Bukola Elemide was born was born on the 17th of September, 1982 in Paris. She is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter and recording artiste. Her music is known worldwide and she is one of AWLO’s extraordinary voices and as such, we explore her outstanding journey into the music industry.


Bukola Elemide aka Asa which means ‘Hawk’ in Yoruba was born to Nigerian parents in Paris. When she was two years old they moved back to Nigeria. The only girl out of four children, she was often left alone at home with her brothers, when her parents traveled and that was how she found music. It’s very ironical to think that the very talented Asa was once rejected by choirs because of her low-pitched voice which set her apart;

[Tweet “…People didn’t understand my low-pitched deep voice, the choirs didn’t want anything to do with me. @Asa_official“]

“…People didn’t understand my low-pitched deep voice, the choirs didn’t want anything to do with me. I had to get to church first if I was to have any chance of getting near the mic”

It is often known that when people are made for greatness, they are often set apart because of how different they are from others. Asa went through a stage where she was bullied and often left alone because of how differently she did things;

“I was a tomboy and when I was a teenager I became very shy because people made fun of me … in my own way, I was already attracting attention! I got in the habit of never doing anything like everyone else…”

She cites how her father had a collection of music records with artists like Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklyn, Marvin Gaye, Angelique Kidjo which she grew up listening to and later influenced her musical career;

“My dad had the records of my earliest musical influences. He used them for his work and I loved the way they looked on the album covers. Michael Jackson was a hit as far I was concerned! He danced so well and I loved to dance”

Asa has her style of music going in a different direction from the norm of what Nigerian music is known to be. While she says she doesn’t term her music as it is too limiting. She says that she writes based on how she feels and at the end wants people to be touched by her music and that is exactly what her music does. Nobody can deny the vibes you get when you hear Jailer or Dead again;

“I am not sure I can describe my sound and music. When I write and sing, I just want the music to touch you…”

Asa’s music is timeless and ethereal. Her lyrics are based on her life experiences, her country and life in general. She has a way of drawing people into her music which makes her phenomenal. Asa has shown perseverance in her journey. She inspires people to follow their dreams no matter the struggles and obstacles we face;

[Tweet “Always start a journey with your own self. Forget about the noise and what’s happening – @Asa_official“]

“I went through a lot but I can’t start telling you everything but what I learnt is that you should believe in yourself.  Always start a journey with your own self.  Forget about the noise and what’s happening, it’s you.  And that is the basic truth.”

Bukola Elemide is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Bukola Elemide.