MUM SUPPORTED, DAD OPPOSED
The dazzling musical group, P-Square needs no introduction. But the duo - Peter & Paul - who came to limelight barely a year after their kick-off, did not have it smooth at the beginning. Theirs, they revealed last week, was a beginning that nearly tore their parents apart.
In a recent chat with Sunday Sun at their Omole Estate residence in Lagos, the award-winning vocalists, Peter and Paul, narrated how difficult they found it at the beginning to endear their chosen career to their father. “Our dad didn't see us as serious children,” they recounted.
Fortunately for them, they had the support of their mother, which caused a problem between her (their mother) and their father. “Our music nearly separated our parents. Our mum was very supportive during those trying times. She would sneak us out at night to go to shows. Then when we returned, we would throw stones at her window for her to come and open the gate,” they recalled.
The 27-year-old identical twins, also spoke generally on their career, how they braved all odds to shift base from Jos, the Plateau State capital to Lagos, why marriage is not in their plan at the moment and a host of other interesting things many music lovers will be curious to know about them.
Music career and the journey so far
The motivation, we will say, came as a result of what we were passing through and let's start from the school aspect. first, you could hear graduates complaining that there was no job in town after service and all that. So we thought of going into business from school. Then we got into the music business and we found out that there was more to it than leaving school and getting into the labour market without getting something to do. But before that, it was all about the love of music. Then we listened to R.kelly and the likes. It was actually the love of music before the business aspect.
Now the journey so far. Well, the music industry was good but it was better when we came in, where by an artiste can start up something by himself and not wait for a record label. Music is all about you having the talent and wanting to develop it by yourself. So, P-square does things on its own, although this does not mean that there is anything bad in getting other people's opinion. But the fact that we benefit from what we do makes it better.
Any business other than music?
Some people say our lives are boring because the only thing we do is singing. We admit but what else should we do other than music? The reason is that music is our lfe. We were born to do music. So anything we do is connected to music because we are basically concerned about how people feel out there. So even if we are to do something else, the talents we have are music-related. Even most of our investments are concentrated in the entertainment.
P-Square & PMAN
We will give you one answer. We don't know them and we don't think they know us. PMAN only heard about us because of Bizzy Body. If anybody ask them about P-square, they will be blank. We only know the name exists. but we don't know them. They haven't done anything for us so why should we know them? There is no relationship between us. When we see them on TV we often ask who they are. Some folks will say, “look at your people”, but we tell them we don't know them because they are not doing anything to affect our lives.
We are doing good songs in the industry and they are not the ones doing it. If they do something that will touch us or affect us, then we will know them. But for now, sorry, they haven't done anything. So, every artiste is leaving on his own. We don't even know their president. When you hear that PMAN has done this great thing, then you will be eager to know more about them. But they haven't done anything. They will just tell you that P-square is a group made up of two twin brothers who sang 'Bizzy Body.' They don't know our background. They are just a bunch of people sitting and not recognizing the real acts.
Colabo with Weird M.C
It is not bad working with other artistes but before you feature an artiste you have to know if it's necessary to do so. Check it out, if we had done Bizzy Body (remix) without featuring an artiste, it would still have been the same song. So we made the difference by featuring a female artiste. And look at 'Temptation', we featured an international based act. You don't just stand and say you want to do colabo for a song. You have to know who fits the role.
Most times we travel, we come across international artistes like Ginuwine and others and they are like, 'let's hook up in the studio to do something'. But common, you don't just do colabo without care. You do it when necessary. So when we did the song with Weird M.C, we saw that she had 'Ijoya' which was a club hit. We had 'Bizzy Body' too. We couldn't do song with anybody who didn't have a club hit at that time. She is a lady and people love her. So we hit the studio. But don't get us wrong, our relationship with other artistes has been wonderful.
Latest trip to the U.K
We went to the U.K for a tour and also to make investigations about the new video we are shooting. We are coming out with a video very soon. In fact, this month. So we are still making arrangements.
The record label is an ordinary name. That is why it pains us to know that some record labels are more popular than their artistes. We have never been on T.V, radio or magazine to shout 'Square Record' or anything. Square Records is just used to protect ourselves. We want to be on our own. So if any record label like SONY BMG or BADBOYS ENTERTAINMENT wants to sign P-Square, they will come to us directly.
