Jude Okoye is elder brother to wave making twins, P-Square. Although he is in charge of producing the duos’ songs and directing their videos, he will not also hesitate to tell you that he is the boss.
“P-Square rules the world but I own the world. So, I’m the boss. I push them out because they are the brand, while I own and run the brand” were his words when we interviewed him during the week.
In the beginning
It all started in 1994, when I developed interest in movie production. It was about the period the Nigerian home video industry had just started with production like of Living In Bondage.
I had made a movie way back in Jos then.
In 1996, I ventured into music because some of my friends were in it. After a stint with a group, I went solo. I wanted to come out as soon as possible because I didn’t believe in taking things easy by then.
I released my first rap album in 1995 in Jos. It contained the hit track which was a remix of then Chakademus and Pliers song ‘Mother she wrote’ done in Hausa. The song made me a local superstar.
I was a hard working person. I did a bit tin mining business, importing and exporting business. But basically, I got my major finance from my friend Hillary Ezeadilije who stays in Jos. He’s been supporting me in everything I do and I’ve vowed to always be there for him too.
Coming to Lagos…
When I came to Lagos, I stayed with a friend who lived next door to Bright Chimeze’s house. Finally, I started taking interest in my brothers when I gained admission into the University after seven years of living secondary school.
I had to abandon everything to go back to school. At that moment, P-Square were already following my footsteps in music but I wasn’t aware.
I usually noticed that wherever I go for my video shoots, they’re always there. I thought they were just supporting me but I didn’t know they were trying to pick my steps and develop themselves.
So when I went back to Jos for my university education, P-Square was invited for the first show we had on campus. Then their stage name was Smooth Criminals and they mimed Micheal Jackson’s songs and dance steps.
The first day I ever saw them on stage, I was amazed. Meanwhile they’d always rehearsed in our compound without my knowledge.
From then, I started supporting them because I saw it was not what should be swept under the carpet. Then, they also gained admission into the University. One day I called them and advised that instead of miming Michael Jackson’s songs, they should start miming to theirs.
So they told me they were trying to do something about it. So from then, we started making moves for them to do their own music. The rest is history.
Birth of the name, P-Square
It was during one of their performances in Abuja. One of their friends who was the MC and didn’t know what name to call them just introduced them as P-Square. After their performance, they came backstage and I asked them what they thought about the name P-Square.
They loved it and that was how we adopted it. They Don Kolo was their first recorded song which carried the name P-Sqaure.
Relationship with P-Square
It’s normal to argue in order for a good result to be reached. Whenever one of us brings any idea, he’ll have to either win the other two or one to his side before we can adopt such idea. If you couldn’t win anyone then, the idea would go straight into the dustbin.
But whenever the two of them start their argument, I always give them room to argue till they’re satisfied. But whenever their argument doesn’t favour any of them then, I could come in and whoever I see reasons with wins.
It is still part of my career even if it is not fully. I still have that love for movie that was why I devoted most of my attention on their video making. But talking about music wise , I once was a musician and have helped them in their writing songs and productions.
I’m part of every song they write. The only thing I don’t do is go into the studio to sing with them. And in terms of video making, I just direct them.
Well, movie making from day one has been my first love. And as I’m speaking with you now, I have imported equipment for a movie and they are world class professional equipment. But I’m waiting to take their career to a particular level where I know they’ll be able to cope on their own then, I’ll go back to making movies.
First of all, there is nothing I have not tried. For instance, it is good for somebody to realize that he/she is in charge of his career and life. Way back in 1995 I shot a video and people were complaining that I didn’t shoot videos for other artists. So I shot a video for an artiste and the artiste was very excited. When he saw the video, he couldn’t believe it.
After then, they said they wanted to shoot four more video when they have enough capital. And I ended up waiting for eight months and the producer didn’t release the video.
And when I went to London to shoot Temptation, the guy went on air and said all sort of things that I didn’t shoot his video well. That I was the same person that shot Temptation and that his video could not be compared to Temptation.
He forgot that he kept his video for eight month with out releasing it and ideas grow. The media also capitalized on it and wrote that I’m only interested in my brothers. So I decided to stick with my brothers and leave out other artistes.
The same thing happened when I signed on an artiste four years back. The artiste started misbehaving by going to drink with his friends and fighting in clubs. How do you handle a guy like that? I couldn’t do anything because he’s not related to me and he’s not my brother.
The only thing I can do is to get him informed and prepared for shows but I can’t teach him morals. And once you can’t control such an artiste, you can’t excel with them.
Fame, money and women
Yes it’s true because I don’t think there’s anything left. You’re living your life for your fans because they have expectations. Once you’re out there, you don’t have a life of your own. That’s why you see that in here, there’s swimming pool, a gym and relaxation place. It’s just that we have to make ourselves comfortable because we can no longer do that outside anymore.
You’re making a mistake. It’s like saying that P-Square runs the world but I own the world. So, I am the boss. I push them out because they are the brand while I own and run the brand.
Yes we are. We have many houses.
The firm is in charge of P-Square but not in charge of Peter, Paul or Jude. When people see P-Square, they see Peter and Paul but the actual P-Square is Paul, Peter and Jude. So when any of us gets married, he’ll live his life according to how the firm stipulates.
Yes I should be married but I won’t go into that because people want me to. I should have been married since eight years back but I didn’t because it didn’t work out. I’ve seen a lot of people who are married but their marriage is nothing to write home about. So, when I see the person and my heart accepts her then, I’ll get married.
Are you saying there’s nobody?
Yes I’m seeing somebody but when the time for marriage come, you’ll know the person.