In the Fourth Volume of Festac Icon , we would be celebrating this time around a female singer who lived part of her Life in our wonderful residential Town , Festac town.
The lady with a dual citizenship; French by birth and Nigerian by heritage and known as Africans Singing Sensation. She is no other than the talented singer we all know as Asa.
Asa born on September 1982 as Olubukola Elemide in Paris, France. Her mother was a shopkeeper while her father shot video reports for wedding , little wonder she discovered music at a tender age ,music with the likes of Bob Marley , Fela Kuti.
At the age of two , her parents returned form Paris to Lagos where then moved again to Jos, Plateau State , northern Nigeria where she spent years before coming back to Lagos and had her guitar lessons.
The singer is the only girl out of 4 kids , with three brothers. Born to Akin Elemide who was also a Telecom engineer at the time. She was nicknamed Asa when she was a kid and it meant Little hawk in Yoruba.
Asa attended Peter King’s Music school in Badagry, border town of Lagos where her love for the guitar developed and was nurtured for a year.
Asa speaks of her childhood in Festac Town in an interview and described the Neighbourhood as ‘The Projects’she says
‘I prefer to call it the projects, because that’s what it was. A beautiful project which didn’t end up carrying out everything. It’s true that it was a popular neighbourhood and really poor at that, but many artists lived there. There was a lot of friendships and we laughed a lot together.’
Her father had a huge rich collection of different genre’s of music ranging from Church music to soul , to afro beat , even Apala and street music.
Asa reveals in an interview that she has always made it known and clear to her parents about her wanting to be a singer right from when she was a girl.
Her dad wanted her to be a lawyer , but mum didn’t have really have any objections to it but never saw her going into it full time.
I always made them know that I wanted to be a musician ever since I was a little girl. It was met with a mixed reaction, my father preferred me to be a lawyer. I mean, its the usual thing. My mother, on the other hand didn’t have much of a problem. She thought it was a good hobby. She always liked seeing her daughter sing but not as a profession. So I had to struggle with that, and that was the need to, eh, compared to having people telling me that I didn’t have a good voice, I couldn’t stay in the choir because I was always fighting all the time to have one chance on the mike. It was a struggle for me, childhood was a struggle, coming out telling people I wanted to sing was a struggle because they just thought I didn’t have a good voice.
Asa has established herself as an international artiste playing in major concerts all over Europe. Living and spending her formative years both in Paris and Festac she has become a force to be reckoned with in the Music industry both locally and internationally.