Asa: Asa (Naive)

 |   |  <1 min read

Asa: Jailer
Asa: Asa (Naive)

Channeling equal parts Bob Marley, Joan Armatrading, Tracey Chapman and Minnie Riperton would seem quite some feat, but this Paris-born singer-songwriter of Nigerian descent makes it seem effortless.

Mostly singing English (some Yoruban), her subjects are universal injustice tempered with glimpses into the personal (love and lost love . . . and the injustices of those situations). With strings to swell the arrangements in a couple of places this sometimes tips towards the overly sweet, but her soulful voice -- confident, enticing, full of emotion -- is the constant you keep coming back to.

That she also has her political sentiments sometimes hitched to a gentle reggae bounce or soulful shuffle only adds to their appeal.

As far as I can tell this is only her second album (the first to get international release) but already she has earned considerable respect in Europe (she cracked the UK on the strength of her Jools Holland appearance) and has opened for the likes of Snoop Dogg (!) and others in the US r'n'b/hop-hop world.

Sounds like Asa (pronounced Asha) is well on her way -- and here's why.

Share It

Your Comments

James Littlewood - Dec 16, 2008

I'll give this my first nod for best of 08. Why? Cos it's soulful, peaceful and groovy and I think Katie will let me play it while she's looking after the new kiddo.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Shanren: Left Foot Dance of the Yi (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Shanren: Left Foot Dance of the Yi (Rough Guide/Southbound)

I've always wanted to say this -- because it sound so archaically "Times of London" or like New Zealand Herald editorials in the Sixties -- so here goes . . . "As regular readers... > Read more

Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

Custodio Castelo: The Art of Portuguese Fado Guitar (Arc Music)

For the past few years it has seemed impossible to go to some well-travelled person's home without them extolling the many virtues of Portugal -- and of course fado, that aching folk style sung in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

On paper this may look like just another celebrity collision around an old bluesman -- and singer/pianist Pinetop is a very old bluesman. He's 95. And yes, of course Eric Clapton and BB King are... > Read more

A FAST 15 MINUTES: The ones that got away

A FAST 15 MINUTES: The ones that got away

Well known artists can deliver great songs, but they don't often find an audience. This 15 minute audio programme introduces some that unfortunately went right past most people. For more of these... > Read more