Cobhams Asuquo is one name that has made it on the list of Nigerians who inspire should there be a compilation as that. This Nigerian born musician, producer and songwriter who has produced and partnered with top Nigerian musicians like Asa and Bez and has won numerous awards for his works, has at heart to influence and develop the music industry, Nigeria and Africa at large, and people with special needs.
Mr. Asuquo began an academic career in law at the University of Lagos. Gripped with a passion for music, he gave up his career in law and went in full time into the world of music. Making and pursuing this decision was not an easy one, and he undoubtedly encountered challenges. Starting out with no money, Cobhams recalls moving from studio to studio, trying to convince people about what he could do, getting turned down, and working without pay.
However, Cobhams overcame the challenges he faced not just as a young man trying to surmount the challenges of advancing in a dream career, but also of those associated with being born blind into a developing country like Nigeria. In 2005, Cobhams who then was 24, was signed on to Sony ATV, London as a songwriter. In 2006, he set up his own production company, CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions). He has ever since excelled in producing top quality records for and co-writing songs with renowned Nigerian musicians.
Some of the artistes whose works he has co-written and/or produced include Aṣa, Bez, Timi Dakolo, Darey Art-Alade, Mo’Cheddah, Omawumni, Chidimma, Banky W, Modenine, Waje, Rooftop MCs, Faze and Falz. He also has released his own official singles which include Ordinary People and Star of Wonder.
Interestingly, he has described his experience as being born blind as a gift. When he spoke at the TEDxEuston, he described The Gift of Blindness was one factor that fueled his ability to dream, and at an interview with WIPO he said, “Being blind is one of the best things that happened to me, because I’ve been challenged – I’ve been challenged to get up and go. I realize the importance of making things happen and the results of a lack of action.” Choosing not to excuse the stereotypical failure that could be associated with blindness, he chose to be blind to distractions in order to stay focused on living a fulfilling life.
Cobhams’ styles in music are influenced by a combination of different genres- classical, hip hop, jazz, afro and lots more. This month, he released the trending Boosit featuring Falz. The comical rap decries, in an Ibadan intonation, various levels of unjust treatments in families, government and the Nigerian society at large.