Cobhams Asuquo’s attention to detail, and his quest for perfection has delayed his debut album for many years. But it’s ready now.
It feels strange that we have never had a Cobhams Asuquoalbum in Nigeria. It really does feel weird.
For one so gifted and productive, there’s potentially a lot of music that the star can come out with. He writes the stuff, he produces the sound, arranges the music, and voices it. He does everything.
Cobhams Asuquo’s journey to this point has been a blessing to experience for everyone who have ever experienced any song that has had his hands on it. And there has been a lot of music. From Asa to Bez, to Waje and many more, Cobhams has always had his hands on the Pulse of music.
In 2005, Cobhams was signed on to Sony ATV London as a songwriter. After working as Head of Audio Productions,Questionmark Entertainment, he set up his own recording facility in 2006. He is CEO/ Head of Productions of CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions), an all-encompassing entertainment company that discovers, nurtures and exposes great talents. Cobhams has won multiple local and international awards for his creative and entrepreneurial contributions to the Nigerian music industry.
Cobhams first breakthrough with musical production was on the debut album by the Nigerian soul sensation Aṣa. He produced, wrote and co-wrote several songs on the award-winning album including the hit singles, “Fire on the Mountain“, and “Jailer“. Another great album, he did produce was Bez’s debut album ‘Super Sun’, which was highlighted on The Boston Globe’s top ten list of best ‘world music’ albums of 2011. He has won several awards in the music and film scene in Africa and beyond.
For live music and arrangement, Cobhams has arranged music, and performed with bands at international music events as The Harare International Festival of Arts, the AFA Sponsored French Cultural Center Concert with Asa and Angelique Kidjo; AFA Sponsored French Cultural Center Concert in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nigeria Week in Paris and the launch of MTV’s one hundredth channel (MTV Base Africa) at Abuja, Nigeria.
In the TV and film media, he has composed and arranged film scores to be interpreted for conservatoires as well as for film and stage performances such as “A Voice for Ella” by Uche Macaulay, Sunshine (Alpha Vision), “Bent Arrows” by Isang Awah and Communication For Change’s “Bayelsan Sillhouttes”.
With all of this, he has never put out an album, until now. Why
For Cobhams, everything has to be perfect. From the inspiration to the conceptualisation of the final sound, everything has to be perfect. Bez’s 2016 album “Gbagyi Child” took three years to record and produce. His forthcoming album has taken 5 years.
He explains this in an interview with Guardian:
“My production process is interesting. Just like everything great, it starts with an idea; with me wanting to know and understand the personality of the artist, breaking down their personalities in my head. It’s a process that’s very psychological as much as it’s musical; we’re talking mannerism, expressions, vocal range, message, musicianship, and persona.
We’re talking about all that the musician is, me having to understand this, and using it to create a piece that is a reflection of the person for whom we’re creating the music. It moves from that thought to conceptualizing either by myself or with the musician what melodies that I feel will evoke the right measure of emotion.
It progresses from there to building the music [all of this in my head], and getting in the studio and fleshing the music while sitting behind the piano or playing the guitar and then from there we begin the process of sequencing or creating the music either with a band or with a DAW and it progresses from there to getting the artist to the studio to voice on the created music.
There’s an interaction with myself and the artist on how comfortable the artist is in the space that they’re voicing, what’s important to them when they voice, creating the right environment for them to voice, getting the right emotions out of them while doing several takes, creating a compilation of the best takes, which is kind of what you do with photography, and sending to the sound engineer to ensure it is properly mixed and mastered and the final work is acceptable.”
On his forthcoming album “For You”, Cobhams has gone through all of those processes with and for himself. He is the sole writer, producer, and singer on this project. For every one of the 14 tracks, he went through it with himself, striving for perfection in very note, bit and part.
That’s why it took so long to be ready, and we are about to experience that perfection on the forthcoming project. Everything is in place for the roll out. The press rounds are happening, the interviews are thick and fast, the events have been planned, and we are about to enjoy a new experience. We can’t wait.
Cobhams Asuquo debut album “For You” will be released on March 12, 2017. It will be available across all digital stores worldwide.
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