Cobhams Asuquo needs no introduction in the Nigerian entertainment industry. The visually impaired producer/singer and songwriter managed to what very few Nigerian musicians have been able to achieve in a while. He got pastors and entertainers to enjoy the same music.
The dad of one achieved this when he hosted a select group of the public and media at the concert for his debut album succinctly titled For You at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos. Note that I said select? Cobhams did not want to invite the whole of Lagos to this event. He would be doing that later in the month. But for his close friends and associates, this was a chance to see what he has been up to.
According to Cobhams, he started making this album in 2005, 12 years ago to be precise and in that time, he has managed to work with almost everyone in the Nigerian music industry from Maintain to Asa. Others include Banky W, Waje, Omawumi, Timi Dakolo, Darey, and most recently Tjan. He has also worked with international stars such as Somi, Common and U2 front man and philanthropist Bono.
You would wander where he would get the chance to make this album but he made it happen. The 14 track album sees Cobhams take the listener on a journey about his life, his relationship with God and how most humans need to form a close relationship with the almighty and how music if used appropriately could be a powerful tool to cause a shift in the way humans especially Nigerians behave and think.
READ ALSO: Cobhams set to release his debut album
Kicking off the show, guests were treated to dinner as promised by Cobhams and his team. After everyone was done eating, the show kicked off properly by about 7pm with two upcoming acts treating the crowd to a medley of soothing songs. At this point, guests were still trooping in and this author had already spotted a couple of famous faces including several musicians, OAPs, pastors, captains of industry and other important personalities.
One face that couldn’t be passed over was Atedo Peterside, the billionaire founder of ANAP Business Jets Limited and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC. He was seated alongside his wife. At about 8pm, Cobhams made his way to the stage amidst thunderous applause orchestrated by the official host of the night IK Osakioduwa.
Within the next hour, Cobhams performed the first four songs from the album often giving guests a chance to understand the process involved in writing each song. After this, he held an impromptu Q and A session hosted by Adesuwa Onyenokwe of TW. It was at this point that he revealed the ups and downs involved in putting together an album of this magnitude. How he went broke and had to resort to asking friends for help and not getting favorable responses. He also added that after everything, he was glad that he was able to make the album.
One thing stood out from this event – the absence of errors. Apart from the one time the speakers acted up and even that was quickly sorted out. Putting together an event of this magnitude requires a lot of work and anyone who attended the show can attest to the fact that Cobhams and his team did an amazing job. Guests were properly seated, the ushers and waiters made sure everyone ate, and the organizers also paid attention to the time factor. Cobhams himself had announced when he started performing that he was going to try and make sure they didn’t waste time.
After the first round of performances, it was time for fund raising. Guests had been given an envelope with directions on how to make donations. Handling this part of the programme was Pastor Tony Rapu, senior pastor of the House of Freedom church. Pastor Tony took to the stage and explained to the audience why we needed to make donations to support Cobhams who had mentioned while he was performing that he planned to go on a nationwide tour.
Commenting that things like this cost money, people should reach into their hearts to support his course and as expected, people began to respond. Those who were making donations with cash used the envelopes while others made online transfers. The whole exercise took about 20 minutes afterwards, Cobhams made his way to the stage again.
Thanking everyone for their generosity, he went on to close the show still performing songs from the new album including the hit song Ordinary People.
From the beginning to the end, this was an event worthy of praise. Most importantly, the fact that Cobhams and his team stuck to time has placed them on a high level very few artistes attain throughout their whole careers.