“I’m in chains, you’re in chains too
I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too
I’m a prisoner, you’re a prisoner too, Mr Jailer”
Asa is a Nigerian- born singer who is currently performing all over the world. Her music is a feel good, conscious protest to modern day slavery. She explains concepts such as love, oppression, peace, and dreaming. Of course I have some songs that I play over and over because the messages speak to what I am, but all of her music has a sharp angle of awareness that we don’t hear a lot these days.
Asa represents a new breed of artist largely indebted to beautiful poets like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and MeShell Ndegeocello. Her lyrics are far from cookie-cutter, lacking the repetitive, hypnotic trance that modern artists get over using. Asa allows you to think and to get involved spiritually with the rhythms. If there is a parent out there looking for some good music for his/her young teenage daughter to listen to, please try ASA.
My heart leaps when she speaks in her native tongue on songs such as So Beautiful, Bi ban ke, and Bimpe. On her album Beautiful Imperfection, my favorite song is The Way I Feel. It is reminiscent of Nina Simone’s efforts in addressing the struggles of Black expression. While Nina Simone was more direct with her messages of demur, Asa is still powerful, especially since people are seemingly trying to force the world to forget the crimes of colonization endured by people of African descent. It won’t help to forget, or brush these issues under the rug. It’s better to address them and learn about the real history of the mother land.
“I’m talking to you jailer
Stop calling me a prisoner
Let he who is without sin-
be the first to cast the stone
You suppress all my strategy
You oppress every part of me
What you don’t know,
you’re a victim too
These are lyrics from her song Jailer, the first song on her debut album. Just wonderful! Check out ASA in all her efforts to spread a different kind of message, not driven by money. Her music is linked on her website. Check out your local library if you want to borrow her CDs to try them out first. The video below is cool, however, I normally like music more without having viewed the videos. I like to hear the message before seeing it.
This song is great performed live.