As we agreeably come to the end of another boggling music industry drama with the Okoye brothers, there is heightened public interest over the next moves for the family. Ignoring the debatable possibility that they intentionally orchestrated the entire brouhaha to gain our attention for an album drop, or to test the waters of public reaction to an imagined world where each arm of the P-Square is a solo venture, we ask the big question, what next for P-Square?
For those who don’t understand why this discourse is important, we have to refresh.
There is no mention of modern African music without the name P-Square being listed for good reason. Even on international frontiers, P-Square as a group has crossed a lot of milestones artistes equally talented all over the world can merely glimpse from a distance. From their evolutionary discography to complicated dance moves, international features and arena headlining all over the world, P-Square has served as A worthy African music millstone brand to map just how far the continent’s music has come, including the high propensity for marketability of this modern African sound.
Basically, if African music was a big corporation, P-Square will be unquestionable ambassadors for the brand and this is why the fact they’ve had so many problems behind the scenes is of great concern.
The group’s recurring management problems come as a surprise for many reasons. For starters, they are managed by their own family, which is expected to naturally remove trust issues from the equation. Besides, they are like the biggest friggin’ acts of Africa. How do we expect our music to be taken seriously on international fronts if our biggest names are constantly at each others throats for lion shares and cake cuts? It doesn’t only glint African music an unbankable music strata, it also highlights an industry still at infancy and many miles away from maturity.
But a step back from the big picture implications of a P-Square split poses the question of just how they have managed to remain together as a group for over 10 years without this rigmarole of internal fiascos.
Our biggest guess is that over the years, things changed. And as corny as that sounds, it is a lot more picturesque when you consider Peter and Paul began their careers as dancers in the late 90s, just as they barely scratched the surface of their teenage years.
With the poor structure of the industry at the time, we can all collectively agree nobody was thinking about record deals or contractual agreements at the time. Coincidentally these were the formative years that served as the grounded bedrock for their career. As the years have progressed, they gained more fame and amassed more wealth, the world around them similarly moulded through a series of shape shifts. Consequently, a disconnect from everyone including family is not implausible.
In coda, for a group that has released over 6 well received LPs, the place they stand currently may be a result of the fatigue of the past 15 years, something that was always bound to happen anyway. In fact, we would all be lying if we said things would not have been different if they weren’t related.
Where the Okoye brothers will head now as a group is uncertain. If the group is going to synergize and move forward, neither Peter’s insistence on removing Jude as the group’s manager, nor Paul’s demand for song writing credits on all P-Square songs should be ignored. Any temporary fix and (or) settlement will be similar to attempting to close an open heart surgery with a band-aid.
We believe these guys are simply tired from all the dancing and singing of 15 years past. We recommend a hiatus to try their hands on other things like talent A&R.
All three of these guys are badasses that should have garnered enough experience and resources to spawn other badasses. With their age and impact in the industry, a comeback via an explosive album advisably 3 years from now will be the final icing on the cake of building a long lasting P-Square legacy.