Beautiful Imperfections – ASA

By Precious Chasowa

Bukola Elemide (Asa- Meaning Hawk in Yoruba Nigerian Language) born in Paris in 1982, at two years old Asa moved to her familys home in Lagos, Nigeria. Where, as the only girl in a family of four in an African city that was simultaneously vibrant and turbulent, she grew up frequently finding solace in her fathers fine record-collection of classic soul and Nigerian music – including such iconic artists as Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti and Sunny Ade.

Asa captured hearts when she released her first album Asa.  Her second album, Beautiful Imperfection is exactly what it is set to be, beautiful and imperfect when it comes to genre. She mixes the instruments and vocals, from soul, RnB to some pop as well mixing it to be some-likes of Tracy Chapman but she herself names Erykah Badu, D’Angelo,, Lauryn Hill,  lateBob Marley, Marvin Gaye.

The decision of the album title came about when she was asked how to describe her life and music together in an interview. With much thought she replied, Well, it is really beautiful, but yet it is also imperfect. The album comes from her life experiences and how she sees her music as it does not follow the same genre and she herself swings from the Nigerian to French culture as she also writes some of her songs in Yorube, ‘Ore’, ‘Bimpe’ and ‘Broda Ole’.

Two catchy songs from this album are, 1) ‘The way I feel’, as she talks about things that she is curious about  and she explains how it feels to exist in a world that we live in and the smoothening Jazzy feel played in the song completes its purpose. The words spoken in this song are strong and are food to the young mind on things that are happening around us. She sings:

“I feel like we’re not angry enough
That while we wait, time’s ticking away.
I feel there’s gonna be an explosion’
It’s driving me insane.Its just the way I feel”.

Second  would be, ‘Preacher Man’ Independently written, the song opens with piano and acoustic guitar joins in within the first 10 seconds. This song, she is confessing about her wrong doings. She talks of prayer and being ready to change, with the bass coming into the song slowly, one can begin to think about high power and what they are doing with their own life.
The 30 year old has rather a childish yet amazing voice for the Jazzy-pop-soul music that she sings. This album is worth your 54minutes, and an extra half an hour to the songs one can repeat to get a better understanding.


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