Jude Okoye is the elder brother, manager and director of Peter and Paul Okoye, popularly known as P-Square. In this interview, he talks about his private life, plans and the success of his brothers
There is no way we would talk about P-Square’s success without mentioning Jude. How does it feel being a brother to the famous twins?
I will say that I am blessed and fortunate because it’s an honour to be the person behind them, and doing all the necessary things to keep the brand relevant at all time. At the same time, it’s not easy because every arrow and weapon tend to land on me, but I can’t complain because it’s what I signed and nobody is forcing me. I am blessed and happy that they’re my brothers.
When you started with P-Square, did you envisage they would be famous so early?
To be very honest with you, I don’t think P-Square envisaged to be where they are today, not to even talk of me. This is because we just love doing music in a way the world love. The truth is that the monetary aspect was not part of it at all. Back in those days, when we watched artistes singing and dancing, we always believed that we could do better. It was when we started that the monetary gains began to come and we have to embrace it because as celebrities, we need money to support our status.
You can’t be a celebrity and still be struggling to board a public bus or okada. That’s why I always advice up and coming artistes to be passionate about their job and not the money. You must have passion for music or whatever you‘re doing and at the end, money will come.
Can you recall your most memorable experience working with P-Square?
The fact that they’re recognised globally. At times, I sit in my room and people across the world would be calling for shows and you start wondering how your music got there despite the fact you don’t have a promoter, marketer or even the label’s brand office in these places.
I think that’s just the most memorable experience. But now, it is much easier with our deals with Konvict Music and Universal.
How will you describe Peter and Paul?
If I have to describe them in terms of what they do (music), they’re a kind of people that always want to invent, reinvent and thinking about what has not been done, be it in Nigeria, Africa and the world, that is doable. It’s like they’re competing with what they’ve done before, experimenting with different genres of music like reggae, R&B or blues.
For instance, Danger is a song that nobody has done before. That is the kind of things they’re into. They love experimenting. Also, they like taking risks. Once they come up with a concept, they will want to do it for their fans without considering the risk, such as money, energy and time.
What about their personal life?
Paul is more on the reserved side while Peter is on the social side. Peter is like a socialite, outgoing person more than Paul. Peter has the motivating drive. He loves to ginger us into doing stuff and at the end of the day; you don’t have an option than to follow him.
As for Paul, he would not consult anybody if he has any idea before doing it, and after perfecting it, he would now call us into it.
How does your own kind of person influence their persons?
For instance, when they come up with ideas, they will need support from anyone of us before execution. But as for me, I don’t need to seek their suggestion. I would tell them straight that this is what we are doing. I don’t need to get their opinion because before I come up with that opinion, I must have thought about it and reasoned well. They are the artistes. I see them and the audience, but they see only the fans. I am in-and-out. I know what people want more than they do.
It has been observed that you concentrate more on your brothers’ career. Why don’t you direct videos for other artistes?
If I am just a producer, manager or record label CEO, I will definitely expand by signing more artistes and commercialise myself, but my hands are tied. My hands are full because I do all these works myself. I don’t have time and when I have little time to take my work outside, like producing video or audio for someone else, there is always competition, especially when the artiste is not as big as P-Square. The next thing you hear is that Jude doesn’t want me to shine more than his brothers. Besides, most up and coming artistes make the mistake of comparing themselves with the big masquerades. That’s why I have to limit myself and remain with P-Square. Soonest, I will relinquish some of the work to capable hands, so that I can have enough time to rest and promote other artistes.
Today, record label owners look out for some specific features before signing artistes. We have those that go for young kids, ladies etc, what distinguishes Square Records from others?
I don’t think there should be anything like being selective so far they’re good and talented artistes that have what it takes to be good artistes. For instance, I can’t sign somebody that sings like P-Square, 2Face, Wizkid or D’Banj because they’re already established. I want somebody that sings differently and has passion, not because he wants to make quick money. I want somebody that will work for two to three years without expecting money because he enjoys what he’s doing.
That is the kind of people you look out for, not necessarily the gender issue. It’s about what you can offer and how passionate you are.
What kind of relationship exists between Square Records, J Martins and Bracket?
J Martins and Bracket are family friends to us. We have a good relationship from the beginning up till now. When they came, they wanted to be under Square Records but I wasn’t ready. I told them that I am going to offer them all the help they would need. I told them I was going to teach them how to fish. I gave them everything and today, I am happy that they’re doing fine. If today, I have space, I will as well put some people under Square umbrella.
Was there a time P-Square fought J Martins and Bracket?
For example, P-Square beefing J Martins because of his rising career?
Never! There was nothing like that. That’s why I told you earlier that we don’t always respond to allegations on newspapers, magazines or internet. Those baseless allegations won’t help us to move – it will always serve as distraction. For me, there is no allegation that I will respond to because I don’t want those baseless things to distract me.
Peter and Paul already have kids; and we all know their heartthrobs. Can you tell us the one in your life?
Why are you people always forcing me to come to the public? I don’t want to be a celebrity and I am not one of them. I don’t sing, dance or act.
I love where I am now (hiding myself) and if I love to do that, how do you expect me to introduce the lady I am dating? Back to your question, I have somebody, yes. That’s all.
Like I said, I have somebody but I won’t tell you her name.
Who is your ideal woman?
The most important thing I look out for in a woman is understanding, aside physical beauty because everybody wants to look at the person beside him and be amazed and happy to have married a beautiful lady, not an ugly girl. Basically, your wife should understand you, especially when both male and female fans are swarming around you, wanting to take photographs with you and the rest. She must understand when you’re at work and office. That is my kind of woman.
Meaning that your lady has all these qualities?
Yes, she does. She’s beautiful and understanding.
So, when are you kicking bachelorhood?
When I will kick bachelorhood, I will call you and my fans to come and eat and drink. Already, I have purchased the bell, when it’s time, I will ring it.
Why is it taking so long, on a more serious note?
It’s taking so long because I am waiting for you people. Basically, why I am not yet married is that I don’t want to get married because I have all it takes to marry or because I am ripe. I want to get married and feel married so that I will be committed to my wife.
Although, I am not looking for a perfect person, but she must be a friend, partner, everything and someone that understands what I do.
What’s your projection for the next four to five years for Square Records?
We are not God and can’t tell what would happen in few seconds. The only thing we need is faith, to see tomorrow. What I always say when this kind of question comes up is P-Square, Square Records and every other thing around me are going to be great. We are going to a greater level.
We can’t say we will build a castle in five years because we can’t predict tomorrow. I know, with the way we are working, we are going to the greatest places. Things are going to get better by faith.