Asha Imuno

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. His pen is precise & beyond his years, with a knack for sticky, nostalgic melodies housing thoughtful, nuanced storytelling covering a range of experiences as a young black creative from the Inland Empire. Imuno is unafraid to dive into the provocative, reflecting on topics as intimate as his own vices, struggles with mental illness, lust, incarceration, identity, family, and everything in between. His breakout single ZIG ZAGGING reflects his own duality – with bouncy west-coast funk inspired drums underneath a soulful guitar riff painting a familiar, bright soundscape, while the lyricism describe an explicit image of our inability to run away from our innermost thoughts & emotions, “zig zagging, runnin’ for cover in my brand new jacket, ain’t had it on me i don’t know what happened, wonder what if I meet lights flashing, black sadness, still zaggin…” 

The California-born & raised artist has only just started his introduction to the world, but Asha’s musical talent stems from a lifetime of being surrounded by gifted musicians & working tirelessly since his early teens to develop his craft.  “My grandmother was a beloved pianist and music director in churches all throughout San Diego from the 80s to the 2000s so choir rehearsals and band practice was where music first found me. My parents always kept good music in me and my siblings’ ears – Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers – I grew up with that everyday.” Before recording himself or playing keys, Imuno began his artistic journey drawing, painting, and sculpting throughout his elementary & middle school years. Creation has always been his first language, which led him to joining his middle school jazz program & marching band to further develop his foundation in musical composition & production. “My interest in film score was what kept me out of the way at a time where there wasn’t much to do but get into trouble or get creative. My band director would let me stay back an extra 3 hours while he graded tests so I could learn to play other instruments and perform the pieces I was writing.” 

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. The self-produced project earned critical acclaim from Billboard, Complex, and earned him the top spot on Spotify’s year end Fresh Finds: Hip-Hop playlist. Since then, he’s continued to share original music, including singles LONELY NIGHTS, ZIG ZAGGING, and PERFECT PACE. He’s earned co-signs from the likes of Jordan Ward, Diddy, and Hitboy, alongside collaborating with buzzing upcomers like Aaron May & AG Club. 

After joining POC-led artist community KOGO (home to CONNIE, Alé Araya, Curtis Waters, KOAD & more) in 2021, Imuno began working on his debut album, PINS & NEEDLES, alongside close collaborator Zach Ezzy. The first offering “PUSHING BUTTONS” released on June 14th, is the “inception point” for the album, anchored in transient, honest lyricism & a reflection on his “shadow self” Imuno explores his own impulsions & carelessness – written following a shoot-out in his hometown that resulted in a six-car pile up, “The crash is a narrative symbol of my karma and the reapings of carelessness for me, as well as a reminder that impulsive/reactionary decisions tend to come with steep consequences.” Directed by Angel Orozco & premiered on BET JAMS, the music video further depicts this world of shadows, leveraging light & darkness to outline Imuno’s own personal reflection on his vices. PUSHING BUTTONS furthers the larger themes of PINS & NEEDLES, exploring the discomfort that comes from poor decisions, and the discomfort that comes from pushing oneself to grow & learn – the duality is the anchor of the album. Exploring the deepest crevices of human nature, the album is an examination of the process of growing through love, the nuance of living with our memories, and the illumination of self understanding. With PINS & NEEDLES, Asha examines parts of himself he’s never explored, and gives permission to others to do the same.