Posted by Bayo Adetu on
Talented singer and choreographer, Peter Okoye of Psquare fame, in this interview with PMEntertainment in the last week of December, 2008, speaks on his relationship with ex-MBGN queen, Munachi Abii, life as a father and the music industry.
Q: Congratulations on the arrival of your son and the mother
A: Thank you very much.
Q: How excited are you about that?
A: Iím very excited. Iím so happy because that is one of the best gifts I have got this year (2008).
Q: Why did you christen the baby Cameron?
A: Actually, Cameron is a name I have always loved from my childhood and when I presented the idea to the mother, she loved it as well.
Q: People were surprised that Lola Omotayo got pregnant for you after rumours that you were dating ex-Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Munachi Abii
A: I love Nigerians because no matter what, they are the ones that made us who we are. There were lots of rumours going on between me and Munachi Abii, and at the end Lola got pregnant. I know myself and the real truth of what happened, but people can just look at the story and change it to a way that suits them at the end of the day. It has been happening in the industry so, Iím not bothered.
Q: But for the sake of your fans who want to know the truth, what was the real relationship between you and Munachi?
A: Munachi and I are very good friends. No matter what, she is still my friend, not my enemy and everybody knows that. She is a nice girl and I have known her for sometime. But people actually saw us being close when we were shooting the Ifunanya video because there was a whole lot of romance in the video; that actually made us closer. I canít deny it, and because she was not dating anybody as a beauty queen, people concluded that she was dating Peter Okoye. They even said that she and Lola fought in my house, whereas they had never met, since I donít know where the rumour came from. The thing is, when you see a handsome guy and a beautiful lady together, you will think that there is something between them, but I can assure you that there is no chemistry. We are just friends. There was a newspaper report that we had a secret wedding. The only day both of them met was at the NMVA and they exchanged pleasantries to the surprise of everybody.
Q: What impact has the arrival of Cameron had on your life?
A: First of all, it has proved to me that in all circumstances, think of God first. I was not the first person that has impregnated a woman before; most people must have done that and aborted it and at the end of the day, they will still feel that theyíve not done anything wrong. We that decided to keep ours should not be seen as bad influence by the public. It has taught me how to respect life and people. No condition is permanent; it has also reminded me of the fact that our parents really did well for us, even if they were financially handicapped.
It has also taught me to be calm. I learnt to handle some situations and to be real. When the news broke that Lola was pregnant, a lot of people were expecting me to deny it, but I came out to tell them that Iím happy. And if you look at it today, it is no more like a bad news, it is a good news.
Q:Your fans are actually worried if you will not tow the path of Tuface Idibia, who is not married yet has kids from different women?
A: Tuface is my lovely friend and colleague. Even if his songs are not as big as others now, he is still a musician I can doff my hat for. So, I would not want him to be used as example. Is Tuface suffering today? Come on, whatever happened has happened. What if I tow his path, what will happen? American stars do more than that and nobody is talking about it, or is it because we are famous? How many married men do we know that have kids from other women? People donít talk about them because they are not famous.
Q: You and I know that celebrities live fake lifestyle. Being a role model to the younger generationÖ?
A: The fact that we are role models does not make us perfect. We too can make the same mistakes that other people make. For instance, you say nobody is above the law, that you are famous doesnít mean police cannot stop you on the road. You should also obey the law. The fact that we are role models means if we do something wrong, we should come out in the public to apologise. A role model is someone that people love and want to emulate. So if people are saying that Peter Okoye is doing something bad, the day I come out to apologise, people will listen. If Iím a cultist for instance, the day I will come out to renounce my membership, others will also repent, that is what makes a role model.
Q: Perhaps youíve not come out to apologise, for any mistake?
A: What we are talking about here is not a mistake. Iím not one of those that will impregnate a lady and deny it. There is no point trying to deny what Iím not supposed to. Iím as cool as anybody can be. If I do something wrong and it affects people publicly, trust me, I will come out and tell them Iím sorry.
Q: Do we see you walking down the aisle with your sonís mother?
A: Having a son doesnít make me a married man. If God permits it, good. The fact that she has a baby for me doesnít mean that I must marry her. What if I propose and she doesnít want to marry me, of course I canít force her.
Q: But she is a lady you have been dating for almost three years before the pregnancy?
A: After all, we have seen people who courted for 10 years without getting married. Even those that got married, some of them are not happy. So above all, we leave everything in the hands of God.
Q: You guys have been getting stronger since the release of your debut album. What should your fans expect this new year?
A: I think weíve done a lot for our fans and all we just need is their prayers. You can never do better than your first album, that is the truth. Michael Jackson can never do better than Thriller. What I mean is that no matter what you want to release, people will still refer you to the song that brought you to the limelight. They never knew Psquare until the release of Get Squared, so, some people will even tell you that the album is better than the current one, Game Over. We have gone international and all our concerts abroad are sold out. So in the new year, people are going to see a better Psquare with more international knowledge. Itís like a footballer playing for Enyimba FC or Plateau United, tomorrow he will play for Chelsea FC. So, people are going to see a better Psquare, a more improved Psquare. We now know the kind of songs that people love. You will be surprised that the kind of songs people like here in Nigeria is not what they like abroad. Take the song Temptation; it was reigning in other countries while Busy Body was reigning in Nigeria. This time around, we want to do an international album, a crossover album. Even if we are not hoping to feature any international artiste, it is still going to be crossover.
Q: Psquare is one of the most travelled Nigerian artistes, but that has not levelled up with the international awards you guys have won. What do you think is wrong?
A: Yes, the only international award weíve won is Channel O Awards, but weíve played international concerts more than any Nigerian artiste. Awards donít put food on our table. In fact, you will be surprised that from now till 1015, Psquare will never attend any award because too much politics is involved.
People sit at home to watch these awards but they donít know the politics that go on behind the scene. But one day the truth will be unveiled. Let me give you an example. There have been situations when organisers tell us that "Come, if you donít attend this award, we are not going to give you." They will tell you that if you donít do this and this for us, you cannot get the award. We have been victims of that times without number. How many awards has R-Kelly won? Yet he is still the king of R & B. So, part of our new year resolutions is that we are not going to honour any award.
Q: Which was your most cherished awards?
A: The best award weíve got is the fact that we are known internationally, thatís all. Award is just a plaque, it is not gold that I can sell to generate money. Even the ones weíve received so far, there is no space to keep them again because our shelf is filled up already. The joy is that our fans in Nigeria, Africa and Europe appreciate us so much that we are not going to let them down.
Q: For the first time, you are planning to release a single before your album. What informed that decision?
A: Itís good to be unpredictable. If people are expecting us to perform on stage with Black and White, we can decide to use white and red instead. In the past, we released our video and audio at the same time, later we came out with audio and video afterwards, but this time around, itís going to be the single first. The market is diversifying and new ideas and strategies are being deployed. We can even release three singles before the album.
Q: Tell us about the album
A: As I said earlier, itís going to be better. People should expect the kind of songs they hear out there. People will see more things internationally. There should be an international collabo but it is not a strategy to sell the album. We are doing it because the song fits the artiste.
Q: Who is the international artiste?
A: The name? We want to keep that to ourselves, okay? When the time comes, it will be revealed.