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

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba/In a State of Reversal (World Village)

This great interpreter of Arabic music has made a number of appearances at Elsewhere for her sinuous voice and often remarkable songs. She could hold her own with TransGobal Undergrounds in the... > Read more

NITIN SAWHNEY INTERVIEWED (2007): Orchestrating A Throw of Dice

NITIN SAWHNEY INTERVIEWED (2007): Orchestrating A Throw of Dice

Ask British-Indian musician and composer Nitin Sawhney what he’s currently working on and five minutes later he is still telling you. Then adding, “Oh and also . . .” Sawney... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

New York, USA: Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning

New York, USA: Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning

Stanley liked to talk but, to be fair, he had a lot to talk about. Stanley -- portly, smiling, intense -- was the manager at New York's famous, notorious even, Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23rd... > Read more

The Ramones: Hey! Ho! Let's Go: Ramones Anthology (1999)

The Ramones: Hey! Ho! Let's Go: Ramones Anthology (1999)

Like many of my generation, I can remember exactly where I was when JFK, RFK and John Lennon were shot. And when Kurt Cobain proved, contrary to what he sang, he did have a gun. But with as... > Read more