Aṣa is a Nigerian-French singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Her stage name “Aṣa” is pronounced “Asha” in Yoruba.
Full Name: Bukola Elemide
Born: 17 September 1982
Birth place: Paris, France
Nationality: Nigerian French
Residence: Paris, France
Genres: Pop jazz indie pop
Instruments: Vocals guitar trumpet
Labels: Wagram Naïve Shanachie
Famous as: singer, songwriter
Also known as: Asha
Active years: 2004-present
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. She 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.
Her music influences grew over the years from the collection of great music her father had built up for his work as a cinematographer.
These records featuring American, Nigerian and African soul classics, included musical greats such as Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, King Sunny Adé, Diana Ross, Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba. She went on to draw inspiration from them.
In 2004, she 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).
She 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 from 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.
Her 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.
On 14 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, will be released on 11 October 2019
Awards and nominations
2008: Prix Constantin
2011: French Music Awards Victoires de la Musique nomination for “Female Artist of the Year”.