The first time I saw Toks backstage at an event, he was smiling but the smile never reached his eyes. He was a picture of concentration, between darting furtive glances through the cracks to check the crowd reactions to performing artists and whispering suggestions and directions into His artist’s ears he stood out because on his face was this trademark grey/white beard.
With His signature great beards, you wouldn’t miss Toks in a crowd even if you wanted to. Dark in complexion and about 6ft tall. Meet Tochukwu Young Umezulike popularly known as Toks Asher Young. A Nigerian celebrity talent manager, writer, model, MR OKADA brand ambassador, entertainment veteran and music entrepreneur.
Born in Adazi in the Eastern part of NIgeria, Toks is from Umueji, Ufuma in Orumba North LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria.
He grew up in Enugu and attended Ekulu Primary School, G.R.A, Enugu from 1978 to 1984, Sacred Heart Seminary Nsude from 1984 – 1988. He continued to Special Science School Ihe, Awgu from 1989 to 1990. He gained admission to study Electro-Mechanics at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and graduated in 1998. He moved to Lagos in 2000 after the completion of the one (1) year mandatory National Youth Service in Ise Orun LGA of Ekiti State In 1999.
Toks has always loved music but never knew he was going to end up building a career in music business and talent management. He made his first incursion into talent management in 2007/2008 as the manager to Amsterdam based dancehall reggae artiste JUJU born Romanus Chika, whom he managed for a year.
During this period he was privileged to meet the world famous duo of veteran radio/TV hosts and Kennis Music executives Kenny Keke Ogungbe and Hon. Dayo D1 Adeneye, who took him under their wings and mentored him.
Later in January 2009 he met dancehall sensation and Sean Paul sound alike, General Pype. Toks was later introduced to Ayo Rotimi aka PuPA as he was fondly called and together they co-founded Podium Worldwide Ent. aka Podium Vybez and formally signed General Pype to a management and label deal. Podium Vybez further partnered with Storm 360/Storm Records headed by Obi Asika to co-executive produce the monster dancehall anthem “CHAMPION”. STORM RECORDS now defunct was an indigenous music label which brought forth artistes like Naeto C, Sasha P, Ikechukwu, L.O.S, Yung6ix.
Toks has always loved and preferred working with budding artists whom he believed were promising and can be better directed and guided if discovered early.
In June 2014 after the launch of their CLOUD NINE musical event series, Toks was contracted by telecom company 9mobile formerly ETISALAT as talent manager for the Port Harcourt and Abuja, Nigeria leg of the series. Cloud Nine was a musical showcase event aimed at bringing two musical artistes one of the older/golden generation and a younger artiste to perform together on the same stage. While Patoranking and Bright Chimezie performed at the PH leg of event, Mike Okri and Niyola performed at the Abuja leg held at Harrow Park.
In 2017 Toks became resident judge for the maiden edition of THE GROUNDED TALENT SEARCH which was won by BShine an indigenous hiphop artist based in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. He is also brand ambassador for MR OKADA, a Nigerian Lagos city themed game app, a TV host with Voice Of The Street TV. Some of His written works have also been published on several blogs and newspapers. He loves travelling, networking, making friends and building new connections.
He won NIGERIA HYPE AWARDS 2018 Artiste Manager Of The Year. He has also been also nominated for Talent Manager Of The Year SCREAM AWARDS 2016, NIGERIA GOODWILL AMBASSADOR AWARDS 2016, CAMPUS CHOICE AWARDS 2017 for Entertainment Personality Of The Year and THE INTELLECTUAL AWARDS 2019 for Best Publicist.
Toks believes that every artist has his/her own niche but it’s left for each person to discover their sound, their voice and lane and occupy it unappologetically. He is a firm believer in SELF BELIEF, PERSEVERANCE, HARD WORK, HUMILITY, LOYALTY, SELF RE-INVENTION & CONSTANT READING as the seven (7) keys to becoming a successful and great artist.
He currently manages multiple award winning hiphop artiste and Special Assistant Lagos Liaison to the Imo State Governor, NAETO CHIKWE aka NAETO C, Award winning Afrotrap Star YUNG6IX, fast rising urban contemporary act Dr KOLLYDEE, and upcoming trap artist GRINDHA.