by Kolapo Olapoju
Nigerian international singer, Bukola Elemide, popularly known as ‘Asa’ turns 32, today, 17 September.
Asa recently released her third studio album ‘Bed of Stone’ to critical acclaim with the lead single ‘Dead again’, and she has began a tour of Europe to promote the new record.
Back at home, in Nigeria, Asa is loved and celebrated, but due to her infrequent stay in the country, many Nigerians do not know a lot about the petite singer.
If you fall into that category, here are 20 things you should know about Asa.
Asa says her ideal future partner should be tall, slim, built, but not necessarily pretty.
Asa is the only female child in the family and has three brothers.
Asa was born in Paris, France to Nigerian parents, and her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was 2-years-old.
Asa grew up in Alagbole, a border town between Ogun and Lagos states.
At a tender age she began to look after the house during her parents’ frequent absences.
As a young girl, Asa rarely conversed as she preferred singing to talking, improvising endlessly until her mother made her stop.
Asa got influenced musically by her father’s 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.
Asa was a tomboy and as a teenager, she was very shy because people constantly made fun of her.
In 2004 Aṣa met her manager and friend, Janet, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, who produced and co-wrote her debut album.
In 2008, Asa won France’s prestigious Constantin award for new musical talent for her eponymous debut album.
Her second album, Beautiful Imperfection, was released on 25 October 2010.
Asa has opened live shows for musical superstars such as Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Akon and John Legend.
9ice made me Asa speak Yoruba in their collaboration, ‘Pete Pete’. She says, “When he did that I thought that if he could do that then I can do it. And the song was better than the way I expected it”.
Asa loves her country, Nigeria. She says, “I like coming home. I’m not proud like people think; I am inspired at home.”
Asa and her manager, Janet Nwose, whom she was accused of having a lesbian relationship with, slammed a 700million naira lawsuit against the publishers of a Lagos-based magazine, ‘News of the People’ in 2013.
Asa Elemide was involved in a car accident in May 2013 when she was suddenly knocked down by a car in Nashvile, USA, while going for a walk.
Asa released her third studion album, ‘Bed of Stone’ on the 25th of August.
According to her words, she didn’t have a balanced childhood, owing to the divoce of her parents. She said, “It wasn’t a sweet marriage between my parents. It was abusive.”
In 2011, Asa was nominated for the French Music Awards in the category of ‘Female Artist of the Year’
Asa was once heartbroken after a man she met in France suddenly disappeared from her life. She said, “My friends always told me ‘Asa when you’re in love, mehn, if it goes sour, you’re going to cry’, and I’m like ‘oh, shut up!’ I thought I was strong. But later I was in a relationship with a guy in France, and he just disappeared. I didn’t know why. For weeks I was crazy, I was going back to the same spot where we met, hoping he would come. And then I asked myself, ‘what are you doing? You have to get over it.”