This interview with Peter, the twin brother of Paul Okoye who are collectively known in the music scene as P-square, was held in the second floor lobby of Golden Peacock Hotel in Liliongwe, the capital of Malawi few hours before their hugely successful concert that was almost marred by a torrential rainfall destroyed some of their instruments.
The concert was part of African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) nomination party/gala nite that held in Malawi. Deputy Editor, Charles Okogene was among the journalists Peter fielded answers to their questions on sundry issues.
You are always on the road, how many days do you guys have to yourselves?
We have been trying as much as possible to create time for ourselves, but most times, we don’t get it. We need more time to rest because performing for two to three hours on stage is not an easy task. However, we took a break in January.
What is the inspiration behind Alingo video?
P-Square for the past five years haven’t done any dance video and our fans expected to see something of that nature from us. So, Alingo was just the first song we had even before the Invasion album came out. We didn’t take the song seriously until our fans started loving it. And before we knew what was happening, it caught fire and was everywhere. We have no choice than to give our fans a video.
You put in a lot of energy into the video…(cuts in).
Yes. When the song started picking up, we thought it was important to give our fans something they have never gotten from P-Square in the past five years. The last time, we did something similar to this, Roll It was over five years ago. It took us a lot of time and energy to produce the album. Our elder brother, Jude, who is also our manager, shot the video. Interestingly, most people didn’t know that the video was shot in Nigeria. We went to an abandoned warehouse situated some 10 minutes away from our Lagos residence to shoot the video. There, we created the scenario and got the video shot.
It was also rumoured sometime ago that you guys bought a private jet. Is it true?
There was nothing like that. I guess because it was included in our rider that whenever we are going for a specific show, the organsiers must provide us with a private jet. We had a deal with a private jet company which always give out their private jet to us on hire whenever we are in need of it. So, it is like, we have private jet at our disposal. I remember, I once tweeted that private jet has been included in our list. That was how people started speculating that P-Square has bought a private jet.
The impression out there is that P-Square is arrogant?
I think P-Square is very intimidating; we are not arrogant. When you saw me today, did I look arrogant? I came to greet everybody. That is a wrong impression people have about us. There is Peter and there is Paul. Peter is stubborn, bad and controversial, but they say Paul is quiet, cool headed and all that. But you see, you can steal from Peter to pay Paul, and if you steal from Peter to pay Paul, you are indeed paying P-Square. I’m a very controversial person and I’m not expecting every news about me to be positive. P-Square is not arrogant, it’s just that the people are scared of approaching them, considering the way we operate. When you see P-Square stepping out, we look very intimidating. But the people that are very close to us will testify that we are not arrogant. Beyonce could visit a shopping mall today, and the whole place will be shut down. That does not make her arrogant. It is her management that has made it to be so.
How is life without your mother?
It has been hectic. We haven’t decided to do a new album at the moment. But then, anytime we were working on a new album, while she was alive, she was always with us in our studio. We don’t know how we are going to do it this time around. She was a minister of God before she passed on. She had her own church which Paul and I built for her. Anytime we want to release a new album, she would pray for the album for almost a week before we release it. Her church is still functioning till date and her prayer partners are still there. Once in while, we do communicate with the leadership of the church and it is our desire to see the church continue to function after her death. Wherever she is today, she will be happy that the church is still functioning because it’s a monument for her.
But did you guys really know what happened to your mother?
People must always speculate. It got to a point I said to myself that those people who were accusing us of being responsible for our mum’s death must be ignorant of how close we were to her. We didn’t want that rumour to distract us. In fact, when people are insinuating such things, the best advice is for you to block your ears and never allow it to distract you. I’m human and I don’t except people to say positive things about P-Square all the time. But I am not looking forward to that. P-Square has made its worst mistake in the past, and people didn’t notice it. We are not perfect. And we know why people accused us of being responsible for our mother’s death. It’s because we are successful in what we are doing for a living. Even in my Igbo nation, once somebody starts to progress, his kinsmen will begin to associate his riches with money ritual. We have overgrown such insinuation.
What are those mistakes you made in the past?
Let’s leave that in the past.
How did you grow up with Paul?
Our growing up was fantastic. I’m the person who was always on the stubborn side. Then, I would go out there and cause some stir and they would put the blame on Paul because we are twins. We were always wearing the same clothes. I and Paul grew up doing things together. It has remained like that till date. That’s the way our mother trained us. What Paul does not like today, I will not like either. Maybe, this is what has been holding us together.
Have you had any cause to date the same woman?
Every woman wants to hang out with Peter. This is because everybody knows that Peter is more outgoing than Paul. But I doubt if woman can cause problem between Paul and myself. Money would have been the devil that will cause problem between us than woman. Any woman that wants to come between us is wasting her time.
Every successful man wants to continue to invest in other areas of life. Are you thinking in that direction?
P-Square is not only involved in music alone. We are into real estate business. That we have been doing for a long time now. We do a lot of businesses. A business man who is keeping his money in the bank, what is he keeping it without investing it. We also do banking business, but real estate pays us more.
Recently it was rumoured that you are into oil and gas business?
Yes, it’s about to kick off. My music is doing very well in the market, and investing in other areas will help to boost my pocket, which is not a bad idea.