Nollywood producer and director Charles Novia dedicated a blog post to Cobhams yesterday calling him Nigeria’s own Stevie Wonder and the most talented musical genius on the music scene presently.
He penned an article about Cobhams. Read it below:
I went surfing on YouTube last night in search of an old Stevie Wonder song I was looking for to complete a research. Somehow, after watching the video ‘So, what’s the fuss’ by the gifted musician, as if on impulse, my fingers typed ‘Cobhams Asuquo’ in the search box and for the next couple of hours, I was enthralled by the songs and short videos by our own version of Stevie Wonder, here in Nigeria.
Perhaps I had discovered my own personal Treasure Trove of great songs by Cobhams, arguably the most talented musical genius on the scene at present. I listened to great songs like ‘Ordinary People’, ‘Bless Ye Lord’and watched his interview on CNN uploaded on Youtube as well as rehearsal sessions he had on Project Fame West Africa. Last night re-emphasised what I had always known before now; that Cobhams is a gift to humankind through Nigeria.
His list of Producing credits are as impressive as his elder proxy-mentor Stevie Wonder, within our Nigerian musical space. Not many would know that Cobhams produced over a decade-old hit songs such as Maintain’s ‘I catch cold’ and ‘Amar Akhbar’ ( hoping I got that title right), as well as Faze’s debut album ‘Faze alone’ as with his sophomore ‘Kolomental.’ Does anyone remember other hit songs like Mode 9’s ‘Cry’, Dare Alade’s ‘Not the Girl’, and recent’hits by Chidinma, Timi Dakolo and a few other artists? His biggest Producing opus so far, as far as I can remember would be Asa’s debut album which was as phenomenal as it was a commercial success. This dude has been steadily giving us hit after hit songs annually and because of the lopsided musical direction which we have in Nigeria presently, less regard is given to the brilliance of his art while other musically-obtuse ‘beatmakers’ not as talented as him are having a field day.
When I see Cobhams on my television screen, I do not see a visually-challenged young man who evokes pity. I actually see a genius and one I am in awe of. The guy is that great! And so, last night after watching his videos on YouTube, I felt something which both saddened me and yet made me hopeful for the maestro: I have this feeling that Nigeria may lose Cobhams to a more appreciative clime where his talents will be better appreciated. I can predict that happening in the nearest future. And why not? Cobhams is too big for this clime. He is too rare to be commonised by the unappreciative musical climate here and he is too gifted to be saddled with the mediocrity of the industry. And so, when he gets a better opportunity somewhere, he would leave.
If Cobhams relocates, he would be more like the proverbial Prophet with more honour due to him outside his country. For indeed, Nigeria has never given him a national award. The people out there barely understand his ecclectic style of music which is so elevated and far removed from the regular cacophony we are used to. This talented man should be far removed from the drudgery of artistic existence here in Nigeria. He deserves better. And from experience, I know that it is coming to him soon.
And when that happens, we will be the first to beat our chest to say that ‘He is a Nigerian!’or ‘He used to live in my street’or some fawning words like that. It is always the case. A good thing is never appreciated till it leaves your hands.
I see Cobhams soaring to new heights in 2015 and beyond. And the wings with which he would ascend will not be given him by Nigeria. This country is just his launching pad.
Go Cobhams. The sky is yours to soar and the stars are yours to touch a twinkle.