The beauty in Asa’s new album sits not only her majestic vocals but in her songwriting. Poetically entangled by heartache, Lucid shares a beautiful narrative of love gone wrong, stirring all sorts of emotions, and finding renewed strength.
The fifth album from the French-Nigerian singer-songwriter; Asa’s songs are inspired by real life. Produced by Marlon B, the album speaks of love in all its guises – pain, joy, pleasure and closeness.
Released in early October, Lucid features latest single “Good Thing”, also remixed by South African record –producer Zakes Bantwini.
Indie Does It chatted to Asa to find out more…
Indie Does It: What is your songwriting process?
ASA: Most times it comes naturally. Like when I tinker with the guitar or piano, the melody usually comes first, then the lyrics. I carry a notebook with me in which I write quotes or a line from a movie or something from conversations. This helps me on a day when I have no idea what to write.
Indie Does It: Which current art world trends are you following?
ASA: The current alternate art scene. I’m listening a lot these days to alternate music. People are more expressive today and not following norms. It’s like, the real you is the new cool. I like how the mindset translates into the arts. Be it fashions, music, design… whatever.
Indie Does It: Tell us more about your latest single, ‘Good Thing?’ What was the inspiration behind it?
ASA: My last relationship ended with a lot of misunderstanding. I can’t really say what exactly happened. But with time to reflect, I always have good intentions, I am a good thing but if the other person can’t value it, then I am fine on my own. Same with friendship.
Indie Does It: What was it like working with Zakes Bantwini? And why the decision to do a remix?
ASA: I spent an entire afternoon with Zakes just listening to him speak. He is so cool, very knowledgeable and easy to work with. “Good thing” is a fun song. Why not remix it? I choose my favourite people to jump on the song and make it theirs. I hope you like it.
Indie Does It: What inspires your creativity and how do you seek out new opportunities to work with different artists in the industry?
ASA: A good chord progression. It always begins with the chords. I am always open to working with new and interesting artists. Collaborations for me is a spiritual thing. We have to connect. It’s all about the vibes.
Indie Does It: You grew up in Lagos – tell us more about your childhood. What was it like growing up there – being the only female child in the family?
ASA: Childhood and being the only girl wasn’t much fun. I had to grow up fast and become responsible. You’re told not to trust people in Lagos but, I think that is false. People are always out to help each other. Lagos is loud but cheerful. It’s has its ups and downs but there’s never a day that goes by without you finding something to laugh about.
Indie Does It: What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
ASA: Being a woman, black, Nigerian and having a mind of my own.
Indie Does It: Who are your biggest influences?
ASA: When I get lost, I go back to Bob Marley. For his simplicity, and being an outsider but creating music that traverses all age, gender, colour and sex. He is my biggest influence.
Indie Does It: How do you want your music to impact people?
ASA: I want people to feel warmth when they listen to my songs. I want them to feel like I am speaking their mind, their thoughts.
Indie Does It: if you can change anything about yourself, what would it be and why?
ASA: I would be a little taller. I am envious of tall people. I like to see what they see up there.
Indie Does It: What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
ASA: Make sure you have a unique name so that when someone searches for you on google or wherever, your name stands out. Also, do music because you’re passionate about it.
Indie Does It: What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
ASA: I posted a video of me goofing around recently. People were surprised to see me been playful but I have been like… ‘I don’t take myself too serious’. In school, I was the class clown.
Indie Does It: Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?
ASA: Still here with you and everyone doing what I love best.
Indie Does It: Do you find that it’s more difficult for a woman to make it in the industry than it is for their male counterparts? If so, why and how have you combated this?
ASA: Oh Yeah! It’s a challenge for women. It’s as if women always have to prove themselves. Look around, you have more male artists closing deals then there are women. It takes time to win people’s trust, I guess we just have to keep moving on and not stop.
Indie Does It: What is it about your music and your lyrics that you think makes it relatable to others?
ASA: I think the simplicity. I guess anyone can sing it.
Indie Does It: As an African woman, what message do you want to send to other women of colour that may be facing some of the same struggles you have faced in your life and career?
ASA: Have a mind of your own, not what society expects of you. You can be anything you want to be. Find you passion that’s the way to freedom.