Two years after he got married to his baby mama, Lola Omotayo, in November, 2013, one half of the music duo P-Square, Peter Okoye is poised to share his experience as a married man.
According to him, while marriage has made him to be more responsible, it has not, as a matter of fact, restricted him from doing what he knows how to do best on stage.
He also bares his mind on a number of issues bothering on his career, music and fame.
Are you working on any project at the moment?
We just finished with recording our new album which is six months now. We are still working on the videos. One of them with the title “Collabo” and featuring Don Jazzy has already hit the market. We are also preparing for our tour of US and Europe.
How is your newly signed artiste, Classic P doing?
We are still doing everything to promote him. We are not in a hurry to push his songs into the market. So, his songs will soon dropped.
What would you say marriage has done to you?
Marriage has made me to be more responsible, in the sense that there are certain things which I am limited to do as a married man. But I still remain who I am because marriage doesn’t restrict me from doing what I know how to do best on stage. In a nutshell, I will say marriage has changed me as Peter Okoye but not as P-Square.
What are the things you consider before signing an artiste on your record label?
When you are setting up a record label you don’t just sign on any artiste. We look at your background and other essentials. We are careful in terms of selecting the kind of artiste that we want to sign on. We are not influenced by whether the person is wealthy or not.
Any challenges in managing the label?
I and my brother are managing the label. So far, we have not encountered any challenge. But it’s going to be more challenging to the artiste because we need to prepare them for what they are about to face. What I mean is that a new artiste might have a song he or she is working on, but before you know the rhythm will change. So that’s why we are so careful before releasing any of our artiste’s song.
Being accessible and friendly
In this industry, we are still learners and the truth is that people believe once they hit the top they are not answerable to anybody. But you might be surprised that the next level of our career might come from this interaction and that’s one thing most people don’t know. I always tell people when they ask how we have remained on top of our game for more than a decade.
I tell them that I always pay special attention to people’s comments on every of our performances. What I do is whenever I am off-the-stage, I try to listen to different comments from the audience. Some will commend our performance while many others will criticize it. That’s where we measure our strength as musicians, learn of our mistakes and correct them where need be.
You people are more of dancers than musicians?
I’m used to people saying I love P-Square because they know how to dance. But the fact is that I don’t like it when people refer to us as dancers. They can describe us as entertainers and musicians because it makes us more presentable. A fan once told me that Peter, I love you guys because of your kind of love songs. But the question is, when last did a love song sell or made a name in Nigeria, aside “Olufunmi” by Star Plus and probably, “Beautiful Onyiye” by P-Square.
These days people are used to the song they play in the club so even if you release a love song they won’t play it in the club because it belongs to a different genre. I’m happy we have fans who still believe in love songs and we are going to revive it.
About our challenges and failure?
Remember I said we are still learners in this game, and that is our number one focus. As P-Square, we have failed a lot, but there is a saying that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it is about being able to get up after every fall. For instance, the Glo CAF Awards was a horrible performance for P-Square. I remember how people said we disappointed them. But this year people still talk about our performance because we tried our best to adjust and fix many things that were not in order. The secret is because we always follow what we hear from our fans after every performance.
We’ve done worse performances sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control. We could be on stage performing and all of a sudden the microphone will stop working or there will be power failure, which should not be P-Square’s fault. But at the end of the day people will say P-Square’s performance was trash.
So the thing is as an entertainer, once we finish a performance either for a bank, or any other company, I will always wait for a couple of months to see if they will call us back and if they did during those period it means our last performance for them was good. If a promoter calls P-Square for a show now and wait for another two years before calling you it means the previous show was not good.
So there are several challenges. I could remember last year when I fell off-stage it wasn’t my fault and we were meant to perform for 1hr 30mins. After I fell off-stage we couldn’t even perform up to 15mins because I was limping throughout and it took me like two and half months for the injury to heal.
The craziest thing you have ever done!
That was when we attended a night party some years ago. Some desperate girls were all over us and before we knew what was happening, they were kissing and romancing us openly. We had to run for our dear lives.
Most embarrassing moment
It was when we were coming up. Some of our kinsmen walked up to us and told us that it’s high time we join them in the village and stop roaming about the streets as if we are not conversant with the tradition of our people. We felt embarrassed. But unfortunately, we later adhered to their advice.
How often do you rehearse before going on stage?
Surprisingly, the only time we rehearse is when we are planning something new. For instance, the last time we rehearsed was in November, last year. And because we perform at shows all the time, so every show is rehearsal for the next. I work with a 13-man band and I don’t need to tell them what to do again because they already know that when we go on stage we sing and dance, so they know the routine.
At times, we rehearse for two months that’s if we have something new we want to do and after that the next time we will rehearse will be after two years because rehearsing is very hectic and it hasn’t been easy. That’s why we haven’t seen anybody that can sing and dance even if you see them you will notice they are trying so hard because it requires breath control. So for us rehearsal is like food because we do it almost every day and we don’t joke with it because we give it our 100%.
What about fame?
The secret is that we prefer to perform outside the shores of the country regardless of the monetary rewards. Today, Psquare has many fans across the world. In fact, I will tell you that Psquare is not popular in this country. Another thing is that people always have this impression that we are intimidating on stage. But when you meet us in person, we always humble ourselves.
Do you believe you have competitors in the industry?
The only competitors we have are ourselves. This is because when it comes to playing instrument, P-Square is very good at it and I don’t teach a learner how to play an instrument. We make sure that the person knows one or two things about the instrument. For instance, almost all our instrumentalists were trained by us. And that reminds me about the P-square saga. Sometime ago, people said, I was quarreling with my twin brother. We were not fighting each other or arguing for ourselves rather, it was for our fans.
What exactly we wanted to do for our fans was what was giving us problem. And another reason for the fight was that we were trying to beat our previous project. For example, the song that brought us out was “Last Night”.
But in “Danger” album, P-Square failed and in every of our album in ten days we sell a million copies but that album “Danger” took us one month to sell a million copies. After that, we bounced back with “Invasion” which has a track like “Chop My Money”. But we didn’t make it in the album that contained “Danger, Give me that, possibility” E no easy.
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