Sunday, 20 October 2013


Raoul John Njen-Njeng, popularly
known as Skales, is a rapper who
was discovered during the 2008
edition of Zain Tru Search talent
competition and the Soundcity
Blast concert in 2009. The
songwriter talks about his career
Tell us about yourself
My name is Raoul John Njeng-
Njeng. I am from Edo State and
fans know me as Skales. I am a
hip-hop artiste/songwriter and I
was born on April 1, 1991. I
studied Office Management and
Technology in Lead City University.
What does your name Skales
Skales is an acronym for Seek-
When did you start music and
how has it been so far?
I started music a long time ago,
since when I was a young kid of
five years. But professionally, I
started six years ago with a record
label. Music has been good. It
has been a learning process for
me. At the moment, I am still
growing up, learning more, getting
better and making more money.
What is your inspiration?
What inspires me is the whole
essence of life and my experience
on a daily basis. When I did my
single, “Heading for a Grammy” in
2009, I was going through a lot at
that time and the experience
provided a lot of content for my
music. In the song, I was talking
about being the best and going on
to become the most incredible. I
was saying I was going to be a
great person.
If you were to sing about
something as we speak, what
would you sing about?
I would sing about what is
happening at the moment, whether
good or bad. Also, I have met a lot
beautiful people today and they
can inspire a whole lot of lyrics.
How was it like growing up?
I grew up in Kaduna. I moved to
Lagos about six years ago.
Did you meet Banky W in Kaduna?
No. I met him when I moved to
When were you able to finally
break into the industry and get
I was writing and performing my
songs when I got a call from Banky
W asking me to meet and discuss
music with him. At about that
same period also, I received offers
from several other record labels
but he was the one I preferred to
work with.
How are you coping with the
music business?
There are a lot of ups and downs.
It is the same thing everywhere. It
is just that the structure in Nigeria
is not really strong. But we are
hoping that it will get better
eventually. I would suggest that
there should be some improvement
in the way the industry is
operating currently. The structure
should be changed to pave way for
better programmes. Countries all
over the world have a music
industry but they are not filled
with the kind of challenges in
Nigeria. We would appreciate if
there are opportunities that will
enable performers grow and get to
the next level just like it is in most
cities around the world.
What does style mean to you?
Style is everything. You can see
from the way I am dressed that I

am stylish. I style myself, I don’t
use a stylist. My style is
determined by my mood. Another
thing that influences the way I
dress is the desire to create and
maintain a very impressive and
attractive image. I am always on
the Internet. I go through all
designers in order to be able to
figure out what look works for me
at a particular point in time. And
sometimes, I try to be creative and
come up with my own designs.
What has been the lowest point
of your life?
The lowest point in my life would
be when I don’t have money.
Have you ever reached that point?
I have reached it a lot of times.
When I am broke, I feel really bad
even though it pushes me to do
How do you keep in shape?
I do exercises; I go on a diet
among other things. As an artiste,
I have to be on a diet because I
have to keep the brand going. I
have to be good looking.
Tell us about a typical day in your
On a typical day, I hang with my
friends. I record in the studio and
sometimes, I play games. I hang
out at cinemas. I also go on twitter
and just sit down for hours talking
to my fans.
What are your likes and dislikes?
I hate failure. I hate dirt and
sloppiness. I also hate being late.
I like making money, making music
and chasing my dreams.
How much money have you made
from music so far?
I am not so sure I want to discuss
that subject; one has to be careful
about issues regarding money.
What has been the biggest deal
you have ever made in your
That is a yet to be untold story.
Nothing I make right now is big
What is the lowest deal?
I can’t say that too.
Any foreign artiste that you look
up to?
Kanye West is the foreign artiste I
look up to at the moment. I am
highly inspired by him. I am
Kanye’s number one fan in the
world. His influence in me goes
beyond music. I am regarded as
one of the most stylish artistes in
Nigeria because I like wearing the
latest gears and sneakers just like
Kanye. I like Kanye so much that I
follow everything he does. Not that
I try to act like him but to be
greater than somebody, you have
to follow that person’s footsteps
and that’s what I do.
Looking at the industry and the
way we are operating, do you see
any prospect for growth?
Yes, we are definitely going
somewhere. Right now, white
people are singing Nigerian songs.
You go on YouTube, people are
singing our songs and if you go to
shows, you will see white people
there, enjoying songs from Nigerian
artistes. That means we are being
recognised. A lot of things are
happening around the world with
foreign artistes collaborating with
Nigerian artistes regularly. I see
the Nigerian entertainment
industry as a globally respected
one in the next five years or less.
How do you deal with attention
from fans?
Sometimes I run when they are too
many and it is overwhelming. But I
love my fans a lot and I like being
around them.
What is your greatest fear in life?
My greatest fear in life is fear of
failing. Another thing I fear most
is losing my mother.

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