Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, the award-winning producer and C.E.O of Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions (CAMP), recently marked his 33rd birthday in a quiet but glamorous way.
In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly’s RASHEED ABUBAKAR, held on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at his Ogudu Estate, Lagos office, the visually challenged prolific songwriter with SONY, spoke excitedly about his mother, wife and son…
Much has not been heard from you in recent time. What has been happening to your career?
I have been working on different materials, building a body of work both within and outside the country. Time has come to unveil some of the works. There is always a time to build, create, and show the world what you’ve created. It is therefore time for me to reveal my personal project, my first album. I am also going to release a sophomore for Bez Idakula, an amazing musician on my label. I am also working on Stan Iyke’s album; he is also one of our artistes in Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions (CAMP). I was part of the project for an artiste based in New York, Zomi is her name, it is a Jazz project, among many other things. I have been writing, producing commercials for different corporate organizations in Nigeria.
How has it been combining all these works, being a label owner, producer, songwriter and of course, a recording artiste?
This is something I love to do. It is an area I think I thrive well-functioning. I am in a comfortable space, I love to create music. Whether I produce music for myself, or for artistes signed to CAMP, or I am performing or recording, it is one form of expression of music. For me, it keeps me excited.
Cobhams is celebrated globally as the best producer from Africa. When you think about this feeling, what comes to your mind?
I think for me, I like to focus on my work, focus on what I do, keep doing what I know how to do best, without thinking whether I am celebrated globally or not. That was not my focus, even when that began to happen. I never want to enter into that realization that I’m being celebrated globally.
What makes one a great producer? Can we say the kind of artistes one works with or what?
The kind of artiste certainly helps, but that is not the biggest prerequisite to determine a better producer. You are a great producer when you combine a lot of factors, like passion, understand the terrain, especially how a studio works, in order to know how to use it, to create better music. I think it is important to have a great sense of taste, to create music that is culturally and socially acceptable. You must understand music and its various components, so as to give the best out of it.
It feels great, it’s really exciting. I had great fun with my family and friends who came around to celebrate with me.
How has life been treating you?
Life has been good to me, I feel fulfilled. I am learning and I am growing. I feel very grateful to God.
Can you share with us your most memorable day?
Everyday, for me, is memorable. Every day is worth remembering. I think it will be unfair if I pick one day as the most memorable day of my life. I have had absolutely amazing times generally, and I think it is best to keep it that way. I celebrate every day. Every day for me is a gift and every morning, I thank God for the gift.
A lot of people know Cohbams when it comes to production, but little is known about your family. Tell us more about your family?
I like to think that I am simple, someone that enjoys life. Family is important to me, whether immediate or extended. God is important to me. I am a living testimony of God’s faithfulness. I like good things, I am generally a happy person. I’m married and blessed with a son.
When you talk about children, nobody goes around to announce when he is going to have his next child. You don’t live life under that kind of pressure. I think, for me, the most important thing is that I am living a good life, and at least, as a starter, I even have a child. You know what that means. There are many people looking for children, and God gives to them at His appointed time. I believe there is abundance of children in heaven, but God gives them out at His appointed time. So, whatever anyone sees now, let them just take it. I think God is answering the prayers of our heart, whether we have a second child or not.
What has changed about you since you became a father?
A lot of things have changed about me. I am now a better teacher, because I have realised that you train your child at an early age, because you need to communicate with your child at that age. You have to be more responsive, more patient as a teacher, who wants to teach a child. That has made me to become a better teacher.
Also, I have learnt to build more energy because children never run out of energy to play. I have built that energy, either to wrestle with my child, or throw him up in the air, and all that. I have also learnt to become a better helper, because the responsibility of raising a child is not just on the mother alone. It’s both the mother and the father and I have learnt that. I have learnt how to do many things, such as bathing a child, wearing diapers for my child, etc. Doing these make life happy for us, honestly.
How supportive is your wife?
My wife is a pillar. In a lot of ways, she is my strength. She is a very strong and wise woman. She is from an amazing family; she is an absolutely supportive person. She and I have been friends for many years, without knowing that that friendship would lead to marriage. Apart from taking care of the home front, she has contributed to the success of my career. She is a passionate person who knows how to drive me to success. I feel so fortunate, so lucky to have someone like her as my companion.
It’s the joy of every person to recognize his parents. Considering your challenge, how do you recognize your child?
Of course, you would know. I don’t think you need to be a scientist before you know. Although, I won’t bring science into it, because I may not have facts to support anything that I say in that direction. You will definitely feel it, whether you see or not. I don’t really know how to explain it, but you would know. I don’t think everything about life could be explained, some things are just what they are. They are mysteries of life. As far as I am concerned, I know when my child comes around, and I don’t think that’s difficult for me.
How do you spend your leisure?
I spend my time with my family, when I am not doing music. I spend a great time with my wife and child. If I am not with them, I am with my mother. I spend time with her too. These are amazing people. I like good food, I like to travel. My wife and I do entertain people to. We’ve spent a lot of time together as a couple.
She has been doing fine. She is a very strong woman, full of life, very optimistic. She comes around, spends some time with us. She has been living good, happy to see her child doing great.
Lessons you have learnt from her, that is working for you?
There are lots of things I have learnt from her. She has taught me the importance of timeliness; that is something she doesn’t play with. She is a hardworking woman, that is why you see that spirit in me. This makes me a better person. She is a great singer. In fact, she wanted to do music at a time but her mom didn’t allow her. So, she vowed that one of her children would do music, and I am the lucky one, doing music.