Raoul John Njeng-Njeng, widely known as Skales, sits with Chude Jideonwo on a new episode of #WithChude, where he discussed life after EME, the loss of his parents, and his peculiar music career.
On the loss of his mom, he said, “My mom had a stroke in 2015, just a day after I released my debut album. She was also diabetic; we were just basically managing it. It just got out of hand. I had moved her to Lagos, so she will be close to me. I was away in America when I got a call that she couldn’t make it. I can’t believe that I didn’t get to say ‘goodbye’.”
Talking about his dad, he said, “That’s one mystery I have not been able to solve. I don’t even know what he looks like. The only thing I can remember was the day he was leaving us, and he came to kiss me on my forehead. I remember he had a beard, but I can’t remember any other thing. I was like four to five years at that time. I’ve tried asking my mom, but I realized it makes her sad and I really love her, I don’t like it when she is sad. So, I don’t ask, but now I kind of regret it because my mom is no more, and I don’t really know what happened. Why will anyone leave his family alone knowing they would suffer? I heard he had money from the story I heard. I really don’t know the story. I grew up with no father at all.”
“My mom did a good job because the only time I felt bad about not having a dad was when I saw other people with their dads or when I visited my friends with their dads. I had this friend at that time, Dola Dawaki, his father is a pastor and politician. My mom will ask if I could stay with the family for some time so that I can have an experience of what a family looks like, and I go to school from there. It was just me and my mom because I’m the only child. Whenever I watch Will Smith’s movie “Pursuit of Happiness”, I never finish it. I couldn’t finish watching that movie because it reminded me so much of myself and my mom” he added.
Skales speaks about his enduring fanbase despite the different setbacks he has had in his career, he said, “I won’t say I’m surprised because honestly, it’s the dividend of my hard work and people are always there to support you when you are doing good. Of course, I’m very grateful for God’s grace because I’ve seen people come and go but I’m still here. It’s almost 12 to 13 years now and I’m still here. I don’t know how to explain it but I just know, ‘Keep working and keep putting things out here, people are watching you’. Some time ago, I used to doubt myself and now I regret it because when I hang out with people, they tell me how they’ve been listening to me. I was like so many people were actually listening to me and that was such an incredible thing to me. Now becoming who I am, I feel like I’m a more confident person”.
On life after he left his former record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME), He shared, “when I left EME it was a terrible time for me. My life is really a movie with different horrible moments. So, when I left EME I was homeless, I was sleeping in my car. Timaya found out at some point, and he helped me by giving me his home to stay. One thing led to another, I felt like I had overstayed here, and I had to move. Some of my friends got a space in Lekki and they knew my condition, they asked me to join them since there was a vacant room. So, it was my birthday and I had recorded “Shake Body” a year or two before. I had played it for EME, but he didn’t love it. Because of that, I shy away from playing my song with people. I always experiment with new stuff and that’s why people keep saying they don’t know what I’m doing. I believe I’m a gifted artiste and I can do everything, so I do what I feel is right for that time.” He also shared how the song later got accepted when it was unexpectedly played among his friends at his birthday party. “I’m talking about like twenty people in that space. These people are blown away by this and made me play the song like four times after. They were vibing and singing along with it. That for me was special and it made me want to put the song out there on my own”.
Watch the excerpt here: