P-Square are a NigerianR&B duo composed of identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye. They produce and release their albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they were also signed to Akon's Konvict Muzik label. In May 2012, they also signed a record distribution deal with Universal Music South Africa.
The story of P-Square began in St. Murumba secondary school, a small Catholic school in Jos, Nigeria. Identical twins Peter and Paul joined their school music and drama club where they began singing, dancing, and mimicking songs by MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson.
They later formed an a cappellaquartet called "MMMPP" (M Clef a.k.a. Itemoh, Michael, Melvin, Peter and Paul). Drawing inspiration from their music idol Michael Jackson, they began break dancing, formed the group called "Smooth Criminals" in 1997. They dropped M Clef from the group "MMMPP" which later was changed to "MMPP". Their artistic talent and precise dance routine soon made them household names in the city of Jos, where they performed at school functions and other occasions.
Later in 1999, Peter and Paul returned to music school to develop their skills on keyboard, drums, bass and rhythm guitar. Their work includes the soundtracks for a number of films like Tobi, Mama Sunday, Moment of Bitterness and Evas River.
Later in 1999, they applied to the University of Abuja to study Business Administration. The Smooth Criminals disbanded when its members left to various other universities. Subsequently Peter and Paul formed their own group, variously called "Double P", "P&P", and "Da Pees", until they eventually settled on "P Square". They are managed by Bayo Odusami aka Howie T, a seasoned concert promoter and the CEO of Adrot Nigeria Limited.
In 2001, "P-Square" won the "Grab Da Mic" competition, and hence Benson & Hedges sponsored their debut album, titled Last Nite, 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".
In 2005, P Square released their second album, Get Squared under their own label, Square Records. This album was marketed nationwide by TJoe Enterprises, although they were still managed by Howie T of Adrot Nigeria Limited. The video for the second album held the #1 position on the MTV Base chart for four straight weeks.
They have an ever growing fan base across South Africa with a particular stronghold of diehard fans in Cape Town.
The group has performed alongside the following international artists like Ginuwine, Sean Paul, Akon and Busola Keshiro. The members of P Square are now located in Lagos.
Late in 2007, they released their best selling album so far, Game Over. It has sold 8 million copies worldwide.
In 2009, P-Square released their fourth studio album, Danger. The album features collaborations with 2 Face Idibia, J Martins and Frenzy. The first single called "Danger" is a hip hop song with cutting synths and a frog bass baseline similar to an Eminem song. The video affirms this with the presence of clowns and staggered movements in front of the camera reminiscent of comical videos by Eminem. They are also known for the close resemblance which the twins have to American R&B Superstar, Usher Raymond.
The duo are reported to handle most of their production/beat making in house. The band has been faced with many controversies for their habit of sampling western songs and popular hits in their records. They have addressed the issue many times in interviews as well as in the lyrics of their songs. Technically speaking, P Square does more in the line of reconstructing the drum patterns, chord progressions or lyrics of the sampled songs as against actually cutting parts of the song and directly sampling into their production. This accounts for the largely electronic feel of their sound.
Some of the songs which have been called up on this account include "Get Squared", "Game Over", "Danger" and others.
P-Square attracted headlines because they reportedly turned irate when they were notified by organisers in the middle of their performance at the Guinness Show about some change in plans which would affect the length of their performance, and that of the next act, 2 Face Idibia. As reported by a news site vanguardngr.com, the info apparently stirred up resentment as Peter immediately said "I don’t know why, anytime a foreign artiste comes to Nigeria, they (show organizers) wanna treat us like slaves in our country". Although initially they continued their performance but midway through, they threw their microphones to the ground and angrily stormed out of the stage saying, "We are leaving; they don’t want 2face to come on stage" They were said to have immediately left the premises of the show, but after intervention of the show organisers, they came on stage later with 2face for a performance, but later on were apologised to.
Paul Okoye, one half of the musical duo, P-Square, was involved in a paternity scandal with a lady named Elshamah Igbanoi. The lady claimed Paul impregnated her; Paul denied the pregnancy and went for a paternity test.