Tracka De Day: Asa ‘Why Can’t We’

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For every musical need, there is a Nigerian. Want a side of political activism with your tunes, à la Bob Marley? Listen to Nneka. For traditional African music that picks funk as its dance partner, go see FELA! And it won’t be long before D’Banj is queued up after Kanye on every college dorm party playlist. But then there’s Asa, who hasn’t been tossed into a musical scene the way other Nigerians have. Even before you listen to her music, Asa seems like a different kind of Nigerian musician. While P-Square can blend in with fellow R&B artists Usher and Trey Songz, Asa’s choice of wardrobe recalls the distinctive style of indie rock songstress Shingai Shoniwa. Maybe it’s because she’s a Parisienne—Asa was born in the French/fashion capital and raised in Lagos. Asked in a recent interview with CNN’s African Voices program (video below) whether she felt more connected to Paris than to Lagos, Asa said no. Though currently based in Paris, she’s proud to be from Nigeria. She wants people to ask where she’s from when they listen to her music. Asa’s music, however, achieves a brand of genre-bending that few other Nigerian musicians are attempting. She’s doing her own thing. See for yourself in her latest video, “Why Can’t We” above. In the video Asa sports a series of bright, retro-inspired outfits. Though it’s hard to stick a genre label on it, you could say Asa’s music is like her fashion sense turned into a soundtrack.


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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