Jude Okoye – I won’t sign any artiste until Psquare stops singing

Jude Okoye, the man behind the twin duo, Psquare has opened up on why he has decided to direct only their videos saying he does not want to give room for undue comparison of his work.
Jude, who is Peter and Paul Okoye’s elder brother explained this in an interview with a foremost entertainment magazine, Hip Hop World, saying, “I am not a commercial video director… And because I have this attachment with P-Square, I wouldn’t want to give room for people to start comparing them because it has happened before.”
Read excerpts from the interview the cinematographer and video director, Jude Okoye below:

HHW Magazine– Even though you are P-Square’s manager you have managed a very low profile, people just know your name, people don’t know what you look like so when you walked in I guessed it was you because you kind of look like Peter, how have you managed to keep a very low profile?
Jude Okoye: Well, right from day one when I started seeing Peter and Paul getting popular and breaking the norms, I started feeling their pains that they’ve lost their freedom. There are a lot of things I know they like doing like biking, strolling on the street, visiting friends, going out having fun, going out to the beach and all, but they couldn’t do that anymore so I said, even for anything I can’t afford to lose that, I normally tell people that I’m not a celebrity, I don’t grant interviews. I don’t even like appearing on TV. But sometimes once in awhile, Dayo (of Hip TV) will force me to do it. I don’t like being out there. I just made up mind that this is the cross I’m going to carry, people would definitely want to know who is the person behind this people, so ok let them know but still I won’t give out my freedom, I still do whatever I want to do, I still bike on the street, some people will be like ‘is this not this guy?’I don’t look back; one thing I can never lose is my freedom.

HHW Magazine- Your younger siblings are international superstars, how happy does that make you? Seeing that they are doing so well, the achievements and all how does it make you feel?
Jude Okoye: Well seriously, I don’t think there is any other thing I can ask for, I am very happy and overwhelmed, and it’s something that every family will pray for. The bond there is the secret of the success and it’s unbreakable. Sometimes when I am with them at home and I don’t look at them as Paul and Peter I look at them as P-Square, I’m always like wow, these guys are very big, you might not know their value because they are sitting down with you, sometimes you forget who they are but I think everything still boils down to the fans because no matter how great you think you are, no matter how good you are at what you do, if the people out there don’t accept you, you are nothing. Basically everything still boils down to the fans it’s not their making, I can never give them any kudos, saying ‘you guys are the best singer or anything, that’s why they did the ‘me and my brother’ song, they are not the best but it’s like they are the ones that God blesses most so it’s just something you have to live with. It’s great, being lucky so to say to have them.

HHW Magazine- You keep your life very private, nobody even knows anything about you, I don’t know maybe you are married or not, maybe you have kids or not, can you talk to us about that?
Jude Okoye: (laughs) Ok, I’m not married, but I’m going to be very soon and I don’t have any kids. I.Vs will be out but it’s going to be private. I keep my things private because if I give my marital life for the public they’ll break it. I know I have seen a lot, there is nobody that got married for public consumption that made it and my marriage has to work and for my marriage to work it has to be between me and the lady and marrying, I don’t need anybody’s comment or contribution to tell me how my wife should be or how we should be so that’s why I said I have to keep it private. We would let them know after it’s done.

HHW Magazine- So how come you always shoot music videos for only P-Square?
Jude Okoye: Well, lots of people have reasons why they do what they do, I only shoot videos for P-Square because I want to tell myself that I’m a video director, I shoot their videos because I am the available person that can do that for them and all, I am not a commercial video director. I can’t be running the company-Square’s affairs and still have time to be shooting videos for them (other artistes) and most importantly because I have this attachment with P-Square, I wouldn’t want to give room for people to start comparing them because it has happened before. I shot a video for somebody that was in 2005,the person was impressed with the video and said the marketer wants to shoot 4 more videos to use as DVD because then DVD was in vogue, the person kept the video for like 8 months hoping to get more money so I can shoot more videos for him. By then a lot of things had changed, I took P-Square to London we shot ‘Temptation’ and came back. The person started comparing his video with ‘Temptation’ and went to the media to say I’m paying more attention to P-Square because I don’t want any other artistes to blow like P-Square and I don’t like that kind of comment, so since then I made up my mind that I think I need to avoid something like that.

HHW Magazine- Apart from being the video director for P-Square, you are also in charge of the record company, how do you manage combining both together?
Jude Okoye: Well, Northside Entertainment is my brain child, it’s a management outfit. Square Records is a recording label and I run the two of them, basically it’s like something you’ve been doing way back, it’s not too difficult neither is it that easy. It’s something you extend hands, let other people do this or that. It’s kind of difficult though but we are managing.

HHW Magazine– How do you cope  with the pressure of being the manager of a big star like P-Square, now that everybody wants a piece of them, everybody wants something from them.
Jude Okoye– Well, the thing is because we grew up together we already know our limit and what everybody is expected to do. We know everybody’s weak points and strong points so when we are in the house thinking of business making decisions, they don’t regard themselves as P-Square, we regard ourselves as Peter, Paul and Jude but when we step outside the gate Jude turns manager while Peter and Paul turns into P-Square. We differentiate between P-Square and their personal self. So when we are discussing, making decisions we don’t do P-Square we just go Peter, Paul and Jude.

HHW Magazine: Other labels and artiste usually have other artistes they sign on so that they can tag and learn the older artistes, to help the brand and the record company, are you not planning on signing somebody else that can follow in the line?
Jude Okoye: I don’t know about Peter and Paul but me personally I won’t sign any artiste until P-Square stops singing, that is the same thing I said  when you asked me why I’m not shooting videos for other artistes, everyone that comes under this umbrella will start comparing. Let me give you an example, one of the issues we face is that, when you bring in an upcoming artiste who has not being invited to even play just one show and you’ve spent like 15million on that artiste without even signing like you said and the person wakes up to say he wants to have the car P-Square is driving, the house P-Square is living in, then you’ll wonder like wait a minute, even if I have all these things and I give him, am I motivating him? Am I giving him things that’ll make him hustle hard? If he has everything he wants will he still struggle? So that’s one of the reasons I don’t want to, it’s kind of a human nature thing, once the person comes he’ll start asking ‘no be the same song dem dey sing I dey sing too? ‘The person won’t ask how long it took these guys to get this far and what it took to achieve all these things? The person will just be like ‘check level now, I shouldn’t be roaming on the street, I should be maintaining, driving the same car and having big things’. That’s the reason why in managerial aspect and even shooting videos, people will definitely want to compare, so because of that I made up my mind that I’m better off on my own. Giving you a car and a house is not the issue but when you don’t have anything now and you are demanding for these things, I don’t think if you 1 million I’ll be able to talk to you.

HHW Magazine- People accuse you of being over protective of your brothers, strict and stubborn.
Jude Okoye– No ,if you say I’m strict  I wouldn’t use that word because I am more of like principled, I am someone that If I tell you something, you can go and sleep, It’ll be as I said it. You would never come to me and I’ll say I didn’t say it or something, and if we sit and talk about something let it be how we said it, I am not over protective, they are grown ups, they are over thirty they are no more kids, I don’t over protect them just that when it gets to the business aspect some people say I am shroud but that’s the kind of person I am, I don’t play around when I’m shooting videos, traveling and doing business with international colleagues, they don’t play around, they believe in paper works so I don’t play with that.

Interview culled from the Hip Hop World Magazine

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