-ole or a sister-in-law who meddles in her elder brother’s wife’s matter as in Bimpe or even a young man caught up in a love affair with an older woman as in Awe, she always tells a captivating story. The stories usually border on the Nigerian society and also mirror experiences she might have seen or had around the world. It is often a blend of Yoruba and English. They’re never preachy. They’re playful or emotional and always grasp the listener’s attention.

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5. She’s Asa – the hawk, the Nigerian, the lover of all things French! We love Asa because she’s herself. She’s original, consistent, unique, smart, a traveler – Sugar, spice and everything art. She doesn’t ever produce mediocre. Instead, back to back, her albums are quality and keeps her fans requesting for more and more. She does not try to fit in, or copy what’s in trend. She always comes up with something great. We all know that when it comes to Asa, the only thing we can expect is greatness.

As a part of her bed of stones tour, Asa will be performing live on May 1st at Eko Hotel; you do not want to miss her.

Author: Ope Adedeji