“New album, new Asa”

With new found confidence, this is how singer, songwriter and musician Asa describes her new album, Beautiful Imperfection, set for release on October 25 through naïve record label.

Following on from her self-titled debut album, released worldwide in 2007, the Nigerian songstress Asa personifies evolution with her sophomore effort. “The first album reflected my state of mind then” Asa says. “I had a lot to talk about – social and political issues. This time, I felt different: I wanted to create something that would help people come out of sad moods and feel uplifted.

And that she has. The album’s lead single Be My Man, an up-tempo rock-tinged track with hints of 1960s soul, sees Asa in romantic mode, as she sweetly croons to her love interest. Guitar-driven Why Can’t We, laced with strong horns and beautiful harmonies is undoubtedly a toe-tapper. And the feel-good essence of easy-listening track Dreamer Girl could easily cause listeners to close their eyes and get lost in Asa’s soft and floaty vocals.

When you catch yourself dreaming, you can sometimes sense that people nearby could hear you, and suddenly, you might feel like it’s a crime. But I’m actually the dreamer girl in that song” Asa laughs.

Born in Paris and returning to her family’s home in Lagos, Nigeria at the age of two, Asa found herself dreaming from an early age. As the only girl in a family of four, living in an African city that was both vibrant and turbulent, young Asa often sought solace in her thoughts. With a vivid imagination and dreams of musical stardom, she would often take to an imaginary stage with her imaginary microphone and perform to her imaginary audience.

Growing up listening to a diverse range of music from artists including Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and Lauryn Hill, these influences all played their part when Asa began to forge her own musical path.

Full of ambition and tenacity, she signed herself up to a music school when she was 18, learned to play the guitar and shaped her sound: songs delivered in both English and Yoruba, with a winning fusion of contemporary soul, pop, reggae and funk, complete with strong vocals and soul-stirring melodies. Asa then returned to France to cut her teeth on the Parisian music scene.

It wasn’t long before she was signed to record label naïve and in 2007, she released her debut album, which spawned the hits songs Jailer and Fire on the Mountain. The record launched Asa as a powerful songstress, unafraid to tackle serious issues with intelligence and confidence.

Asa’s debut album met recognition worldwide and was supported by an extended tour - including Europe, North America, Africa and Japan. Asa also received support from musical greats such as Lenny Kravitz, Katie Melua or Angelique Kidjo who invited her to perform duets on various occasions.

With her dreams fully in motion and with an array of experiences under her belt, Asa was in a purely positive frame of mind when crafting her new album, Beautiful Imperfection.

"It is different from the first album; it has more brightness” Asa says of Beautiful Imperfection. One of the album’s stand-out tracks is the up-tempo, country music-tinged Broda Olé – a song you can’t help but clap your hands to. Sung in Yoruba, Asa explains that the song attempts to deliver its message through comedy and irony.

In addition to the upbeat, happy tones of the album, Beautiful Imperfection also boasts gorgeous ballads with Baby Gone, Oré and the haunting, piano-driven song Questions.

Reflecting on the album’s enchanting title, Asa says: “The world has many imperfections, but in many ways, that’s what makes it beautiful. And I think that as long as we accept that it is imperfect, it will make us strive to try and make it a better place.

Armoured with a strong sense of self and restored happiness, Asa is ready to make her mark on the music world all over again.

"BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION" out from 25 OCT, 2010 in Europe (naïve)
Track listing:

1. Why Can't We

2. Maybe

3. Be My Man

4. Preacher Man

5. Bimpé

6. The Way I Feel

7. OK OK

8. Dreamer Girl

9. Oré

10. Baby Gone

11. Broda Olé

12. Questions

The video for "Be my man" was shot 4 days ago. Here are pictures from the video shoot.

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