P-Square’s Peter Okoye

Sources: Vanguard – By Pamela Echemunor | All Things Michael

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Multi-talented duo, Peter and Paul Okoye, a.k.a. P-Square, started their rise to fame over a decade ago; starting small, performing on a local scale before making it to the big league. The duo, managed by big brother Jude Okoye, introduced pop into the Nigerian music scene during an era it wasn’t a popular genre.

From street to stage, the limelight took them beyond borders, performing beside the biggest names in the music industry, locally and internationally.The second half of the duo, Peter, shares his story with Allure Vanguard. He speaks on his love for music, life and family.

How has your experience been since you began performing on the international platform?

It has been good. I remember when we had our first concert outside Nigeria. It was fantastic because when we were young, we used to see people faint, cry and rush for autographs of Michael Jackson. We thought they were just acting until it started happening to us.

Which international artist have you been anxious to work with or have you already worked with?

For me, it’s Michael Jackson. When he died years ago, it hurt. I never met him but it would have been a dream come true. This is one of the reasons I wanted to work with the Jacksons. That was why we also did ‘Personally’ amongst some others which were tributes to Michael Jackson. As soon as the video came out, less than three days later, the Jackson family put a call through to us to send their appreciation. Right now, someone we are looking forward to working with is a secret. We love surprising our fans.

Any advice for up and coming artists who look up to you?

What I always tell them is nobody can make you bigger except yourself. If you like, do an album with track one featuring P-Square, track two Michael Jackson and so on, none of that will make you big, You should always do you, be you and stop condemning yourself.

Some come up with their CDs and they’re not in the least bit confident that it’s any good. They will be like: ‘It’s not finished and I know it may not be very good but just tell me what you think’. In my mind, I’m not convinced. What I want is for you to say, ‘Men, Oga P, see this my song eh, e sweet pass all of una songs join!’ That will make me listen to you.

 

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Jackson Harris Mentions MJ As One Of His Inspirations For “Fight No More”

Sources: AndPop – By Merna Jibrail | All Things Michael

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Your new song “Fight No More” is a very catchy song. What was your inspiration for that song?

Aww, thank you. Fight no more came from a personal relationship. I really liked this girl, she was great in every way but kind of never let me go past that friend zone. I guess she was worried that something better would come along, and she would end up hurt. I told her I’m only here to love you and make you happy, and so I wanted to put that in song. I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan like anyone else. His song black and white has a guitar riff that I really dug, and I wanted to put that energy into a pop song.

 

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Cedar Band Closes Year With Michael Jackson Tribute

Sources: The Spectrum – By Tim Beery | All Things Michael

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The Cedar High School Redmen Band will hold its final percussion and jazz ensemble concert of the year, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Cedar High School Auditorium.

CHS band director Steve Shirts says the show is an opportunity to see and hear some of the finest young musicians in Utah.

“Earlier this year on March 28, the Redmen Jazz Ensemble performed at the State Jazz Festival at Murray High School,” said Shirts. “Two band members, Anthony Malachowski and Seth Palmer received outstanding soloist awards. We will be performing our state festival music so you will be able to hear these two fine soloists and several others as well.”

“There was about 20 soloists from around the state, that were nominated. Two from our school won, we were pretty excited about that,” Shirts added.

Malachowski and Palmer are both juniors at CHS. Malachowski said he has been playing piano for about 10 years.

“Music to me is everything,” he said. “I’ve been playing piano for 10 years, I spend a lot of time doing it. I also play percussion and write music. It is something that is very important to me and I love doing it.”

Palmer won the award playing the trumpet, a craft he has perfected over the past five years.

“My family has always been into music,” Palmer said. “I always looked up to my older brother who played. I always wanted to do it too, being in jazz ensemble has helped me a lot. Not just in music, but in school too. Coming here in the mornings has been great for me.”

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Shirts said that in addition to the pieces performed at the state jazz festival the Redmen Band will present a tribute to Michael Jackson. A number of Jackson’s songs including “Thriller”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Beat it”, “I can’t help it”, “Human Nature” and “Man in the Mirror” will all be performed.

“It will be a fun blast from the past,” said Shirts of the Michael Jackson tribute. “Who knows, there may even be a moonwalk or a white glove or two.”

