Raoul John Njen-
Njeng, popularly known as Skales, tells Ademola Olonilua
why he left EMEand his relationship with Timaya
Q- You must be close to your mother for you to talk
about her all the time…
A- We are very close. She is my best friend and she knows
everything about me. I am her only child and as such,
we are really close. I owe my mother a lot because she
sacrificed a lot for me. After my father left us, my mother
concentrated on me and even forgot about herself.
Q- Was it really so tough for her to train you?
A- It was very tough. There was a time my mother had to
do menial jobs just to provide for me. Then she was
being paid N500 daily. When I went from being the first
to the seventh in the class, she came to my school and
was crying. She felt I was not focused anymore but there
were subjects I never understood like Economics. She
borrowed a lot of money just because of me. She used
the money to pay my school fees.She wanted me to
attend the best schools in Kaduna. There were times I
would advise her to allow me go to cheaper schools but
she would refuse. I was about the poorest boy in my
school. I was in a class where we had children of
commissioners, senators and so many rich people but
she wanted me to complete my education. She always
tried to get me the best things so I could compete with
Q- Do you even think of repaying her for all she did
for you back then ?
A- The first thing I want to do is to buy her a very big
house. She works in Kaduna and wants to come to Lagos
but I keep telling her to give me time. I am going to tell
her to stop working soon. I would get her a big house;
buy her the best car and anything she wants.
Q- As someone who had to grow fast and be the
breadwinner at a tender age, what were some of
the challenges you faced?
As the only child and the fact that my mother is getting
older, I am the breadwinner of the house. There is a lotof pressure and I have to be thinking all the time of how
I would provide for my family and myself. Sometimes
she calls me for advice because I am the only one she
trusts in the whole world. There has been a lot of
pressure but God has seen me through.
Q- Why did you leave Kaduna, where you were born,
A- I would say as a young boy, I was very ambitious
because I left my house when I was about 16 years old.
Right from secondary school, I had started taking care of
myself. I paid my tuition fees while I was in the
University of Jos. I was working, I was writing songs for
people because I have been doing music for a very long
time. I was getting paid writing songs for people and
also for being a back-up singer as well. I was paying my
school fees which was about N15,000 but still it was not
so easy to get. I later won a competition and I was
crowned the northern champion and from there, I
decided to make a move to Lagos. I thank my friend,
Tijani, that gave me a free ride to to Lagos.
Q- How did you meet Wizkid?
A- I met Wizkidin Knighthouse. I used to go to Knighthouse
to record; Terry tha Rapman was one of the people that
helped pay for studio sessions for me. I am forever
grateful to him. I eventually recorded a song. It was
there I met Wizkid, Osagie, Kels and some other artistes.
Q- Over time, you and Wizkidwere close friends.
Then when Wizkidhad issues with EME, we learnt
it affected your friendship. Is that true?
A- No, it did not affect our relationship. We are still close.
We talk and still see each other often. As a matter of fact,
last weekend, we were together at a beach in Lagos. We
still see each other. It is just that now everybody is busy
but whenever we need each other; we are always there
for each other.
Q- Your success level is often compared with Wizkid’s
by fans. Does that get to you?
A- To be honest, I am human and the truth is that it gets to
me when I am compared with Wizkid. I have come to liveA- To be honest, I am human and the truth is that it gets to
me when I am compared with Wizkid. I have come to live
with the fact that I can’t help it that they must always
compare me with Wizkid. We were in the same label, we
started about the same time so they must always
compare. It is something I cannot run away from, so I
just have to keep working till I put a stamp and let them
know this is me; till everybody knows Skalesand Wizkid
Q- What happened between you and EME?
A- My contract expired and we both agreed that we would
go our separate ways. I decided I wanted to be on my
own, do my music and take my own decision. Nothing
happened; people are just speculating and spreading
rumours. We did not fight. Right now, I am working on
my album, rebranding and taking Skalesto the next
Q- When you say you are rebranding, does it involve
you being a part of Timaya’s record label?
A- Timaya is my buddy; we are always together. He is like
my mentor I take advice from him and I call him my big
daddy. He is a very close friend of mine, we are always
together and people would always speculate that I
moved into his house. It is because we are close and
together all the time. That is why people came up with
the insinuation that I moved into his house. It is just all
about music between me and him; music and friendship.
Q- Did you move into Timaya’s house?
A- No, I did not move into his house. We are friends and he
has a studio in his house. I do a lot of recordings there.
People would always talk.
Q- Would you be signed to his record label?
A- We do not know for now but like I said, I am working on
just Skales, I am focused on just Skalesand taking the
brand to the next level. We do a lot of music together
because we are always together.
Q- There was a time insulting tweets between you
and your ex girlfriend went viral online. What
happened between you two?
A- I don’t want to talk about that. Things happen in life and
you accept them as they come.
Q- Do you regret the relationship?A- It was a good thing but there are always ups and downs
in life. I mean something bad happened and we cannot
reverse it; so I’m moving on to other things in life.
Q- Are you in a relationship right now?
A- No. I am not in a relationship
Raoul John Njen-