By Karen Eloke Young
Skales has, despite all odds, plodded on in the talent-glutted music scene. He is young, smart, sincere, cocky but still humble and ready to hustle till he makes it to the big time.
How did you get into music?
I actually grew up as a church boy, my mum owned a cassette store where she sold gospel CDs and I was always there with her and so I listened to a lot of music. While I was still an undergraduate at the University of Jos, I heard about the Zain Tru Search Competition and with persuasion from my friends I entered into the competition. Even though I didn’t really take it seriously, I ended up winning and that is how music started for me professionally. I decided to move to Lagos and after two years I met BankyW, he offered me a record deal and that’s how I started recording under the EME label.
Tell us about your first single.
My first popular single was “Mukulu”, produced by Sarz under EME, which made a lot of waves. But officially I’ll say my first single was “Must Shine”; I recorded it way before I joined EME. For a first single it did really well, it made the top 20 list on the Nigerian charts, and even though a lot of people didn’t know me at the time that single did really well. Afterwards, I performed at the SoundCity Blast Concert, and from there things really picked up.
How would you describe your style of music and what influences you to make that kind of music?
I would describe myself as an entertainer, who is able to evolve in an industry that is constantly growing in new directions. As for my style of music I would say I make “good music”; my music is for people to enjoy and dance to. Before now, I was strictly a hip-hop artiste. But right now I’m trying to diversify; I want to make music for the masses. As for what influences me – everything around me influences my music especially the kind of life I am exposed to right now. I am hungry for success and that is what influences me to keep making more hit songs.
You got signed on to Empire Mates Entertainment record label just a few years ago, how has that influenced your music career?
First of all, I would like to say “big respect to BankyW” for giving me an opportunity to do good music. Being signed under EME has really boosted my career because before now I was relatively unknown in the industry and not a lot of people wanted to listen to what I had to offer. But EME gave me a platform when no one else would give me a chance and I’d say they are more or less like family to me.
Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I’m a mummy’s boy; I’m the only child so I’m really close to my mum. Also I’m very book smart, I always topped my class when I was in school although my passion for music made me take this career path. In a month’s time I’ll have my first degree in Management and Technology from Lead City University. I left the University of Jos in my third year when the whole Jos crisis started and I had to start afresh in Lead City University and I’m glad to say that I have been able to do my music and get a decent education.