“They’re having a ball with it. We’ve been working on it for about three weeks, the kids are putting the finishing touches on it and doing a great job,” said Shirts of the King of Pop music.

Malachowski said the experience of playing pop music in a jazz ensemble is something he will remember for a long time.

“It’s very cool,” he said. “Playing Michael Jackson is a lot of fun.”

The transition from pop to jazz was a natural thing, added Palmer.

“It’s interesting to see the music in the jazz style because a lot of the songs followed jazz chords already, but they aren’t looked at that way because he sings them in a pop style. It fits though, it works really well,” he said.

Beyond the tribute to the King of Pop, Shirts said the Percussion Ensemble will perform a wide range of selections ranging from latin jazz pianist Michel Camilo to Julius Fucik’s famous march “Thunder & Blazes,” and Russian classical music in in Mikhail Glinka’s “Ruslan & Ludmilla.”

 

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Diversity’s Ashley Banjo Pays Tribute To Michael Jackson’s Thriller In New ITV Series

Sources: Mirror | All Things Michael

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The show where celebrities pay tribute to their favorite stars kicks off with Ashley Banjo celebrating Michael Jackson’s Thriller – the best-selling album of all time.

Shortly after Diversity won Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, Ashley and his dance troupe heard that Jackson wanted them to support him at his upcoming London gigs.

“It was one of the greatest moments in my life,” recalls Ashley.

Sadly, Michael’s death in June 2009 while preparing for the shows meant this would never happen.

“So I didn’t get to meet the man who inspired me to dance,” says Ashley, 26. “But this is my tribute to him.”

Along the way, he tells the story of the album’s hits Billie Jean, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Beat It, Human Nature and Thriller.

Ashley hears stories from the people who Michael worked with and gets under the skin of the myths.

We also hear from film director John Landis who created the famous Thriller video.

“Michael had seen hardly any horror films because he was too scared,” recalls Landis.

We also learn that Jackson didn’t invent the moonwalk, but that his signature backwards dance move was taught to him by Shalamar singer and dancer Jeffrey Daniel.

Next week, Strictly judge Len Goodman follows in the footsteps of his hero – the legendary Fred Astaire.

 

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Detroit Youth Choir To Pay Tribute To Michael Jackson

Sources: MLive – By Brandon Champion | All Things Michael

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WHITEHALL, MI — A talented group of young singers will pay tribute to “The King of Pop” at an upcoming concert in Whitehall.

The Mosaic Singers, a group of performers from the Detroit area, will perform several of Michael Jackson’s best-loved songs at the concert titled, “Make that Change: The Music of Michael Jackson.” The performance will be held at the Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall at 7:30 p.m. on April 17.

Beth Beaman, managing director of the Howmet Playhouse, said the performance is one she’s very excited about.

“Once I looked into what Mosaic was doing to bring performance arts opportunities to students in Detroit, I knew we wanted to invite them to West Michigan to share their talents,” she said.

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Founded by Rick Sperling in 1992 to address gaps in Metro Detroit’s arts education, more than 1,000 students from throughout the Metro Detroit are now participate in Mosaic Youth Theater’s ensemble, intermediate training programs and first stage programs each year.

The programs are designed to provide expert training, mentoring and opportunity to young actors, singers and stage technicians while fostering a culture of high expectations, active participation and acceptance that serves students in their lives beyond the stage.

“Our young artists master challenging traditional choral selections and immediately transition to the iconic Michael Jackson songs with full choreography,” Sperling said of the upcoming concert in a news release. “It’s a true showcase of their immense talent and we are thrilled to present this to the region.”

The ensemble will also perform a daytime concert performed for eighth and ninth grade students from Montague and Whitehall Public Schools. The performance titled “Speak for Yourself,” tackles subjects of race and prejudice and will include a talk-back with the performers.

Both performances are made possible through financial support of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council.

Tickets for each of these shows are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They are available at Whitehall City Hall or the door. Call 231-894-4048 or visit www.howmetplayhouse.org for more information.

