Raoul John Njeng-Njeng, popularly known as Skales, is on the fast rise, one of his singles Shake Body is the toast of music lovers now. He has released two more singles, Je Kan Mo and I am For Real which promise to be 2015 anthem soonest. ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him about his rise in fortune…
Skales is one of the fastest rising artistes now, what is the secret?
If I tell you, it won’t be a secret anymore. (Laughs) God, hard work, focus, Baseline Music, persistence, dedication and the greatest team ever. Last year, I sat with my team and we decided on where the Skales brand is going. It has been about 10 months since I got a new team, and all hands have been on deck. We have worked and we can say that we are about to tick the final segment for our 12-month plan which is my debut album. It has not been easy, but we grind every day, and we thank God and pray for a better 2015.
What have you done differently that is working for you?
I have realized that the music business is not all about just making music and expecting acceptance; it is about your dedication and how well you grind. The Skales you see right now was well thought of. It is exciting that before we take any step, my management team and I speak to the record label and PR team and we analyze the possible good and bad outcome, and we already have strategies on how to make it work. It’s been a learning process for me, and I thank God for the opportunity. Not a lot of artistes have the transition opportunity I have, but I like to think I have a strong will and will never take NO for an answer
Did you ever envisage rising so fast?
This is all I ever wanted; I just think that God was preparing me for greatness. Not a lot of people get a second chance or are ready for the big break, so when it comes, they mess it up. I have been through the good, the bad and the ugly and I did not let go and I am not about to let go
How do you hope to keep the pace that you have set?
Before we embarked on this journey, there was a plan. It is not a fluke that I am here, so you can be rest assured that there is a plan. And with God on our side, it is a done deal.
You are known to be a rap artiste, why are you doing songs now and not rap?
I see myself as an artiste, and that means that I can do whatever kind of music I want. I can be a rapper, I can do pop music, I can do dancehall music or even soul music. Heading for a Grammy is rap, Mukulu, Take Care of me and Denge Pose is a fusion of rap and pop, Shake Body is pure afro pop. My new song, I am for Real is dancehall and Jekanmo is popular music. I am a musician, and my unique selling point is my ability to be versatile and do music that will make money for my mom, my management team, the label and myself without watering down the quality of my music.
Which is your favourite, rap or songs?
Depending on my mood. Sometimes it is rap, other times it is singing. It is the same way sometimes I feel like eating rice; other times I just want to go traditional. Sometimes, I want to have dinner at a classy restaurant, other times, I feel like homemade food or mama put. My playlist is full of all kinds of music. I listen to all of them depending on my mood and that also applies to the kind of music I make.
Tell us the secret behind your song, Shake Body, what inspired it?
My producer and I spent days trying to create a big hit. I wanted something different to make a fresh sound, try out something I had never done before so when Jay Pizzle started playing the beat, I just started vibing to it. We went back and forth on the beat, the lyrics till we were satisfied then I played it alongside some other songs for my team, a couple of DJs and some neutral people. Some had good things to say, others felt I was watering down. But once me and my team made the decision to release Shake Body, there was no looking back. And here we are
Did you know it will pull so much crowd like it is doing now?
Yes, I did. I was positive this was the song that will launch Skales 2.0, but like I have learnt over time, you can never be too sure of the audience reaction. But we kept on pushing. I thank God for the love and the fans in Nigeria and other countries for the acceptance. I am excited.
When should we expect your album?
March, unfailingly. I have submitted the album to the label. We are in the process of selecting which songs will make it and which ones will not. I am excited about the process. But I also cannot wait for people to hear what I have in the album. It has been a long journey, and I really just can’t wait.
What are your plans for 2015?
There are a couple of plans lined up for this year. First is the album. Others will be announced soon. I don’t think I am in the position to say anything at the moment, but I can assure you that you will be the first to know
Will you say Skales is better off after leaving EME?
Yes, but without going through EME, I doubt I would be here. I will say my time in EME was a learning process. You know the saying that without fire, you can’t get gold. That is how my stay in EME is for me. I am grateful for the period I was signed there, but Baseline is home now, and we are making this work.
If you were with them, do you think you would have gotten this far?
I don’t think so.
Congrats! We learnt you will soon be a father, how does it feel?
Not anytime soon, it was a rumour, and I have responded to it.
So can you tell us about her name, what she does, etc.
My manager will kill me if I answer this question here (laughs), but you will know in due time.
How did your path cross?
It was bound to happen. Everyone we meet in this world, God has destined it to happen.
Are you planning on walking down the aisle with her?
Like I said, in due time, you will know.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN