When words leave off
Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo is a Nigerian-born songwriter/music producer/singer who started his academic training as a lawyer, but veered into music full-time to fulfill a lifelong desire he nurtured. Previously signed to Sony/ATV UK publishing as a songwriter, Cobhams formed his first music production and label company Cobhams Asuquo Music Production (CAMP) in 2008. In 2016 He started Vintage Gray Media an all-encompassing entertainment company based in Lekki, with a focus on discovering, nurturing and exposing extraordinary talent as well as creating different forms of audio content for corporations and the media alike. Vintage Gray media currently produces “The Cobhams Top 12” – a music countdown show aimed at showcasing the best new music releases from both Famous and upcoming artistes.
Cobhams’ international acclaim came with the music pvvroduction of Nigerian soul sensation’s debut album – ASA. He wrote, co-wrote several songs on the award-winning album including the hit singles, “Fire on the Mountain”, “Bibanke” and “Jailer” He has worked with numerous musicians both local and international. From the early 2000’s production hit’s “Maintain in India” “Catch cold” by Maintain; “Ego” by Djinne; “Not the Girl” by Dare Art-Alade; “Kedike” by Chidinma; “Rich and Famous” by Praiz; ‘In the music’, ‘If you ask me’ by Omawumi; “Yes No” by Banky W; “Iyawo Mi”, “Great Nation”, “Wish Me Well” by Timi Dakolo to recently released 2017 “Butterflies” also by Omawumi; Cobhams has built a name that is synonymous with versatility, musicianship and top-quality in the Nigerian music industry. His portfolio of artistes include : Asa, Banky W, Omawumi, Eldee, Sasha, Dare Art-Alade, Waje, Timi Dakolo, Djinne, Faze, Seyi Shay, Korede Bello, Tiwa Savage, Ego, Yemi Alade, Bez, Omolara, Chidinma Ekile, Sholla Allyson, Lara Goerge, Ego, Silver Saddih, Flavour, Mochedda, Praiz and so many others. Out of Nigeria, Cobhams has worked with Common, Angelique Kidjo, Somi, Sautisol to mention a few. Cobhams became an MTN Nigeria ambassador for its corporate elite customers in 2015.
He has arranged music, and performed with bands at international music events such 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 TV and film media, he has composed and arranged film scores to be interpreted for conservatories 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.”
Cobhams performed with other renowned Nigerian artists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2014. CNN Africa Voices featured Cobhams in a full-length interview in December 2011. To view the interview, click here. Cobhams spoke at TEDx Euston 2012 held in London. His talk has “The gift of blindness” was greatly received and has over 78,000 views on Youtube.In 2009, Cobhams was selected to attend the World Intellectual Property Organization (W.I.P.O) conference in Switzerland, where he also performed during the WIPO concert. He appeared as a guest mentor for songwriting during the MTV Base reality show: “Advance Warning.” In the same year, Cobhams also won the Nigerian award for British Council’s International Young Music Entrepreneur of the year.
He went on to win the third place spot at the global finals. Cobhams has amassed a plethora of other local and continental awards, some of which include: The Future Awards 2006 and 2009 (Producer of the Year); Hip-hop World Awards 2007 and 2008 (Producer of the Year); Nigeria Music Awards (NMA) 2007 Producer of the decade. Nigerian Music Awards (NMA) 2008 for “Producer of the Decade”; LEAP Africa Award 2007 for his “Creativity, Fortitude & Exemplary Leadership in the Music Industry”; The Partnership Awards 2008 for “Supporting the Worship for Change Concert”, One Gospel Awards for “Gospel Composer/ Writer of the Year” (2008) and Headies 2014 Recording of the Year for Ordinary People.
Cobhams, alongside notable African musicians such as Dbanj, Omawunmi, Femi Kuti and Somi, visited the white house to raise awareness on agriculture in Nigeria, through Bono’s global humanitarian group, ‘ONE’ Campaign’. He was also invited to participate in the three-day US-Africa summit. Cobhams was invited by the ONE campaign to produce the anthem for the “Poverty is Sexist’ campaign titled Strong Girl. He teamed up with various African female artists such as: Waje (Nigeria), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Arielle T (Gabon), Gabriela (Mozambique), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe), Judith Septum (South Africa), new talents Blessing Nwafor (South Africa) and the video star Omotola Jolade- Ekehinde (Nigeria).
Cobhams was called again to produce a remix of #StrongGirl and this time it included Bono as one of the artistes. Cobhams was also invited to be part of the UN Global Goals campaign and co- produced the song #TellEveryone. The song featured various African artistes such as Sautisol (Kenya), Mafikizolo (South Africa), Yemi Alade (Nigeria) and Diamond (Tanzania). On the 26th of September, Cobhams performed live on stage at the Global Citizens Festival New York Central Park with several International artistes including Peral Jam, Beyonce, Common, Cold Play, and Ed Sheeran to promote the UN Global Goals. Cobhams Is presently working on various projects and is a producer on the Coke Studio Africa Season 3 show, airing across various African countries. In 2016 Cobhams produced the famous Rhythm Unplugged show in December and Hennessy Artistry/R’N’B. He also produced the first “One Africa Music Fest” concert at the Barclays centre in New York.
On the first of January 2015, Cobhams released his first music video for Ordinary People, which was released Jan 2014. He has also officially released 5 other singles – “Do the Right Thing” featuring Bez (2015), Christmas song “Star of Wonder” (2015), Boosit ft. Falz (2016), “The Other Room” ft. Ugovinna (2016) and “Adore” ft. Lauretta Cookey and Fome Peters (2016).
Within the Nigerian musical industry, Cobhams is also known for his explosive musical synergy with Nigerian alternative soul sensation Bez who was the first artist to be signed onto and released under the CAMP label with the launch of his 15-track “Super Sun” album (2011) and his 2016 album “Gbagyi Child”.
Cobhams Asuquo released his debut album ‘For You’ on the 12th of March, 2017. He is presently touring Nigeria with his album and will be going on to the international leg (UK and USA) of the tour from July. He is married to the lovely Ojuolape Asuquo and they have a lovely son called David.