 

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Tony Succar And Jean Rodriguez Talk ‘Unity’ Tribute Album, The King of Pop And More

Sources: Music Times – By Taylor Napoli | All Things Michael

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Michael Jackson‘s hit songs take on a Latin flare in Tony Succar‘s Unity tribute album coming out tomorrow (April 14). The project began in 2011 when Succar launched a Kickstarter campaign after being inspired from a Latin version of “Thriller” he recorded. Unity features eight other Latin artists alongside Succar, playing some of Jackson’s most popular songs, such as “I Want You Back,” “Man in the Mirror” and “Smooth Criminal,” the lead single off of the album.

“I first started by listening to the whole discography,” Succar said. “And every song that would give me goose bumps, I would sort of set apart. Then after that I would listen to the melody and try to see how it would fit into the Latin rhythms. And whatever song that would fit right, then I would choose that one and start tackling it and seeing how I could arrange it.”

Succar has been a fan of Jackson since he was young and sees the late icon’s music as a “universal language.” The inspiration behind the album comes from the messages that Jackson’s music conveys.

“Those iconic messages that speak about change,” Succar explained. “It’s not only about love and good things in life, but about making it better for everybody.”

Succar and those featured on the album — including Jean Rodriguez, who sings “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean” — hope to adapt the project for a live platform on tour and might even expand the Unity concept to other artists.

“I think of Unity, not just as a record, or even a tour, I see it more of like a movement of this concept, which is getting the Afro-Latin roots and combining it with great legendary music that’s universal.”

Be sure to check out Unity: Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson when it drops tomorrow and watch Music Times‘ full interview with Succar and Rodriguez below.

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Personally: Psquare’s MJ Tribute Video Reaches 40 Million Views On YouTube

Sources: The Net – By ‘Dayo Showemimo| All Things Michael

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In November 2014, we reported when Nigeria super pop twins, Paul and Peter Okoye better known as P Square set a new record when they became the first African artiste to amass over 30 million YouTube views for a video.

Well, fast forward to April 2015, the brothers have broken their own record and set yet another one with their ‘Personally‘ video having hit hit a staggering 40 million views on YouTube.

The video was released on June 21, 2013 and as at the time of filing this report, the video currently has 40,070,487 views and still counting. While music videos from Nigerian artistes like Olamide’s ‘Eleda Mi’ and Mavins ‘Dorobucci’ and others have just hit a little over the 1 million mark, P Square is so far ahead of the game we don’t have the words to describe it.

The video was shot and directed by Jude Engees Okoye and it was a song done to honour the memory of the late king of Pop and idol of the twins, Michael Jackson who passed on at the age of 51 on June 25, 2009.

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The Veronicas Talk Webster Hall, Michael Jackson And New Music

Sources: Digital Journals – By Marko Papadatos | All Things Michael

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Australian pop duo The Veronicas chatted with Digital Journal about their recent performance at Webster Hall, Michael Jackson and their plans for the future.

They performed at Webster Hall in New York City last week, and had nothing but the greatest remarks for the venue. “Webster Hall is such an iconic venue. Feeling that energy through the room, and up on stage was really powerful,” they said.

The duo, comprised of idential twin sisters Jessica and Lisa Marie, noted that their greatest musical influence was the late “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson. “Michael Jackson was, and continues to be our greatest musical influence. The way he bared his soul, and inspired social change through his music, is something that forever inspires us,” they said.

On their plans for the future, they said, “Eat the rich, give to the poor. Inspire progression for all young people drawn to us through our music or our minds. We’re also working on another album, touring, writing a book, developing a documentary on the search for progressing consciousness through a shifting pop culture.”

Their proudest professional moments include each time that they made their parents and fans smile. They listed Jay Buchanan from Rival Sons and Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins as their dream male duet choices.

The Veronicas defined success as having joy and balance in one’s life. “It does not mean a chart number, or a monetary amount. Although those things might make you ‘feel’ successful in the short term, it is only temporary. Success is not something that be can achieved from material gain, or granted by someone else. True success comes from true inner happiness in life with a greater value system. Treating our bodies like a temple (food, yoga), giving our time and passion joining in activist work for wild life and charities. Call your Grandma. Find alternatives to capitalist corporations pushing their own agenda. Know that you deserve better. Respect mother earth. Practice kindness to yourself, and those around you,” they said.

For their fans, they concluded, “Thank you for believing in us when we weren’t sure if we could believe in ourselves.”

To learn more about The Veronicas and their music, check out their official website and on Facebook.

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