Last night, I carried out an investigation into the Peter's solo career so far, and he doesn't sound like 'Psquare'.
The chief driving force behind the breakup of Psquare is Peter Okoye. The singer who prefers to be known as Mr P pushed the motion for the crumble of Psquare by rebelling against his brothers.
He has valid reasons, including allegations of ‘threat to life’ as part of the reason why he has decided to leave Psquare, and push for a solo career.
Peter Okoye believes that he has it all. He thinks he is the best thing to come down from crashing a toxic structure, and he has gone about pushing his narrative to the media.
“During the whole Psquare, I was the one doing the whole structure, and trying to get things done properly,” he told HipTV. “I’ve been a creative person, and I haven’t stopped till today. I am very creative, but people still look at me like a dancer. It hurts, but I still remain a creative person.”
Peter Okoye is pushing for a solo career like a man on a mission. He has successfully cut out his brothers Paul and Jude from his business, and he is working hard at disproving the image that Nigeria has of him. He dances like a pro, but is that all he can do? Can Peter Okoye truly sing?
Last night, I carried out an investigation into the singer’s solo career so far away from his brother Paul. Mr P as an artist has to sing. and to do that he needs a voice. But is that voice recognisable as Psquare’s voice? After all, the basis of his solo career is that he is the better entertainer. We all know he can dance, but can he actually sing?
At the height of his annual beef with his sibling, he introduced us to a solo record titled ‘Look into my eyes.’ The song was an unmixed, and unmastered R&B record, which was unofficially dropped online, and got promoted when the singer released a video of him singing to the record on social media. He didn’t kill it. There’s was a lack of conviction on the record as Peter struggled to bring dynamism to the record. The single was bound to fail.
Perhaps we are being too harsh on him. Perhaps he has a hidden layer that enables function better when there is another artist on the record. Maybe synergy is his true muse, and when he collaborates he gets it. For a big pop trial, you should judge him on ‘Tonyor’, a pop record by Selebobo. Peter attacks the beat like a pro and blends in. But something becomes obvious. He doesn’t have the range of Psquare. All of that inflection, and vocal twists that pepper the biggest Psquare records are missing. The song doesn’t sound like Psquare, neither does Peter stand out enough.
We go further. Another record with Tanzanian singer Vanessa Mdee titled ‘Kisela’ has Peter trying himself on a Pan-African record. He was found out. Due to a difference with mixing, Peter sounds light and is carried across the song by the beat. While he provided the aesthetics of the video, his vocal did little to advance Mdee’s musical cause. At least she featured someone from Psquare.
The final record which provides a fresher take on Mr P is his song with rising singer, Stephanie Ghaida, ‘Tonight’. Another pop production brings him short. He handles a verse admirably, but as usual, he’s vocally light and lacks presence and conviction on the record. Peter Okoye succeeds in showing glimpses of R&B leanings.
Why is this important? Because a very strong selling point for Peter is his affiliation to Psquare. He is regarded by fans as the fine dude who dances on Psquare. To leverage on that profile for pop success would require that he contributes ‘Psquare nostalgia’ on his record, and fans can connect on a fresh take from ‘the Psquare guy’. It is a basic requirement, one that he lacks.
And if you think he is unfairly judged, listen to Paul Okoye (Rudeboy) on Timaya’s ‘Dance’. That vocal and the range is Psquare. It is what Nigerians fell in love with, and continue to appreciate.
Peter needs more work. Building a career from scratch means he will have to find a formula to provide him with enough dynamism to carry a record and deliver it to the hearts of fans. He won’t be judged as Psquare now. That run has ended. Instead, he will be objectively analysed by fans for content and melody.
On the evidence of these releases, do you think he will pass?