Epluribus Unum (first amongst many), Asa is a pick at this instance for her never-say-die attitude in reaching the zenith despite the turbulence she has faced on her road to fame and stardom. Now, in the country for a short holiday, she spoke with TOPE OLUKOLE on her journey from the beginning to date.

Born in Paris, France, 26 years ago, Bukola Elemide may not have passed any impression that she would turn out to be an international superstar, especially after her presumed rejection at the 2002 edition of the Star Quest Talent Hunt show, where of course the judges thought she wasn’t impressive enough. Even after she became the prey in that competition, she remained focused and chased after her motive.

Her flight took a whole new dimension in 2004 when she met Janet who turned out to become her friend and later, manager. Shortly after, the connection brought in prolific producer, Cobhams Asuquo and others, and then the journey began.

“My guitar is my boyfriend”, she declares. “I want to show the world that I’m a Nigerian and that something good can come out of Nigeria, it’s not all the things that we hear on CNN that are true”, she explains.

After taking to Naïve Records for about a year, a record deal was finally sealed in 2007. “I was in concert with this French group called les’ Nubians in Paris and someone from the label (Naïve) was there that night. We talked a bit, they told me they would like to work with me and it took us a full year to make a deal.” The outcome of their union finally hatched her debut album titled ‘Asa’, an eponym of herself in December, 2007.

The album is no doubt an outstanding opus –sonorously rendered with a captivating aura that extends the thin line between a good and a fairly delivered song. The woods and other birds quivered when they hear ‘Bibanke’ chirped by this song bird. It made her colony ask “what inspired this song?” “Bibanke is a love story gone bad and I’m simply saying when I cry, leave me alone, after 47 years of independence, the country is yet to find a lasting solution to her power problems, amongst other untreated issues. For now, we seem not to have a choice but to keep suffering and smiling”.

Smiling when there is fire on the mountain; that’s our lot here. Who says there’s no fire on the mountain? It’s more painful because nobody is actually running. That’s the hawk’s message. “The song is about thing(s) happening around us and yet we choose not to talk about it”. ‘Eye Adaba’ remains her intro signature and it was just wise for it to come on board the debut album after years of serenading us with it.

She credits the production of the album ‘Asa’ to Cobhams Asuquo and many others who gave their best to the ground-breaking album. “Naïve did what they promised to do and they are effective with a broader market base. I now have an opportunity to express myself. I am more creative and can now sleep with both eyes closed. You can’t stop an artiste from earning. Now I can earn, I can eat, I can buy clothes and I can have fun. With Naïve, I can sit down with my record label executives and discuss and exchange ideas. There is room to be creative and to sing what I want. That’s why my song has got a Yoruba language content, that’s why it’s got English content.”