Who: She first got our attention with a 2007 self-titled debut that drew raves and landed her plum tour-opener slots for John Legend, Akon, Beyoncé and Snoop Dogg overseas. Now Nigerian-French Asa (pronounced “Asha”) is stepping up her career with a sophomore album, Beautiful Imperfection, set for release in early September, and her eyes set on household-name status on these shores.
The sound is pure summer: Easy reggae one minute (as in the free track “Why Can’t We,” below) and '60s girl-group pop the next (as in another track off the album, “Be My Man,” for which the video below looks snagged from an episode of "Glee"), all of it threaded through with Asa’s smoky pipes, which recall Erykah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae and even Noisettes frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa. Catch her tonight at Rockwood Music Hall at 9:30 p.m.
Download this: “Why Can’t We” mp3