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Asha Imunopays homage to the West Coast life with new single 'Phonics'

by Maja Bebber

LA-based genre-bender Asha Imuno deciphers mixed signals and hits the mute button on relationship drama with the release of his new whip-appeal single PHONICS.

Asha Imuno is an artist, producer and songwriter from Moreno Valley, California. The 22-year-old multihyphenate’s creativity is a melting pot of inspiration, seamlessly blending nostalgic influences from classic Hip-Hop and R&B with a refreshing take on new age Soul & Funk sounds. At 16, Imuno began rapping over his own beats & sharing them on SoundCloud, quickly developing a hyper-local following amongst his community in Moreno Valley. His progress led him to sharing his first mixtape “Good News” in 2020, an initial look into Imuno’s versatility as both a rapper & vocalist. Today, LA-based Asha Imuno deciphers mixed signals and hits the mute button on relationship drama with the release of his single “PHONICS,” featuring Long Beach, CA natives WESTSIDE BOOGIE and Tempest.

The sharp, bouncy co-production by Asha and Zach Ezzy (Jordan Ward, Smino, Alex Isley) captures a reimagined West Coast hip-hop feel, as the interplay between the rich overtones of world-renowned harpist Sara Kawai’s harp and the punchy 808s strike a harmonious balance. Asha’s sonic world straddles the edge between nostalgia and innovation, drawing inspiration from California legends like Vince Staples, ScHoolboy Q, Suga Free, Bino Rideaux, Blxst and Anderson.Paak.

“‘PHONICS’ is a song about relationships that end up getting more complicated than what was originally intended, but it’s not a heady, sappy type of song,” explains Asha. “I used to obsess over BOOGIE’s storytelling in highschool and Tempest is all around one of my favorite artists coming up out of California. We made this song for the whip and the house parties. It’s got this feeling and bounce in it that you could only get from the West Coast.”

In addition to the new single, Asha shares the delivery date of his debut album PINS & NEEDLES, out March 1st, 2024. This news follows acclaim from media tastemakers at Pigeons and Planes, The Line of Best Fit and more, all who have shared their respective excitement for the full-length project.

“I’m hoping the listener can feel more of me peeking through the music with every song I share. ‘PUSHING BUTTONS’ is about shame and redemption, ‘DID I CALL AT A BAT TIME?’ is cheeky and confident, ‘FLORIDA WATER’ is about love-nostalgia and ‘PHONICS’ is more of my imperfect, irritated, reactive side. It’s all about showing that I’m a real person with strengths, weaknesses, habits and contradictions,” says Asha on the steady progression of the introspective world he’s shared thus far.

PHONICS is out everywhere now.

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