In a recent interview with PUNCH, ace music producer, Cobhams Asuquo revealed that he used to be a gang leader, growing up. read excerpts from the interview…
What was growing up like for you?
I lived in the barracks and it was fun. Some people might see the barracks as squalid, malignant and rough but it was my life. I loved it. From a barracks at Jos to Ikeja Military Cantonment; I loved it. I am a barracks boy and I am 100 per cent proud of that. I lived among Nigerians from different tribes. It gave me a lot of perspectives and insight into a lot of people’s lives. The barracks in a lot of ways prepared me for my musical journey because I got to meet people. I got introduced to different styles of music, different lingos. If I had not lived in the barracks, I would not have been able to understand the culture of the Idoma; neither would I understand that of the Tiv and the Nupe. The barracks was a mixed grill of people with ideas and perspectives. It helped shape my music and gave me a literary understanding to relate with people. It is literature in a sense and all of that helps me understand various forms of music that I am able to create.
How was Cobhams as a kid?
As a kid I was rough. I was stubborn and sometimes, I was a bully.
You were a bully?
Yes. I did things that were big and bad enough to do. I was a gang leader in many ways and my friends always listened to me. I told my friends things because I was the one who listened to the radio the most, so they believed me. Once, I told them that Babangida had intentions of becoming a Field Marshal and I can remember all my friends saying all kinds of things. Then I went home and my father explained to me that what he was saying was that he had no intention of becoming a Field Marshal and I went back to my friends to tell them what I just learnt and they still believed. I was that kind of kid. I was an influence and I was outgoing and outspoken.