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

Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water (Manhattan/EMI)

Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water (Manhattan/EMI)

This soundtrack suffers only major drawback in my book: the presence of Sting on the song Sea Dreamer. Is there a more irritating singer on the planet? (Yep, the yelper in Yes. The screacher... > Read more

Te Vaka: Olatia (Warm Earth/Ode)

Te Vaka: Olatia (Warm Earth/Ode)

This formerly Auckland-based and socially-conscious group have now relocated to Australia, but Te Vaka rarely played in New Zealand anyway. Theirs was always a bigger calling and they spend much... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MILES DAVIS, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1990): Miles runs the voodoo down

MILES DAVIS, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1990): Miles runs the voodoo down

When trumpeter Miles Davis turned 60 in 1986 the New York weekly Village Voice marked the occasion with a lavish 28-page supplement of essays and critical opinion. By way of introduction the... > Read more

NWA; BACK OUTTA COMPTON (2015): The return of the original gangstas

NWA; BACK OUTTA COMPTON (2015): The return of the original gangstas

When Ice-T boldly announced that gangsta rap was the CNN of the ghetto suburbs, one wit hit back saying — given the cliched posing with guns and chains and the sneering attitude —... > Read more