They don't have to meet one record label that will be striking deals behind our back. So if anybody comes and says that he owns the label, we will give it to him and we will change the name. The name is not what is selling, it's the artiste. It is here in Nigeria that we have seen where record labels are bigger and make names more than their artistes. This isn't supposed to be so. We don't care about Square Records but about P-Square. An instance is egusi soup.
The name egusi soup, is not sweet. What makes it sweet is the ingredients. We will tell you that this is the first time we are talking about Square Record. We don't mention Square Records in our songs. So, if you like own the best record label, have the best equipment and all that, if your artiste is not good, forget it. And we will tell you that those artistes in Nigeria that have their own record labels are doing good.
Sometimes most people get carried away because of the money and fame, while some can't just go on because of the unseriousness. In a group, if there is one who is serious with the music and another is not, you will find out that the serious one will continue because he knows what he is doing. And some opt out because of personal reasons. Either they are tired of the fame or the music is not taking them close to God. The type we don't like is when money comes in between them. We hope there will be a day when groups will go their different ways because of genuine and matured reasons. Some artistes break when one starts thinking that “we are four in this group and we re given one million naira to share. If am alone I will go away with the one million naira.” Money is evil.
But as for us, so far we are not God, we don't know what's going to happen. The only thing we will say is that if our fans are scared that such things will happen, we will come out publicly and tell them that this is the reason we are going our different ways in music. Thank God we have a comfortable house. We have cars. But we will tell the truth, we have not reached where we are going yet. If we are going to break, it's either one of us is getting married or is tired of music.
Paul, the duo agree, is more gentle than Peter. Hear Peter: “I (Peter) take off my shirt on stage. I try to be crazy. Yeah, people who knew us before we became P-Square will tell you that the Peter and Paul they knew then are no longer the same. But the good thing is that when we see one-on-one, we are still the same Peter and Paul. So Peter is for everybody. I say when you see me outside, come and have your own share. Yeah, there was a time when the name P-Square was getting over us, but our elder brother was there to caution us.”
Now, hear Paul: “And as for me (Paul), I won't say I am a quiet person. But anything I do, I try to put respect in it. I usually find myself thinking. But I'm not that gentle. I, who you think is cool, drink while my twin brother doesn't. The much he can do is to drink Fanta and Juice. I get drunk when necessary as long as I am not driving and not in public. My own life is well programmed. I get crazy when need be. So I basically live two lives; one on stage and another one at home. Both must not clash.”
Most embarrassing moments
One of our most embarrassing moments was when we were popular and didn't have anything to show for it. We were still jumping from one okada to another. That was in Jos. When “Get Squared” came out and was playing on MTV, we had nothing. We were climbing okada and the okada guys would deliberately be playing our song to know if we are truly the ones. So, when you climb down from the okada, he would say 'Bros that una song sweet o' The first journalist that came to interview us then, came in and was surprised to see that there was no chair or mattress to sit on. Another one happened when people claimed the police slapped me (Peter). I wasn't slapped. My driver was being harassed so I had to alight. Immediately I came down, the crowd gathered. But that wasn't embarrassing enough.
Marriage? No we are still young o! We will be 27 on November 18. For now we don't want to get distracted because the industry is a big one and we are just picking up. Our folks are not disturbing us about that. And also, we might lose 50% of our female fans and we don't want that. We love them and we won't want any separation. When we get married, they will be like "Ha, they are gone now. No hope". And I (Peter) can marry all of them if I have my way.
Their music & their parents
Our music nearly separated our parents. Our mum was very supportive during those trying times. She would sneak us out at night to go to shows. Then when we returned, we would throw stones at her window for her to come and open the gate. Even the first song we did made we had to owe one studio about fifty thousand naira and our mum paid the debt. Our dad was against our music. But God kept the family together. That was why our mum nearly fainted the day we gave her a million naira. But we thank God that we have done more than that. Initially, when we moved to Lagos, we did it in a stubborn way. We just packed our things and said 'We were leaving.' They were like, 'You would come back home' and we said 'No.' They thought we were mad. But within six months, we made it.
“Well, since we became big, everything has changed. Like me (Paul), I love reading novels. But whatever I'm going to do now must be music inclined. We also love playing street football but we can't do that anymore because everybody will gather and you won't be free anymore. We were in the same academy with Mikel Obi then. But music was more profitable to us though it made us to actually lose our freedom.”