ALBUM REVIEW: The vim and dynamism of a new Bukola Elemide (Aṣa) in ‘V’

Aṣa who has been in the music world for over a decade won the hearts of many till today through her debut album Aṣa (Asha) in 2007; followed by Beautiful Imperfection (2010); Bed of Stone (2014); Lucid (2019) and now V (2022).

As many Nigerian artistes are gaining recognition recently in the international scene, Aṣa’s visibility storming the music world does not just start today.

The name, Aṣa is well known by many and it has become a household name for music lovers other than her name, Bukola Elemide.

The Nigerian-French singer, songwriter, and recording artist surfaced with the release of her new album, “V” on the 25th of February, as a welcome back gift to her music lovers after going on a 3 years break.

On the 11th of October, 2019, the internationally recognised singer released her album Lucid with “The Beginning” as one of the hit songs.

In the career path of the sensational artiste, one thing as a routine of hers is the gap of years in between when she released an album and years of coming back from the break with another album.

Her new album, according to her, was written entirely in front of the water and that contributed greatly to the songs as she sound so calm.

Is it that Aṣa is recently in love than before as her new album preaches more love than she’s known for to be diverted?

The voice behind Eyo, Be My Man, Bamidele, Fire on the Mountain on the fire, Jailer and more inspiring socio-cultural songs have been gaining momentum ever since.

The 10 songs in her latest album, V lasted for 30 minutes but does it depicts more of her music policy and potential?

The initial release of IDK, Ocean, Mayana off the album gave an insight into what the album is.

CARRIED AWAY BY LOVE

Larger percent of this in her new album differentiates her from the Aṣa known for a pattern of the song. With the likes of Show Me Off, All I Ever Wanted, Morning Man, IDG; Love Me or Give Me Wine project Aṣa to have likely switched on to the commercialisation of her being from the ‘all rounder’ Aṣa.

The sensational singer expresses her mind in various diverse through her new project featuring Amaarae. The “All I Ever Wanted” track enlisted all she wanted from her lover. Aṣa has always been a preacher of love and this does not exclude her expression in this.

“Baby, I wouldn’t let you. All I want is to make you be my own till you fucked it up… Make me feel like say I dey on top…”

Being carried away with love, she questioned the attitude of her love to ask, “Shoti gbagbe nii (Have you forgotten) the way we were before now?”

Love was written all over her face until she wonders if she was the only one

BELIEVER OF WHEN THE GOOD TIMES IS

Just like the Believe track, she was able to find her way around the song content with her delivery.

In her collaboration with The Cavemen, the subject matter of the track, Good Times focuses on society’s lovely hate for another; the beautiful awful love shown by those close to people.

“They say, blood is thicker than water, some friends are loyal than brothers.”

She prays to live long with her friends, forgiving her for the wrong she does.

She places more respect, honour, care and love for friends than the family who prefers to chase one away

CELEBRATION OF OTHER ARTISTES

The album also celebrates other artistes featuring her.

The appearance of one of Nigeria’s biggest boys in the music industry currently, Big Wiz spiced the album of Aṣa. It has always been expected by music enthusiasts that the duo sings together.

She had said in an interview recently, “With Wizkid, there’s a friendship. Before the music, we sit down, we have a drink and just talk about all kinds of things— animals and normal things about his life. And The Cavemen! Oh my God, they are full of energy. They are amazing people, so the collaboration came from a natural place.”

The IDG song was released off the Aṣa’s V album and had many getting the song listened to. This is the first time both musicians will be featuring each other.

The 3 mins songs had the duo systemically flow in the afrobeats swiftly.

MORNING MAN, SHOW ME OFF

The guitarist characterised her love in what looks like shooting her shot in the Morning Man track of the album.

The love, the affection, the memory, the feeling towards her man reflect in her lyrics and composure in ensuring she wins his heart.

This is a very unusual act by Nigerian and African ladies at large to ask their opposite gender out just like every other foreign-based woman.

Aṣa goes beyond the usual to ensure she becomes the reason why he smiles every day. It appears her man has been jilted before she walked in but will her encouragement, beautiful words of love make him love again?.

Since she claims to know what her Morning Man wants, becoming the woman that he wants seems to be very easy for her.

No love is as beautiful as showing one another. Exactly, this is what Aṣa calls only requires from her Morning Man after fulfilling her part of making him be love again.

Part of her lyrics, “Show me off. Show me to the world. I wanna live it up with you. Live my life with you.” denotes what she wants from the man that mesmerises her merely looking at his face.

A perfect display of that from the sensational singer projects the voice of many ladies who always want to be seen everywhere with their man as a point of reference to “I was there with you through thick and thin.”

Just like every average lady, she doesn’t appear to someone who is meant to be restrained inside for others not to be seen.

HEARTBREAK RUINS LOVE, CARRIED AWAY BY THE OCEAN

If not any other song, a particular one that gives Aṣa a moment of sharing her bittered love life is the “Nike” track in the V album

Aṣa was able to bring into life the general and well-known word among Nigerian youths of today, breakfast.

She ate her national cake of the breakfast on the level of her prominence. It is a replication or reference to how individuals known gets into the media more when heartbroken compared to a random fellow.

“You say you love me, still you break my heart.”

The song is an emotional song made for heartbroken ones to reminisce about their former love style. It carries the embodiment of pain and cry. She demonstrates the shattered heart like plate broken by a child which cannot be mended anymore. She asks, if she will ever be in love as she ends the song, “You say you love me, now you break my heart.”

Undoubtedly, she showcased what she carries in the album by diverting and picking a new gape of lyrics. She was able to infuse afrobeats and reggae, jazz genres in the album with flows of beautiful lyrics.

The V album is the definition of who she is as she does not want to do another ‘Jailer’ nor does she want to do another ‘Bibanke’.

In an interview with Africa Apple Music, she revealed, “I wanted to be inspired, and I wanted it to be real.”

One of the successes of Aṣa’s 2022 album is that it becomes her debut work project she will be working with other artistes. She was able to feature Wizkid, The Cavemen, and Amaraae.

Aṣa who is a songwriter, recording artist, and one of Nigeria’s most exposed musicians is, however, perceived not to have been putting much in recognition and collaboration with her fellow Nigerian artistes who do something similar to her genre of music.

The V album, however, languished to be rated high on its discography. It failed to maintain the velocity in the Aṣa (Asha), Beautiful Imperfection, Bed of Stone album days.

Damilola Olufemi is a media-savvy and writer with numerous journalistic awards. He’s on Twitter and Instagram @TheOluwadarmie

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