Popular Nigerian singer, Peter Okoye, who is also known as Mr P, a former member of the dissolved pop group, P-Square, tells TOFARATI IGE about life as a solo artiste and other issues
How would you assess the success of your entertainment lottery company, Zoom Lifestyle, so far?
Me and my partners are quite impressed with the way the brand has caught on with our partners, especially because the essence of it is to empower as many (people) as we can in our own way.
To what extent did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your business and music career?
I don’t think there is one person that was not affected by the coronavirus pandemic, except some of the (world’s wealthiest people) like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk (laughs). Not just in business, the pandemic has also changed the way human beings interact and move around, at least for some time.
I have businesses that have done well during this period and I have some that have taken a substantial hit in some ways.
What are some of the lessons you learnt from your COVID-19 experience?
That would be resilience, rest and adaptability. My team and I have had to restrategise and restructure some aspects of our work with our new reality. We have had to be more innovative as well, especially in the area of maintaining a connection with my fan base and market though it all.
I also got to spend more time with my family, and that was something I hardly got to do as I was usually on the road.
What inspired the title of your album, ‘Prodigal’?
It was a chance to chart and follow my own journey, to finally have my sound heard and vibe felt. I could experiment with genres and share with my audience. It is about me being creative and sharing my experience in some cases.
How would you describe the experience of creating the album, particularly because it is your first solo album?
It was awesome, exciting and inspiring. I got to work with some of the best hands when it comes to performing, producing and creating music. It was a humbling experience and I am thankful to everyone who is part of the project. I can assure you that anyone that would listen to the album would not be disappointed.
What new things should fans be expecting from the album?
‘An authentic piece of art’ is how I like to refer to the album. It took a lot of sacrifice, dedication and fun to put this together.
How would you describe your style of music?
My style is simply afro-pop with a huge dose of Mr P.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a solo artiste?
What changes would you like to see in the music industry?
There have been interesting strides in the industry lately, especially with a lot of our artistes and music getting global recognition. If we can get more artistes to benefit from the structure, and we employ more transparency in the way our music is being consumed (and paid for), or derivatives being fully explored.
You recently launched an alcoholic drink. How would you assess its performance?
I call it ‘the unapologetically African brand’. It is doing very well and I am proud to say that within the first three months of the launch, we distributed 30,000 bottles. That is quite commendable for a new product, even if I say so myself.
What is your response to people who say you are better off with P-Square?
Have they listened to the Prodigal album?
Even if you would not come back together, do you see yourself collaborating with your twin brother?
I would rather not comment on that.
What’s the most memorable performance you have had in recent times before the COVID-19 pandemic?
It would be unfair to mention just one as each performance and audience are different. I have been opportune to perform within and outside Nigeria to diverse audiences.
Source: The PUNCH