Aṣa (pronounced “Asha”; born 17 September 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 her Nigerian
parents. Her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was two. Aṣa
grew up in Alagbole, a border town in Ogun state 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
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
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
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
The Nigerian-born singer Asa was reportedly charged in a Nigerian court for lesbianism.
The case was brought before Justice Coker and it was heard when her
star witness, Damilola Amolegbe was said to have declined being called
as a witness, telling Asa’s lawyers from Abraham Chambers that she
couldn’t be a witness in Asa’s matter.
Having granted the music star much indulgence in the matter, the
trial Judge then ordered that the case be closed and called for written
address of the two parties.
Asa’s first witness, Taiwo Olakunle of HiTv was suddenly dropped at
the earlier trial stage when she was confronted with hard evidences.
Meanwhile her manager Janet Nwose, who was alleged to be having
affair with Asa did not come up as a witness which has remained baffling
and suspicious to legal experts.
It would be recalled that Asa and her manager, Janet Nwose had a suit
against the publishers of a Lagos-based magazine, ‘News of the People’
sometime last year. They urged the court to declare that the statement
and picture in the December 14-22 edition of the magazine, entitled
“Lesbianism Tale Trails Asa and Manager” was defamatory.
Asa wants the court to declare that the allegation of lesbianism
against her and Janet is false, illegal and a violation of their rights.
They are also asking the court to restrain the defendant from further
publication of what they described as malicious statements against
them, adding that the alleged defamatory statement was calculated to
discredit and malign them in their ‘unblemished’ career as international
music artists with high moral standing, which they have consistently
conveyed in their songs.
Multiple award winning singer — Asa, has opened up to Toolz on Beat
Fm 99.9 about her relationship and the inspiration behind her new album
‘Bed of Stone”
Asa and her boyfriend
In an interview she admitted to be in a heterosexual relationship. Asa
said because she felt lonely and wanted to feel loved, she had to drive
for 18hrs from Nashville to New York to get inspiration for most of the
songs on her new album. Toolz asked the “Eyo’ singer if she has now
found love, Asa replied
‘Yes, I have and I am very happy and I guess that’s what inspired the song, ‘How did love find me?’
Toolz also asked if he’s a Nigerian, she said ‘No he’s not a Nigerian, I won’t say more than that’