Body & Soul

Adasa Cookey: 10-year journey of a self-taught music video director

Nigeria’s top rated music video director, Adasa Cookey recently marked 10 years anniversary of being behind the camera of many music video and corporate brands, visual content. His journey to become one of Africa’s biggest music video directors has one of the most remarkable struggle to success stories that can inspire up and coming film directors in the industry who are still struggling.


Cookey, who hails from Rivers State, started his Squareball establishment with a lot of dreams. He explained that on the August 1, 2010, he officially resigned his 9 to 5 job at Ericsson/Airtel and put on his Squareball Media ID for the first time as a symbolic gesture to mark the beginning of new journey.


Given how spectacular his visual contents has improved over the years, many may not imagine that the skillful director started his craft from falling love with a camera. In an interview, far back in 2015, Cookey stated that he was self-taught.


“I am actually a self-trained director. I did not go to film school. I taught myself everything I needed to know because it was where my passion was. I won’t say that I didn’t have the opportunity to go to film school because if I wanted to go to film school, I would have but for some reason I just didn’t go and I didn’t see it as necessary at the time. But I have been in a class where films were taught.”


Having a Bachelors degree in Architecture, many would have thought, Cookey to be constricting bridges and buildings but passion is often stronger than vocation. Presently, a romance with camera have become a big venture as he holds a diploma in film production from the New York Film Academy.


Just like many passion driven careers, Squareball CEO, who has shot music videos for almost all the top music super stars like Davido, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and many others, also had a time he did free videos and the low budget works back in the humble beginning. “The first work I ever started and completed was a video I shot for a friend of mine. It was free.


He was my friend and I was just trying to explore my new interest. It was what you call a viral video. It was low budget but it is excused because it’s not presented as high quality work. We just did a rough one on a Canon cam coder, “ he said. Before finding his path in making music videos, Adasa Cookey once tried to be a musician. He had close friends like Timaya and a few other people that were into music and believed that the singing talent would somehow rub off on him.


When that was not working out, Cookey also tried his hands in photography and still pictures. Having a vast experience in entertainment paved way to a visual content star he has become.


After several hundreds of acclaimed videos and multiple awards, Cookey, father of three boys, grateful to God for the successes recorded and the lessons learned. Celebrating a decade of doing what he loves best, and one of the few young employers of labour, he took yo his social media handle to share his gratitude.


“On August 1, 2010, I officially signed out at Ericsson/Airtel and put on my Squareball Media ID for the first time as a symbolic gesture to mark the beginning of new journey.’


“A journey to become one of Africa’s biggest music video directors and to provide corporate brands and individuals with the highest quality visuals they deserve. I had no grand plan to accomplish this just continuous learning, hard work and the right relationships.”


“After several hundreds of acclaimed videos and multiple awards, I am grateful to God for the successes recorded and the lesson learned. I am particularly thankful to my family for being my backbone through these years.


To my team mates past and present I say a big thank you for your hard work and sacrifice,” he said. Speaking about his vision for the future, he gladly states his mission remains the same.


“To ensure we give the best possible video production service to whoever sees me and my company worthy of handling their projects. I am excited about the future and the new areas of visuals I intend to explore. I pray for God’s Grace and guidance as I continue to advance on my journey,” he said.


With his skills in the video production, the Squareball boss have also tried his hand in managing music artistes but discovered that running a music record label alongside his time consuming video directing job may be a lot to handle.


Cookey explained that the challenges of fully pushing a singer until he or she becomes a big star is still a venture to consider, as he already has one musician, 1Da Banton, under his umbrella. It may be one of the things to look out for as this renowned director steps into another decade in his career.


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