A Minute with ASA
Most of your songs are always dedicated to Africa and the problems that are facing the continent. What do you think is your role as an African singer to Africa?
Well I think my role as an artist is to educate young people and to bring them to the truth of what is going on. If we don’t know our story, if we don’t know our history we can’t know who we are. My role as an artist is to bring people together, to sing the songs those messages in the songs that tell the story and how we can come together and make Africa work. It’s been a long journey and I’m hopeful that we will get there. We just have to know our story, we have to know the foundation and we’ll pick up from there.
As a musician how do you maintain realness knowing how cheesy the music business is and how ruthless the record companies are? How do you maintain and still be ASA?
You just have to be yourself. I’m lucky that I work with a record label that appreciates me as an artist not as a product, and I wouldn’t work with anyone that sees me as a product. If you’re comfortable in your craft and you know that you have a message and you use your voice as a tool to touch people you wouldn’t have to go through that. Cheesy like you put it (laughs)
You’ve been exposed to South African music. You even did a stint with Simphiwe Dana. Should we expect any future collaboration?
Definitely! I don’t know when but it has to happen definitely. With Simphiwe and I hope with Hugh Masekela because he is history, he is important you know. He is an inspiration to young people like me and Simphiwe. Unfortunately Mama Africa is gone; if I had grown faster I would’ve met her. Fortunately Hugh Masekela is still here so I would to collaborate and I also respect Thandiswa she is an amazing singer.
What has been the highlight of your tour in South Africa this time around?
The reaction of the people was such amazing. People have come to me and talked to me. They have told me reasons why the love certain songs. With that whenever I go back to write I have that in mind because they spoke to me. Some things I never thought of when I was writing the song and someone comes to me and says thank you ASA this is what this song means to me. The highlight though was the reaction it was amazing “Thank you”.
What inspires you to put out to your music?
The most important thing as a writer is to connect. Tell the story. Everyone knows the story but tell it in a way that’s touching and that relates with you, and that’s a hard one but we must do it it’s in important.
Your second album is very different from the first one. What was the inspiration and thinking behind that?
The inspiration for the second album was growth. I’d grown to become a woman and experienced life. The saying is like it’s until you are a certain age that you begin to live, begin to understand things and that’s what I was going through on the second album. I was experiencing lots of things. I was changing and letting go of so much baggage that I didn’t need. The songs you could feel it’s happy, I wanted it to be happy and I wanted to dance. I wanted to reach out to the people; I didn’t wanna play the guitar and just be in my world. I wanted to look at you in the eye and connect with you and express myself.
So where to from here?
Right I’m on a world tour and afterwards I’m gonna start working on my third album, but presently I’m touring and it’s taking us everywhere. All over the world