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“The song, which seems kin to some of

Solange's recent material with the

whispering confidence of Kelela, is

a preview of the Eritrean R&B-soul

songstress' upcoming debut EP,

Patterns,which is being released

on February 23.

- Variance Magazine

KQED Arts

Oakland singer Astu’s parents are preachers who raised their children in a tight-knit, religious community. But after high school, Astu took a break from her Charismatic Christian church, promising to return to God later. As she explains it now, “I kind of wilded out.”

She tried to return to her faith with a renewed commitment. She went to seminary college in Oklahoma and married a minister, and became a minister and worship leader herself.

Still, something was missing.

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Variance Magazine

Oakland newcomer ASTU is marking Valentine's Day with the release of her first video for her brimming recent single "Staycation," which is premiering today on Variance.

The song, which seems kin to some of Solange's recent material with the whispering confidence of Kelela, is a preview of the Eritrean R&B-soul songstress' upcoming debut EP Patterns, which is being released on Feb. 23. Like the full project, "Staycation" was produced by Daoud Anthony, who is best known for his recent work with Chance the Rapper collaborator Saba.

"The mood of the music reflects the message of the song," ASTU tells Variance of the track. "It’s the spirit of the way we move in love today. We’re light and unbothered. We chill." 

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Earmilk

We got a 2 for 1 with this newest effort from ASTU,  an Eritrean R&B/soul singer-songwriter out of Oakland, CA.  The song "Staycation/Runaway" blends multiple genres from soul to R&B with down -tempo electro sensibilities. The first half of the song has a more bright, electro funk vibe to it and sees the singer being quite frank with her significant other for a potential private getaway. She doesn't pull any punches as she sings "...Shake, shake it off, let's break the fall/ Take, take it off, we'll fuck and fake love…".

The latter half, which is the "Runaway" section, takes a more ethereal, spacey feel to it. The tempo is turned all the way down as ASTU switches her delivery into a more sombre/icy tone and warns "…Only fools runaway...". These songs showcase ASTU's Honest, raw lyrics are carried by synth-filled rhythms and soulful melodies.

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AFROPUNK

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Oakland-based soul and hip-hop artists FR333 and ASTU celebrate Black women’s resistance, courage and resilience in their new music video for...

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