Archive for May, 2014


Celebrity focus: Aṣa

                     Asa by Nicolas Esposito.jpg

 

i love music, and good music if i might add. lyrics with a good beat can do a whole lot of wonders for a broken soul. in NIgeria, sadly, we have few music artists that can deliver the goods, except one of cos, my celebrity focus for today. her name is Bukola Elemide also known as ASA.

 

Aṣa was born in Paris, France to her Nigerian parents. Her family returned to live in Nigeria when she was two. Aṣa grew up in Alagbole, a boader town in Ogun state near Lagos, in the south-western part of Nigeria. She’s 31 years of age.

 

 

She states that the city is “buzzing with energy but also home to a deep-rooted spirituality. Christianity thrives shoulder to shoulder with Islam in an atmosphere of tolerance, and the turbulent city moves endlessly in an infernal and yet harmonious ballet of love and hate, laughter and violence, poverty and wealth”. Twenty years later, Aṣa returned to Paris where her life as an artist took off.

 

 

Whenever Asa came home from school in Nigeria, she discovered musical acts like Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo. This was while she was in pursuit of educational excellence, and these musical acts are whose footprints she dreamed of following.

 

 

At age 18, Asa was very familiar with frustration. The University was on strike and the choirs were snubbing her. During these frustrating times, Asa used to lock herself in her room and sing. She said this was very comforting. She managed to get her voice heard on a few radio talent shows. Her first applause brought her boundless pleasure. She then signed up, in secret, for the Peter King’s School of Music and learned to play guitar in 6 months. Her singing Yoruba songs differently attracted more Yoruba people and Nigerians at large to her music.

 

 

Aṣa was the only girl in the family and had three brothers. At a tender age she began to look after the house during her parents’ frequent absences. This is when Aṣa started to sing.

 

 

The desire to sing came to her and did not go away, carving out a permanent place in her soul. She preferred singing to talking, improvising endlessly until her mother made her stop. Over the years her father had built up a fine collection of records featuring soul classics and Nigerian music, including Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, King Sunny Adé, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja and Asa went on to draw inspiration from them. Aṣa said “I was a tomboy and when I was a teenager and 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. 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”

 

 

In 2004 Aṣa met her manager and friend, Janet, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, who in turn became her musical partner and producer. He enabled Aṣa, the free spirit, to find her bearings: songs in English and Yoruba, music falling somewhere between pop and soul, inspired by her musical heritage – with particular care paid to the melodies – and reflecting the feeling she puts into it. Her texts talk about her country and the things in her life, all delivered with feigned naïveté and real irony. She states “I like writing or thinking about my texts on the bus, or the molué, as we call it. 49 seats, 99 passengers standing up, as Fela described it. Everyone’s squashed up together and mini-dramas break out all the time. And, at the end of the day, we still manage to laugh, that’s where our strength lies…”

 

 

At this stage of her life, Aṣa finally returned to Paris. This was her chance to test out her talent on the French musical scene, playing with other artists. In the meantime, back in Nigeria, her first single, “Eyé Adaba,” then “Jailer,” were beginning to get airtime. Aṣa soon signed to Naïve Records. Partnered with Cobhams, and with the new involvement of Christophe Dupouy, she produced her first album, Aṣa. The release of the album saw Aṣa win the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008, where she was voted best fresh talent of 10 singers or groups by a jury of 19 music-industry specialists in Paris.

 

 

Her second album, Beautiful Imperfection, was released on 25 October 2010. The lead single from Beautiful Imperfection is titled “Be My Man” and was released in late September. A video for the song was released in mid-October. Speaking in January 2011 to noted UK soul writer Pete Lewis – Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul – about her second album, Asa stated: “‘Beautiful Imperfection’ basically represents the way I see life. The name actually came about from an interview I did about a year ago. I was asked to describe my life. And my reply was ‘Well, its really beautiful- but at the same time it’s IMPERFECT!… And what I realised from that is that I actually LIKE the imperfection! I like the little surprises that life gives you because I feel it HUMBLES you and makes you THINK!”

 

 

 

Track listing for Aṣa

  1. “Jailer”
  2. “360”
  3. “Bibanke”
  4. “Subway”
  5. “Fire on the Mountain”
  6. “Eye Adaba”
  7. “No One Knows”
  8. “Awe”
  9. “Peace”
  10. “So Beautiful”
  11. “Iba”

 

 

Track listing for Beautiful Imperfection

  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”
  13. “Bamidelé (Digital Bonus Track)”

 

 

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“Our culture tries to un-complicate sex by advocating to, “do it often and with multiple partners.” We try to un-complicate sex by dumbing it down to a mere appetite. Even if it were a mere appetite then a good majority of our culture could be classified as sexually obese. Let’s face it. Sex is complicated. It is the driving force of many people’s lives. And they will loose all human reason to indulge in it for a fleeting second. Sex is powerful. It has the power to bind together or tear apart. It has the power to heal or destroy. It has the power to build up or tear down. It has the power to give or to take. It has the power to mar or to make beautiful.” – Unknown

♥ Kamiz

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Being a Virgin Isn’t Enough

Going through my twitter time line, i stumbled upon a post of my favorite bloggers.. well forgive me, it caught my attention only because the word ‘virgin’ was written.. but as i read on, i did not regret it one bit..lesson learnt.. the owner of the post? her name is chadia mathurin, Enjoy,

 

 

It’s 2:57 am and I can’t sleep. God has placed some things of great significance on my heart as it pertains relationships and emotions

and how these things affect Christian men and women. I am a 22 year old Christian woman. I have never been in a relationship. My

lips remain untouched. I am a virgin. Yet, I am not owner to that sense of wholeness and purity that should come with my chaste

status. During the past couple of  weeks, I spent some time talking to God about that nagging feeling that stalked me; that feeling

said, “Chadia, being a virgin isn’t enough.” For others, it would read that being celibate isn’t enough. I found out that there was great

merit to this uncomfortable feeling and the disconcerting thought which it bred, and I will share with you why.

