Skales who calls himself the never say never guy, is a Nigerian singer, song writer and rapper who first came to limelight in 2009 under the music label ‘Empire Mates Entertainment’.
Born on the 1st of April 1991 in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria as Raoul John Njeng-Njeng, the twenty six year old is an only child of his mother who raised him as a single parent.
He had his foundational education in Kaduna state before he proceeded to the University of Jos, plateau state then the lead city university where he eventually graduated with a degree in office management and technology.
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Skales who hails from Edo state in southern Nigeria, admitted that growing up was filled with mostly church activities as his mother raised him in a pious and religious way.
He fell in love with music while listening to music in his mother’s cassette shop as a little boy in Kaduna. While at the university of Jos, he met rapper Jesse Jagz and Jeremiah Gyang, a gospel artist and producer who further influenced his decision to embrace a career in music.
He entered for the zain true search competition in the North Central zone and won the show. He adopted the moniker Skales which is an acronym for seek knowledge and acquire large entrepreneurial skills.
In 2009, he released his first two singles, the second one which was titled ‘Heading for a grammy’ was inspired by Kanye West’s song ‘Jesus Walks’, the single was an ode to self-empowerment, self-motivation and self-inspiration.
Later that year, Empire mates entertainment a music label co owned by singer Banky W, his best friend Captain Demuren and entrepreneur Segun Demuren, signed a record deal with Skales.
He joined the label which was already home to singers Wizkid, Niyiola, Shaydee and Dj Exclusive. Under Empire mates entertainment, he released two singles ‘Keresimesi and Mukulu’ with music videos, he collaborated with his label mates on other singles like ‘Baddest boy’, ‘Get down’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Ko mo le’, and ‘Sun mo mi’.
He was also part of the EME United States tour in 2012 and supported Wizkid on his London tour in 2012 and performed at the 2013 edition of Felabration at the Afrika shrine in Lagos in remembrance of the late afro beat legend Fela.
At the expiration of his contract with Empire Mates, the executives did not renew his contract on grounds that the rate of return on Skales was too low.
By May 2014, the singer had already established his own music label the OHK music and got signed to Baseline music where he continued making music.
His career was revived when he released ‘shake body’ and its video which gained proper mainstream acceptance. The singer deserves commendation for being so consistent even when the odds seem against him.
His never say never spirit must be commended as it is worthy of emulation by young people who are striving to make their dreams come true.
Many music critics and fans believed that his exit from EMME was the end of his career, they made jest of him in social media and tagged him as an artist who will never grow beyond the upcoming status but Skales is a survivor who bounced back from total obscurity to stardom with his latest album ‘Never say Never’.
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The nineteen tracked album which was launched at a listening party on industry nite in May 2017 contains messages directed to his fans, his mother, his lovers and haters as well.
Music critics have rayed it vas an average an album but cannot deny that Skales is a talented rapper who is lyrically skilled and musically savvy.
While prompting his album ‘Never say Never’ by his social media handles, American rap queen Nikki Minaj aided his promotion by retweeting the links on her twitter page with has a huge followership.
This drew massive reactions from Nigerians and elated Skales told sound city that American rapper Diplo had introduced him to Minaj and sparked off communication between them as they both exchange song ideas over chats.
Songs And Collaborations
Skales has had many collaborations right from his days vat Empire mates entertainment. His popular songs include Shake body , Mokulu , Keresimesi , komole , my baby , take care of me , denge pose , booty language , Gbefun one time , mama , your body hot , swaggerman , ijo ayo  and Oma . He has worked with Teckno, Burna boy, Wande Coal, Timaya, Timaya, Phyno, maroon 5, Davido, Olamide, Lil Kesh, Edgar, Rotimi, Rekaado Banks, Ice Prince, Victoria Kimani, Attitude, capital Femi and American rapper Diplo.
Endorsements And Networth
In 2015, Skales was endorsed by telecommunications giant MTN and by Adidas the sport clothing line. He is currently worth about 2.6 million dollars.
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In 2016, Baseline entertainment detained Skales and his manager Theresa Osagie Osarenkhoe on allegation of defrauding baseline records to the sum of thirteen million naira that includes percentages from performance fees and endorsement deals.
Osagie and the singer were detained for thirty six hours before release, she debunked the allegations by saying the label had stopped playing its role and this prompted her to move ahead with her client.
The feud was settled eventually with Baseline music continuing their contract with Skales while Osagie was laid off as manager and was replaced with Paul Okoyes upfront and personal, a management and consulting company responsible for managing acts like Wizkid, Seyi Shay, Davido, Wande Coal, and Cobhams. Osagie who previously managed Banky W, Wizkid and Niyiola is currently managing Timaya.
Skales has recently been reminiscing on his career journey by his social media pages. In the course of this, he revealed that rapper Olamide provided funds for the video of the single that revived his career ‘shake body’. He disclosed that he was broke after EME threw him out and had nowhere to go.
He tweeted that Timaya accommodated him and let him record most songs in his new album in the basement of his house.
This revelations were met with mixed reactions from fans, while some insinuated that the singer was trying to create a rift between himself and Banky W, others believed that he was exhibiting a false sense of entitlement as EME owed him nothing.
Skales responded by tweeting that there is no bad blood between him and Banky W who is a big brother to him as he shared his story only to inspire people going through turbulent times.
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Awards And Nominations
Nigerian teen choice awards 2013: Best male upcoming art [won]
Headies 2014: Next Rated act [Nominated]
Nigerian entertainment Awards 2017: Best Rap Artist and Best Collaboration [Nominated]
City people entertainment awards 2015: most promising male act [Nominated]
Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2016: Hottest single of the year [Nominated]
Top Naija Music Awards 23016: Best Collaboration
Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2015: Best Male Artist
Headies 2014: Best Collabo [won]
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