Asi Renie is a Ghanaian Neo-Soul and Afro-soul singer and songwriter, who dabbles in other genres such South African house, EDM, R&B /Soul, and Afro-Blues.
Born Renie Asi Bampoe-Abu, the singer being exposed to music at an early age, helped her navigate her way to becoming the phenomenal vocalist she is today.
Having kicked off her career in 2019, Asi has gained popularity with her stunning performances on each live set she’s on.
The year is 2020, just after releasing her much-awaited project “Chapter V”, Asi Renie mounts the stage of Worlasi’s annual concert “Worlafest” clad in all white(by Sekbi Bogolan) performing a reggae version of her 2019 single “Hold On” with Senku Live doing justice to the live set.
Standing in the crowd, I was moved by her voice which echoed as she sang “Hold On”, this drove me to reminisce about her “Chapter V” project.
In Chapter V, Asi sings about love, the power love has to blind situations in order to overcome it. The level of self-awareness it brings. The need to give love a chance and to be loved. The open-ended nature of it and it’s unpredictable journey fueled by so many emotions.
Now the question lies, how will one feel these emotions without experiencing them, and what birthed all of this emotion-filled project? According to Asi Renie in an Instagram post announcing the release of the project said, “This project was birthed out of love, the love I give to myself and love I devote to other things. I’ve always believed that everything comes down to love. We all desire it.
And it fuels every decision we make. Love transcends through time yet still remains constant in its ways. Never changing.“
Deeping the words by Asi moved me to imaging the story behind the project. Fast forward earlier this year in March 2021. Asi made a post on Twitter where she confirmed there was indeed a real life story behind this project.
In this interview, Asi delves deep into the process behind some songs, what Love is, what love means to her and how a conversation in her past inspired one of her songs.
1. Growing up what sounds were you introduced to?
My earliest memory of music was at the random barbeques my parents will have at home, with a constant playlist of jazz and soul music. At 9, I was forced to go for piano lessons every Tuesday and Thursday after school for 6 consecutive years, focused on more classical music, that’s where I got curious and started making my own songs. Another sound that has greatly influenced me was south African music, I remember my dad having a video of Brenda fassie ‘Vulindela’ on his laptop, I try to watch that video over and over, I loved how it made me feel, from the production to Brenda fassie’s energy when delivering the song.
2. What mantra do you live by?
‘I am a tree firmly rooted to the source of all things (God). In that source I find truth to sail through the tough days and all things good. I’m standing firm, blossoming and bearing fruits to sow my seeds across the earth.’
This is what I live by, that I am connected to God, I am an extension of the creator. Once you understand the depth of that, you walk and talk differently, it comes with a certain level of peace. Especially with my music making process, I try as much not to create but to receive.
3. Aside Music, what other things do you love doing?
I write a lot of poems and stories, it’s something I want to tap into very soon. I have an obsession with economics, finance and math. I just love it! I Like learning new things, I read occasionally, but have never finished a book.
4.To first time listeners, how will you describe your type of music?
5. What does love mean to you?
Love is not an emotion, to me! Rather a giver of emotions, it causes as to Act. To say I fully understand it will be a lie, and it makes sense that we do not understand; its one of the few words God compared himself to, hence we must surrender to its complexity.
6.The intro for “Chapter V” is so graceful and touching. What’s the inspiration behind that particular piece?
The intro was inspired by the protagonist in ‘Songs of Songs’ Chapter 5 thus the name chapter V, I admired her vulnerability and strength. Her whole life was centered of the Love she had for her lover, who is anonymous, reading that chapter made me realize a lot about certain decisions I made in my past relationship and the power of love – Love is so open ended, we desire to receive and give it, and once you fall in love, it influences every decision, we worship and surrender to whom/what we have fallen in love with. Its very powerful, so I tried to highlight that a lot in the project.
7. You tell a story about the recording “Say Something” with Kuvie, How persistent were you in making sure you got that beat for “Say Something”.
LOL, sincerely I did not think Kuvie was going to give me the beat. I just had to record and lay vibes on it immediately, so he knows it is mine.
8. What emotions were evoked when recording “Chapter V”?
The project was a healing process, from the very beak up that inspired it. I did not feel regret, but rather I understood myself and my emotions.
9. What does “Chapter V” mean to you?
Chapter V = Love and its complexities = Love and It’s Power = everything comes down to love = Love being one with the Source
10. Is there any song that didn’t make it to this project, you wished it actually did?
There is this song with Kojo Cue that didn’t make it, but nothing spoil!
11. What’s your favorite song off “Chapter V” and Why?
You Hurt Me! I did not think to write the song, it flowed out like it was meant to be. The crazy thing is the words in you hurt me was an actual conversation with my EX (may our relationship rest in peace)
12. Anytime you perform any song from “Chapter V”, what are fans reaction to it?
Reactions are always Positive! And that’s the biggest blessing to know my Art touches souls!
13. What’s up next for Asi Renie, new single, EP, Album… What should Fans expect?
Chapter V Live! Kuulpeeps heard it first!
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