I’ve never been in a relationship, but I’m not exactly the type of woman who shies away from men. I shy away from relationships, but

not men. My personality is one that revels in winning. As such, I became a master of the game. I enjoyed mind games and the sense

of conquest that came with them, and the man who was the quintessential flirt was my perfect prey. I took pleasure in my ability to

make a man fall, but remain detached. By the time I was 17, I had read so many books that explained the psychology of the man in

contrast to the psychology of the woman that I had gleaned an understanding of men, well beyond my years. I understood things

about them that they themselves were yet to become aware of. What I thought was fun, would taint something that I deemed very

valuable: my purity.

In the Christian realm we often view purity as something having to do only with the physical; only as it pertains to sex. But I am fast

learning that emotional integrity is a big part of purity. God started to reveal to me how we as young  men and women give off pieces

of ourselves to others who are not our spouses. As a young woman, I shouldn’t be doing for another man what only my husband

should experience. Too many men have experienced the care and affection that only my husband should experience, too many men

have heard me say words that only my husband should hear, and too many men have received the affirmation that only my husband

should receive. Too many men have seen and experienced the power behind the woman that I am; the power that only my husband

should experience. As a young man, too many women should not  have experienced the care and affection that only your wife should

experience, too many women should not have heard you say the words that only your wife should hear, and too many women should

not  have received the affirmation that only your wife should receive.

When you’re young, armed with knowledge but not enough wisdom, the attachment (the individual to you) that comes with giving

away these pieces of yourself deceives you into believing that you are in a position of power. You believe that these other people are

getting hurt, but you have it under control. Trust me when I say that you have told yourself a big lie. To young women, I say to you

that you are compromising your emotional wholeness, which is unfair to both you and your future husband. To young men, I say to

you that your are compromising your emotional wholeness which is unfair both to you and your future wife. We become nothing but

robots of the game. The game was not created for us. We are Christians. It is not ours to play.

I asked myself if God were allow me to meet my husband today, would I be in a place of emotional integrity that he is worthy of? How

many men am I emotionally attached to? How many “friends” do I need to redefine my relationship with? Will I be able to love him as I

should? Would I be as open as I could be? How unfair would it be to him, that another man has experienced what is his? This is why I

say that we simply become robots of the game. All my game playing has left me in a place of emotional brokenness. I shouldn’t be

afraid to become attached to someone if he is serious about me, and has created an atmosphere of trust and comfort, but I am. I

shouldn’t be afraid to share certain things with someone if he has created an atmosphere of trust and comfort, but I am. It is important

to guard one’s heart, but mine is in a maximum security prison.

Despite still having some unattached pieces from the puzzle of emotional wholeness and integrity, God has allowed me to put many of

the pieces back together again. I don’t flirt anymore. It is a dangerous and unfair game. I watch how I give compliments. There is a

compliment and then there is the deliberate stroking of the ego. I understand that it is not my job to make a man who is not my

husband or intended husband feel like he is Superman. You affirm a man too much, he either becomes attached if he’s not averse to

the idea of a relationship or runs if he is averse. Affirmation is a powerful thing to a man, and if you can make him feel like he’s

Superman he also recognizes that you can become his kryptonite; meaning he recognizes that you are a force to be taken seriously.

I’ve learnt to set boundaries, and I’ve learnt to ask questions. I ask from the get go what a man’s intentions are where I’m concerned. If you are not serious about me, then we shouldn’t be having certain conversations, we shouldn’t be sharing certain jokes and

information, and you probably shouldn’t be taking me out to nice, cozy dinners and giving me gifts. I’ve also taken note of the things

that I value. I understand that giving gifts is a big part of how I  demonstrate love, so I don’t give gifts to all and sundry. It may be a

normal way of life to the man, but to me it’s a big deal, and somewhat alters the way I feel about an individual.

I don’t know how to guide a young man along the path of emotional integrity, but I can say this: I believe that God has called the

young men in the body to stand apart from the young men of the world. They stand apart by understanding that their rightful place is

the place of leadership. They stand apart by understanding that theirs is a role of protection, and subsequently demonstrating this

comprehension by guarding and protecting the emotions of the young women with whom they interact. They stand apart by operating

in integrity when pursuing a woman in the body. Gentlemen, it makes absolutely no sense pursuing women when you know that

settling down is afar off for you.  It is not your job to flatter a young woman that you have no intention of taking seriously, and you

should feel absolutely no guilt about it. It doesn’t matter how much you say that we are “just friends”. If your mouth is saying one thing

but your actions are saying another, the woman will most likely go with what you are doing. Do not be alarmed that even after you’ve

said a million times that we are just friends that a woman falls for you, if you’re treating her like only someone who is her man should

.

My eyes have become heavy, and the clacking sound of the keys of my keyboard is no longer appealing. I have church in a few

hours, but I would hope that this post would open the discourse on emotional integrity amongst young men and women of God, and

even those who are in the world. After all, he came that we would all have life more abundantly. I’m off for now. And it is possible that

you will hear more on this topic from me. Shalom!

 

The Weeknd talks on how Touring Makes Him A Better Artist (First Audio Interview to MTV)

This interview made me realize that Nigerian artists have a long way to go when it comes to song writing. the depth of a song is key, sadly, in this country, all we hear are crappy song lyrics with a good beat to cover up. i hope some day soon, all these change. big ups to Asa tho, she’s the only one making good music in Nigeria..xo

The Weeknd – Pretty is from the album KISSLAND available to download here http://smarturl.it/TheWeekndKissLand

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