LIFE AND TIMES OF THE GROUNDBREAKING ROCK GROUP P-SQUARE
P-Square was a Nigerian R&B duo of identical twin brothers Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye. They produced and released their albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they signed a record deal with Akon’s Konvict Muzik label. In May 2012, they signed a record distribution deal with Universal Music’s South African branch. On 25 September 2017, numerous media outlets reported that the group disbanded. Reports about a breakup surfaced after Peter reportedly sent a termination letter to the group’s lawyer. Prior to this report, the duo disbanded in 2016, supposedly over a disagreement about the role of their manager.
P-Square began in St. Murumba secondary school, a small Catholic school in Jos, Plateau State Nigeria. Peter and Paul joined their school music and drama club where they began singing, dancing, and mimicking songs by MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson.
They later formed a quartet called “MMMPP” (M Clef a.k.a. Itemoh, Michael, Melvin, Peter and Paul). Drawing inspiration from their music idol Michael Jackson, they began break dancing, formed the group called “Smooth Criminals” in 1997. They dropped M Clef from the group “MMMPP” which later was changed to “MMPP”. Their artistic talent and precise dance routine soon made them household names in the city of Jos, where they performed at school functions and other occasions.
Later in 1999, Peter and Paul returned to music school to develop their skills on the keyboard, drums, bass and rhythm guitar. Their work includes the soundtracks for a number of films like Tobi, Mama Sunday, Moment of Bitterness and Evas River.
Later in 1999, they applied to the University of Abuja to study Business Administration. The Smooth Criminals disbanded when its members left to various other universities. Subsequently, Peter and Paul formed their own group, variously called “Double P”, “P&P”, and “Da Pees”, until they eventually settled on “P Square”. They were managed by Bayo Odusami aka Howie T, a seasoned concert promoter and the CEO of Adrot Nigeria Limited.
In 2001, “P-Square” won the “Grab Da Mic” competition, and hence Benson & Hedges sponsored their debut album, titled Last Nite, which was released under Timbuk2 music label. P-Square was also nominated as “Most Promising African Group” in the Kora Awards three months after the release of their debut album. They eventually won the 2003 Amen Award for “Best R&B Group”.
In 2005, they released their second album, Get Squared under their own label, Square Records. This album was marketed nationwide by TJoe Enterprises, although they were still managed by Howie T of Adrot Nigeria Limited. The video for the second album held the #1 position on the MTV Base chart for four straight weeks.
The group performed with artists like Ginuwine and Sean Paul, Akon.
Late in 2007, they released their best selling album so far, Game Over, which sold 8 million copies worldwide.
In 2009, P-Square released their fourth studio album, Danger. The album features collaborations with 2 Face Idibia, J Martins and Frenzy. The first single called “Danger” is a hip hop song with cutting synths and a frog bass baseline similar to an Eminem song. The video affirms this with the presence of clowns and staggered movements in front of the camera reminiscent of comical videos by Eminem. They are also known for the close resemblance which the twins have to American R&B singer, Usher Raymond.
To be concluded