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Asa by Nicolas Esposito.jpg
Background information
Birth name Bùkólá Elemide
Born (1982-09-17) 17 September 1982 (age 34)
Paris, France
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • trumpet
Website www.asa-official.com

Aṣa (pronounced "Asha"; born September 17, 1982)[1] is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Her stage name "Aṣa" means "Hawk" in Yoruba.

Early life[edit]

Born Bukola Elemide, Aṣa was born in Paris, France to her Nigerian parents. Her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was two. Aṣa grew up in a small town near Lagos, in the south-western part of Nigeria. Twenty years later, Aṣa returned to Paris where her life as an artist took off.

Whenever Asa came home from school in Nigeria, she discovered musical acts like Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo. This was while she was in pursuit of educational excellence, and these musical acts are whose footprints she dreamed of following.


Aṣa was the only female child in the family and had three brothers. At a young age she began to look after the house during her parents' frequent absences. This is when Aṣa started to sing. Over the years her father had built up a fine collection of records featuring soul classics and Nigerian music, including Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, King Sunny Adé, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja and Asa went on to draw inspiration from them.

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.

At this stage of her life,[when?] Aṣa returned to Paris. Back in Nigeria, her first single, "Eyé Adaba," then "Jailer," were beginning to get airtime. Aṣa soon signed to Naïve Records. Partnered with Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced her first album, Aṣa. The release of the album saw Aṣa win the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008, where 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, was released on 25 October 2010. The lead single from Beautiful Imperfection is titled "Be My Man" and was released in late September. A video for the song was released in mid-October. She also performed with Féfé at the Sydney Festival in 2011[2]



Year Album Chart positions[3]

2007 Aṣa (Asha) 15 81 - 65 32 3
2009 Live in Paris 112 - - - - -
2010 Beautiful Imperfection 14 35 61 54 - 3
2014 Bed of Stone 38 80 - 64 - -

In 2014, it was reported that before the release of Bed of Stone, Asa sold 400,000 albums worldwide.[10]


Year Title FRA
2009 "Fire on the Mountain" - - Aṣa (Asha)
"Jailer" - -
2010 "Be My Man" 89 76 Beautiful Imperfection
2011 "Why Can't We" - 94
2012 "The Way I Feel" - -
"Ba Mi Dele" - - Beautiful Imperfection (re-release)
2014 "Dead Again" 109 - Bed of Stone
2015 "Eyo" - -

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

  • 2007: "Kokoya" - on the soundtrack to the film The First Cry

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2008: Headies Album of the year
  • 2008: Prix Constantin
  • 2011: French Music Awards Victoires de la Musique nomination for "Female Artist of the Year".
  • 2015: Headies nomination for "Best "R&B/Pop Album", "Best Alternative Song", "Best Vocal Performance (Female)", and "Best Recording of the Year"


External links[edit]