The reinvention of Aṣa, Nigeria’s premier soul music diva

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In February, Asa, the Paris-born, Lagos-bred soul music superstar who now shares her time between both cities, released V, her fifth studio album and eighth project in all. A soulful interpretation of contemporary Nigerian pop, it is her first full dive into the depths of Afrobeats music.

For years, Nigeria’s premier soul music diva has built a career crafting soul tunes about the human condition.

Her eponymous, platinum-selling debut album arrived in 2007 and became an instant classic.

With that record, Aṣa created a rich soundscape blending indie-pop, soul, jazz, folk and R&B genres into an irresistible package that went straight for the mainstream, charting in Europe and landing in the Billboard Heatseekers chart in the United States. The record also won her the now discontinued French Constantin Award in 2008.

Her unique sound, birthed in that debut, was recreated across the three albums that followed. and has directly influenced a new generation of alternative artists looking to express themselves outside the confines of radio-friendly pop. American rocker Lenny Kravitz is a huge fan. So is Kenyan Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Fifteen years after the first album and a little more than two years after her last, Lucid, it is Asa who is now incorporating elements of what is considered radio-friendly pop today, into her own music.

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