Also Known as: Asha
In a relationship with:
Hometown: Itoko, Abeokuta, Ogun state
Fun fact: Asa grew up in a Celestial family
“"I was a tomboy and when I was a teenager and I became very shy because people made fun of me”
“. In Nigeria, you learn to improvise, to become a survivor”
” “I don’t speak Yoruba as well as I sing it;
“I never trusted people – I didn’t trust men for a long time.”
Born Olubukola Elemide on 1 of September 1982 in Paris, France is a Nigerian-French singer and song writer. She was born to father, Akin Elemide who was a telecoms engineer at the time. Asa grew up as the only girl child with 3 brothers. Her family moved back to Nigeria when she was 2 years old and she grew up in FESTAC. On the Elemide’s return to Nigeria, Her mother became a shopkeeper and her father shot video reports for weddings. Young Asa had to deal with the harsh reality when her parents got divorced and though damaging for her she believes it came with unique blessings. The name ‘Asa’ was a Yoruba nickname given to her as a young age and it means ‘hawk’. Asa spent her formative years in the city of Jos, Plateau State, in northern Nigeria before returning to Lagos at the age of 18.
Asa’s mother enrolled her in the prestigious Corona High school Lagos and went further to federal government college in Jos and moved back to Lagos to attend Lagos State University and was enrolled in the department of Theatre Arts and Music. She got admission to study as a diploma student which required her spending about 2years but Asa spent only about a little over 6 months and then left because it was clashing with her professional musical classes at the renowned saxophonist, Peter King's Musical School in Badagry, where she majored in Guitar studies for a year.
Asa discovered music while rummaging through her father’s music collection and discovered classics such as Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja. Growing up she was rejected by choirs because of the deep tone of her voice. When she moved back to France she got inspiration from contemporary musicians like Erika Badu, D’Angelo, Rafel Saadiq, Lauryn Hill and Angelique Kidjo.
In 2001 she released her debut album ‘The Captivator’. After which she released two other albums ‘Asa’ and ‘Beautiful Imperfections’ that got her labeled best female vocalist in Africa. Her remarkable debut and sophomore albums have been internationally certified platinum and gold respectively.
Best known for: Her dreadlocks and guitar side kick. Asa’s music has gotten her international acclaim; she performed alongside Seal at the Montreux Jazz Festival and set out on an extended tour including Europe, North America, Africa and Japan. Asa with her signature husky voice has gained global recognition as an extra ordinary unafraid to tackle issues with intelligence and confidence. She has bagged awards like 2011 French Music Awards Victories de la Musique nomination for 'Female Artist of the Year', Prix Constantin for French new talent,
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) referred to her as a probable21st century Bob Marley. She is known to have worked extensively with the talent Cobhams Asuquo and Naeto C.
African Leadership Network (ALN) Award for Excellence in Leadership. More recently she started her own NGO "The dreamer girl foundation”. The foundation is centered on building library book clubs in Primary schools across Nigeria and the first library is at the Progressive High school in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.
Personal life of Asa
Asa keeps her private life hidden as much as possible, though rumours of her sexual orientation started to loom, she debunked them stating that she is not a lesbian and went as far as suing the media company for libel that stated she was a lesbian.