Iâ€™m not in a hurry to have kids â€” SKALES
Raoul Njeng-Njeng, popularly known as Skales, speaks about his career and success story
Why do you say that your birthplace paved the way for your music career?
Growing up in Kaduna, especially in a Christian home exposed me to music at an early age. I grew up singing in church and I became interested in music when I spent time at my motherâ€™s store where she sold radio cassettes. Because she sold gospel music cassettes which I listened to as a child, I was largely influenced by gospel songs.
You started out as a rapper but you are thought to be a pop artisteâ€¦
I donâ€™t like to be put in a box. I make good music and that is all I try to do every time I make music.
Is it true that you are Cameroonian?
Yes, my father is from Cameroon but I was born and raised by mum in Kaduna. My mum is from Edo state, so I was raised as an Edo boy.
Your mum has no doubt played a major role in your life. What are you most grateful to her for?
She let me become the man I am today by helping me believe in myself and in my ability to be the greatest artiste.
The time you spent at Empire Mates Entertainment is part and parcel of your career. Do you cherish the EME memories?
I will always appreciate Banky W and EME for believing in and supporting me when no one else paid me any attention.
To some people, it appears you are envious of Wizkid. Is this position true?
I respect Wizkid a lot. Yes, we fell out over certain issues which should be expected but that does not change the fact that we are happy with each other.
Are you still signed on with Baseline Music and why did you set up
I set up OHK Music after I left EME and I have other partners who still manage the business. After I released Shake Body, I got signed on with Baseline Music and I am still signed on with Baseline Music as a recording and performing artiste. OHK is still running despite this and I will be launching some new projects from the OHK stables in the coming weeks.
Which of your singles would you describe as your breakthrough song?
Every phase of my life has had one breakthrough song or the other that has taken me places. In 2008, after winning ZainTru Search competition in the North Central region, I released a track called Must Shine. It enjoyed generous airplay on radio stations across the country. Also, I cannot fail to mention Heading for a Grammy, which was released at the beginning of my career as a professional artiste. Mukulu and Shake Body are also two of my classic songs.
Each time I release a song, I ensure it lives up to my stage name, which is an acronym for Seek Knowledge Acquire Large Entrepreneurial Skills. At the same time, I also ensure that I inspire youths.
Most of your colleagues have had children outside wedlock. Is this
something you hope to experience anytime soon?
Having children and getting married are two blessings that I hope to experience but I am not in a hurry. I believe in Godâ€™s time. He has shown that with my career and I am also trusting he will do the same thing with my private life.
Which artistes played a major role in your career when you started out?
Terry ThaRapman was one of my heroes in Kaduna State back then.Others are Mode9, Overdose and Six Foot Plus. Although Jeremiah Gyang wasnâ€™t a Hip-Hop artiste, he loved the culture, and also afforded me my first studio session ever.
What is your lowest point in life?
I have had a lot of low points in my life professionally and personally that I wouldnâ€™t want to mention. I have learnt to always trust God and believe in him. When your time comes, he will make all things beautiful for you.
Do you still run away from female fans as you once disclosed?
Did I ever say that? I believe that people grow up because, when I came into this industry, I had a different way of dealing with female attention, but now, it has gotten better. I have grown and I know where and when to draw the line. I love all my fans both male and female. In fact I call them friends and if you love and support my music, I would definitely welcome you.
How financially rewarding has music been?
I thank God for the grace He has given me to be able to earn a living doing what I love. Music has been good to me.
Which artistes have posed a threat to your career and why?
Sincerely, I have never viewed any artiste as a threat. Instead, I see them as my colleagues. If they come to me and I can help them, I do, and if I go to them and they can help me, they extend the same hand of fellowship to me. The Bible says that iron sharpens iron, and that is the way I have decided to look at life. I donâ€™t think of anyone as a competition, I have always been my one and only competition to be honest.
Are you working on another album?
I am still relishing the content of my debut album, Man of the Year, which was released in May under the Baseline Music imprint. It features tracks with some of my favourite artistes â€“ Burna Boy, Davido, Reekado Banks, Victoria Kimani, Attitude, and many other amazing musicians.
Are you open to working with Wizkid soon?
Definitely. I hope to work with him.
Do you sometimes feel that you have not explored your talents enough?
One of my goals in life is to do better than I did the previous day so yes, I look forward to doing and learning more.
Do you consider yourself a role model?
I pray that somehow and some way, I inspire someone out there
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am promoting the Man of the Year album and I embarked on an album tour in May. My team is working on having me perform at different cities around the world
What are your thoughts on marriage and are you seeing someone at the moment?
Like I mentioned earlier, they are blessings that I hope to
experience some day
What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe?
It has to be my Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers.
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