When I first laid eyes on Paris-born, Nigerian singer – Asa, I was immediately drawn to her plucked-straight-out-of-Hipsterville, USA, vibe! But once my ears got to experience her unique sound, I knew that she was something special. Far from cookie-cutter archetypes, found in the corners of say, Brooklyn, NY.
Given her trans-cultural upbringing, living between South-Western Nigeria and Paris, there’s no shortage of cross-pollination and musical inspirations. Some of these influences include the likes of Erykah Badu, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti and Aretha Franklin, just to name a few.
What makes Asa’s sound unique is the fact that many of her songs feature her singing in her native tongue of Yoruba, set to the backdrop of moody, Sade-esque instrumentals. As demonstrated in one of my favorite, tracks “Ba Mi Dele” (found on her 2010 album “Beautiful imperfection”) – this makes her brand of music and lyrical storytelling all the more interesting to listen to.
Asa’s video for her, single “Eyo” off her 2014 album, “Bed of Stone” is reminiscent of the Jill Scott classic, “A Long Walk”, only it’s set in the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Every frame of that well-shot video makes me long for home! Watch below:
Although I may be late to the party, I’m having the best time uncovering all of Asa’s sonically masterful music. And to say I can’t wait to see what she delivers next, is an understatement.