When you mention Nigerian music, one name will always stand out: PSquare. They are a very successfully R&B group performing and selling records across the world. They are arguably the most famous group known in almost all the African countries with a number of successful shows in U.S, Canada and Europe. They have also not been without controversy in some instances. Below are 10 lesser known facts about the duo which a lot of people do not know about:
They went to the same high school
The duo are an alumnus of St. Murumba Secondary School in Jos, Nigeria. They became part of the school drama and music club and also gave themselves a name by mimicking the performances of some of the most famous names in the world of music such as the late Michael Jackson and MC Hammer.
Their first group specialized with accapella
The duo started their long journey of music as an accapella group with three other singers, namely Michael, Melvin, and M Clef. They would label themselves as MMMPP, with the two Ps standing for Peter and Paul. They normally performed at functions in Jos, entertaining people with Michael Jackson’s break-dancing styles. That was way back in 1997.
They know their way around instruments
Unlike most singers on the continent, Peter and Paul registered at a music school in 1997 to give a professional touch to their music. They have keyboard, bass and rhythm guitar, and drums skills.
They hold degrees in business administration
This is not the usual dropped out of college then pursue music kind of story. The duo decided to pursue degrees in business administration at University of Abuja even as they continued their pursuit of music. Education interests led to the break-up of their band which was also casually known as the Smooth Criminals, courtesy of a song title by their icon Michael Jackson.
Their first album was sponsored by a promoter after winning a contest
PSquare began showing their aim of taking over the music industry in Nigeria when they first won a singing contest dubbed Grab Da Mic in 2001 organised by Benson & Hedges. The prize was a fully sponsored album recording deal with Timbuktu2 Music. They called their album Last Nite. They had settled on the name PSquare after trying out other labels such as P&P, Double P, and Da Pees.
Nominated into KORA Awards following their first album release
Few musicians achieve such a feat in such a short time. PSquare landed a nomination in ‘Most Promising African Group’ category of the continents premier music awards, the KORAs only three months after releasing of Last Nite. They would later win the more coveted BET awards in 2011 and MTV Base award the following year amongst several other domestic and continental awards.
They produce their music under their own label
Square Records is responsible for the album that took the twins to the top of the African music industry in 2005, Get Squared. Their elder brother Jude Okoye has been producing all the songs they have recorded at the stable. The album was followed by their most successful one Game Over in 2007 which has so far sold over 8 million copies worldwide, thus attracting interest from outside the continent.
They once stormed off the stage in protest during a performance
In 2009, the twins stormed off the stage when they were curtain-raising for Sean Paul at the Arthur Guinness Show in Lagos after organisers reduced their time of performing. The organizers had also refused 2Face Idibia from joining the two in a song they had done together causing Peter and Paul to throw the microphones into the crowds and walked away. The crowd refused Sean Paul to perform until the three had been brought back and given apologies.
They are signed to Konvict Music of Akon
After their trailblazing performances and album sales across the world, PSquare was added unto the Konvict Music label of renowned Senegalese-American R&B icon Akon in 2011. The duo was signed together with fellow Nigerians Wizkid and 2Face Idibia.
They are Ranked the 5th Richest Musicians in Africa
As happens most times in Africa, it is not easy to know who owns what and how rich someone is. However, online publication Huffington Post carried out a research and came up with a list of the richest musicians in Africa, ranking PSquare in 5th place as a group. They made number 2 on our list of Africa’s richest musicians. Individually, it is hard to estimate what each one of them is worth.