Many musical groups have emerged from Nigeria, but none seem to have been adventurous as the prolific twins – Peter and Paul Okoye – aka P-Square, who are at the moment the epitome of Nigerian modern music. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM in this piece takes us through their journey to stardom.
What began a few years ago like ‘child’s play’ when they graced shows and concerts has metamorphosed into an empire that is seeking worldwide recognition with their present trade in the United States – a country that has been christened the ‘Home of Entertainment’.
Their latest effort, collaboration with US-rap star Rick Ross has received massive credence as pundits believe they are the true ambassadors of Nigerian hip-hop.
In the beginning:
They started off miming and dancing to songs from notable American artistes like MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson when they joined their school music and drama group at St. Murumba secondary school, Jos.
Their first breakthrough came in 2001 when they won the ‘Grab Da Mic’ competition, hence Benson & Hedges decided to sponsor their debut album 'Last Night', 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".
Their beginning though was not rosy, but with determination, hard work and dedication, their effort had paid off and they are a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian music industry today.
Nigerian music ambassador
Though many artistes in the industry had worked hard to attain the same feat as the duo, they stand out as they have proven time and over again that Nigerian music can gain prominence in the international music scene.
With their collaboration with international artistes like Matt Houston, Akon of Konvict Musik Label (they are signed to) and Rick Ross, Nigerian music is gradually taking its rightful place in the international music scene.
One thing that has consistently worked for them is the connection their music and videos have with their roots. Even Rick Ross in his rap in the ‘Beautiful Ontinye (rmx)’ acknowledged the fact that they are on top of their game when he said, “turn up the music, we are rolling with P-Square, number one in the game, we are going to be here.”
Illrhymz, one of Nigeria’s television music presenter said while reacting to their collaboration with Rick Ross: “These guys are good, there is no doubt about it. It shows that they are true representatives of Nigerian kind of music. The music industry has gone far and with this collaboration there is hope for young aspiring artistes.”
Waconzy, the “I celebrate” crooner stated that the music industry is no longer where it used to be.
“Gone are the days when Nigerian artistes are relegated to the background. They are no longer looked at as second class on the entertainment scene because we are beginning to take our rightful place.
These guys are good!!! This is just the beginning; the Nigerian music industry is just at the verge of taking over the world entertainment scene.”
It will not be out of place to say that their musical career has reached its crescendo; but it is more difficult to remain on top than to move to the top.
As they continue to put the Nigerian music industry and the Nigerian music on the world map Entertainment Rendezvous wish them more wind to their wings.