ON Thursday, July 22, 2010, at Ultima Studio, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, talented singer, Bukola Elemide, popularly known as Asa, visited MTN Project Fame contestants. Asa, who lectured and sang with them, later had a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly.
You have just had a session with the MTN Project Fame contestants, what’s your opinion about the academy as a medium of transformation?
I think it is worthwhile. It is a good idea and quite interesting to give people the chance to express themselves, to be heard and known.
What impact would a project like that have on raw talents wanting to become another Asa?
It would impact positively because at the end of the day, they won’t go away the same. They will be equipped with a wealth of information, knowledge and attitude. And at the end of the day, more doors are opened for them. It is a good idea which will afford them the opportunity to think and express themselves. It will also help them to showcase all they have been doing behind closed doors, bathroom, etc. On the long run, it would be of benefit to all.
You lectured them, rehearsed and chatted with them, did you see super stars in the making or just another run-of-the-mill contestants?
When I listened to their performance, I was overwhelmed! If they are well managed, they can be super stars. The reason is that they have the potentials and are well endowed with skills like the so-called super stars. It is a process they have to go through. They need to learn about life and human relations.
Let me take you on that, as a super star…
(Cuts in) I’m not a super star.
What are those things you have learnt or experienced that you think they should really learn?
Humility, treat people like you treat your God, you will have fans, who will want to follow you. Therefore, you have to learn humility. You can’t be ordinary but add the extra to it as an entertainer. As a potential professional, you have to learn about the ups and downs of life and everything it has to offer you.
From your experience, what are the pitfalls an artist should avoid?
The first thing is that you do not allow fame get into your head. My father once told me that you never stop learning. I understand that, and I have never stopped learning. That is one of the pitfalls. Do not be carried away by the rave and the camera light and the people smiling. There are still a lot on the inside. Do not forget where you are coming from and where you are headed.
What makes a good singer?
What makes a good singer is being you. Sometimes, I tell people that to sing an Asa song is difficult. Why? The reason is because it is so simple. There are lots of difficulties in simple single songs such as giving it the right emotion and singing it in your own way. Someone sang the song and I couldn’t think because I was crying. The reason is that he sang it in his own language and understanding. As an act, we are all different.
What were some of the factors that militated against your dream of becoming a star and how were you able to overcome them?
I have been through a lot.
Share them with us?
I went through a lot, but I can’t start telling you everything. But what I learnt is that you should believe in yourself. Always start a journey with your own self. Forget about the noise and what’s happening, it’s you. And that is the basic truth.
Your songs are hits, when is your next album and will it be as successful as the previous ones?
Yes, my next album will be out later this year.
Behind this lofty project is a brand, MTN, what do you think…
It is more like giving back and I feel honoured, useful and happy to be part of this project.
THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010