BBC-Music profiles

French - Nigerian artist who blends 60’s soul with reggae and r’n’b influences while singing in both English and Yoruba.

* Asa (pronounced Asha) was born in Paris but relocated to Lagos in Nigeria when she was 2.
* In Lagos she often looked after the home and her brothers in the absence of her parents. It was at this point a young Asa began to sing.
* She found inspiration in her father’s collection of Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin and Lagbaja records.
* After a spell at one of Nigerian’s most respected schools she discovered contemporary soul such as Erika Badu and Lauryn Hill.
* Rejected by choirs because of her deep voice Asa secretly signed up at Peter King’s School of Music, where she learnt to play the guitar in 6 months.
* In 2004 Asa was introduced to Cob hams Emmanuel Asuquo, and the two soon began to work together on musical projects.
* Asa means little falcon, a nickname she acquired after a running away incident in her childhood.

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