ASA TOP 10 GREATEST SONGS
Bukola Elemide popularly known as Asa(pronounced as Asha), has released three studio albums; the first self-titled album, Asa, the sophomore album, Beautiful Imperfection and the most recent one, Bed of Stone.
All of Asa’s albums show a different artistry, and this albums act as various diaries in her life at the period. A very serious-minded Artiste, Asa prides herself as one of Nigeria’s foremost Singer-Songwriters. The first album was filled with heartfelt and poignant lyrics addressing every sensitive topic in Nigeria from politics, ‘Fire on the mountain’ to heartbreak, ‘Bi Ban Ke’. And so were the other two albums except that Asa beautiful imperfection was crafted as a very happy album littered with love songs.
With an amazing and overwhelming discography, naijagoodmusic counts down Asa’s top 10 songs in her career, accommodating only the musician’s greatest songs.
10. Preacher Man: One of the songs on Asa Beautiful Imperfection, Asa’s ‘Preacher Man’ is a slow tempo song, that at times acts as a metaphor for religion in Nigeria and at other times a social commentary song but at it’s heart, at its core is Asa. Her creative storytelling prowess shines through in this song,
‘Preacher man please have some faith
I’ve come to you cos’ I lost my way
Here I am with my bag of shame
Oh please don’t send me away’
Then in the second verse, Asa confesses to the sins not just of her but of many Nigerians, calling on our love for money and materialism,
‘Oh lord, I’ve been very greedy
I worshiped money, and wouldn’t help the needy
Their pains just didn’t move me
What am I and who have i become?’
The ‘Preacher Man’ stands out because Asa avoided the pitfall of being too preachy in the song, always concealing the main theme of the song with interesting lyrics, unpredictable rhymes, and a fine melody.
9. Bed of Stone
Asa’s ‘Bed of Stone’ doubled as the title of her third album as well as the lead single. Asa bed of stone lyrics were about a young girl going through a harsh reality, sleeping on a bed of stone/by the window where no light goes; this song showed immense maturity and characterization in Asa’s lyrics, bringing her artistic growth full circle:
‘Some hope but they let go
Some hope but they don’t know
Which way will the wind blow
What will tomorrow bring
What will tomorrow bring’
Released in 2014, when Nigeria was at a cross-roads, at the eye of another democratic election and when corruption was a-plenty, Asa bed of stone lyrics, provided that much needed solace, that extra light, that elusive hope.
8. Eye Adaba
Asa’s ‘Eye Adaba’ is one of her purest and soulful records till date. ‘Eye Adaba’ means dove in yoruba language, and in this song, with a melody, striking all the notes of sadness, grief and forlorn, Asa captures another beautiful story about Nigeria. Asa Eyo Adaba lyrics were written in yoruba(a practise she still observes till today), therefore not just being a singer-songwriter, but most importantly a custodian of yoruba culture.
‘My mama say baby be careful
If anybody comes to say I love you
My papa say baby I warn you
If anybody comes to say I love you’
That’s the hook to subway, a love song that serves a warning when falling in love, imagine a love song doing two opposite things at once, Asa subway lyrics, confirm our bias in her songwriting ability, and ‘Subway’ is one of Asa’s most powerful song in her discography. Below is a video of Asa performing ‘Subway’ live;
6. Be my man
Asa’s songs have always found themselves at two ends of the spectrum: either social commentary or love, and be my man belongs to the latter. A happy love song, imagine Asa seeing the man she dreams of passing her, she’s at one end of the street, he’s at the other, and yet she feels a certain irky closure; she’s lost control of herself, of her feelings. The beautiful lyrics to Asa’s ‘Be my man’ can be found here.
Taxis waiting down on the streets so
Hurry up I have to go
Looking round you see all the people
Making faces very cold
Those are the starting lines of my personal favorite from Asa’s most recent album, ‘Bed of Stone’. It would be remiss to do an ‘asa top 10 songs’ without including this beautiful ode to a popular Lagos masquerade. Asa’s Eyo video is colourful, the lyrics have the right hues, and as you listen to the song, the journey and experience of Lagos, happens right before you, there’s no need for a visa, there’s no need for a luggage, just listen to Asa’s Eyo.
4. Bi ban ke
Bi ba n ke b’omi ba shun
Fi mi si le
Bim ba n ke bo jo ba n ro
Fi mi si le
Undoubtedly one of the best written heartbreak songs in recent years, this soulful number acted as perhaps the precipice of Asa’s self-titled debut, Asa’s bi ba n ke is emotional, powerful, and from a broken place, inspired by true events, this song is one of Asa’s best written songs till date. It arrests your attention, and puts you in a place(irrespective of your naivety) you hope to never be again.
3. Satan be gone
A powerful powerful record, and perhaps the most honest song from Asa’s Bed of Stone, SBG(satan be gone) has all the african charm and Asa’s soulful voice with lyrics that are ambiguous and clear at the same time. The chants, the wail, the repetitive hook with that strange and deep back-up vocals, make this song a true monster. The lyrics to Asa’s ‘Satan be gone’ can be found here.
2. Fire on the mountain
There’s fire on the mountain
and nobody seems to be on the run
there’s fire on the mountain top
and no one is a-running
A beautiful and inspiring song, ‘Fire on the mountain’ became a resounding radio and street hit. Asa’s ‘Fire on the mountain’ meaning is sombre and reflective, the song narrates the dilapidated economic situation the average Nigerian found themselves in and most importantly the absence of any urgency in trying to rectify the economic and moral woes we found ourselves in. The song painted a realistic picture of Nigeria in 2005, when few kept getting richer while most were left with crumbs that day after day couldn’t pay for a decent life.
Arguably Asa’s biggest song by popularity, the song was so popular it became synonymous with her name, you would see teenage children wet with sweat watching the video by a corner store and shout ‘jailer jailer’. The meaning to Asa’s Jailer lyrics is a metaphoric song that painted a brutally honest picture of Nigeria at that time and till now. You see a rich man build a huge mansion next to a house with clay walls and you begin to listen to Asa closely, it’s true, we’re both in chains both the rich and poor. You can watch the video to Asa’s jailer below: