Healing Process – Skales Covers Taylor Live Magazine’s Latest Issue
“For now, I will say the Skales legacy is my story,” Skales answers when asked to sum up his legacy in words. “People that know my story know, ‘This guy really came from nothing and he was just a dreamer,” and one way or the other everything is becoming a reality.’” From writing music lyrics as an adolescent in Kaduna to battling his away to Lagos and then establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary Nigerian pop, Raoul John Njeng-Njeng’s story has always been predicated on never surrendering his dreams or his fire.
“A’Lagos,” the closing song on his latest project, Healing Process, references the come-up perfectly. Over glinting beats enlivened by a Mc Makoplo opening skit, Skales raps earnestly about the challenges he had to overcome: “Came from KD and I shut down Lagos, no be beans/ I was down to risk it by any means.” These innocuous moments of clarity abound across healing process’s 24 minutes run-time – the project itself a combination of things he was feeling, “parts of the project were a mixture of what I and people around were going through at the moment – belatedly showing a new calm to the singer as he adjusts to a world that is still engulfed in the throes of a pandemic. “The plan for the year has changed because of the pandemic. The means of living has a new and different modification,” he admits about the new reality of life.
But Skales is not bothered about many things right now, the music continues to be his priority, connecting with his fans however he can and allowing himself get to a point where he can look back and be proud of himself. Here, he opens up about his life, past criticism, Healing Process, and life as a celebrity.
- Has the pandemic in any way disrupted your pattern?
Yes it has. The plan for the year has changed because of the pandemic. The means of living has a new and different modification, as a result of social-distancing we can’t do festivals anymore we have to do virtual shows, but the good thing is our fans still at least get to stream the music, so we are adjusting to the new way of living.
- You’ve been in the music industry for about 10 years, what goes into ensuring that you are still at the top of your game?
I would say, sharpening my skills everyday, learning new things everyday.
- Across your career, there have been critics who have questioned certain decisions, have you ever felt there were fair points to the criticism?
Well in the past I have allowed my emotions to get the better of me in responding to criticisms but definitely I take some criticisms I find constructive and apply them and at other times, I just ignore them.
- What was the most challenging period of your career?
The most challenging period of my career was starting my own label.
- You’ve built traction outside Nigeria as an artiste, is there a secret to nurturing that acclaim outside your home base?
The secret is being yourself, because if you ask me for a formula I can’t figure it out yet too, I just do me always. I feel when you are being yourself, your audience will always find you.
- How satisfying is it to go outside the country and know there’s an audience for your music?
It is actually really amazing, because growing up the dream was to conquer the country and believe the country and the world at large.
- A lot happened for you during the E.M.E. era, how do you process and look back on that period of your career?
I still look at it as a blessing, a lot of things had to happen for me to grow and understand how to handle certain things. The E.M.E era was a learning phase basically for me.
- What inspired the title, Healing Process?
“Healing Process” was inspired by the everyday experiences that we go through. You know everyone goes in search of one thing or the other and along the way we get hurt, encounter setbacks and obstacles, Finding solutions for problems and challenges is the whole idea behind the “Healing Process” title.
- There’s parts of your new project that feels like it is almost biographical, is that a fair assessment?
This whole music thing for me is inspired by what I go through, what I see other people go through, so those parts of the project were a mixture of what I and people around were going through at the moment to deliver a story that would inspire someone out there.
- Why did you make it an E.P., instead of, say, an album?
The plan has been to drop an E.P for a long time now. The “Healing Process E.P” is part of a series of projects to be released.
- Can you run a bit through the timeline of making the project?
I started the project last year (2019) but I wasn’t feeling the whole vibe, I felt the need to switch things up because I met new people that brought new perspectives to the project so I had to start all-over this year (2020). The process was different from what I used to do, for this project I had to go on writing camps amongst other things.
- Does Healing Process accurately document where you are presently in your career?
It doesn’t accurately document where I am now, like I said earlier it’s the first of a series of projects, it is a build up to where I am at.
- There was a mention of possibly doing a rap project after HP, is that something that can still be expected?
Definitely. I am actually almost done with it. It just needs a few more touches and it will be good to go.
- Looking at where you are in the music industry, is there anything that you’d still want to do?
There is still a lot. I came into this industry as a complete novice, it took me quite a while to learn things are done and I feel like there is a lot that I still need to do.
- What would you say is the Skales legacy?
For now, I will say the Skales legacy is my story. People that know my story know, “This guy really came from nothing and he was just a dreamer,” and one way or the other everything is becoming a reality. However I’m still working on building the legacy to a level I will look back on and be proud of.
Cover Star @youngskales
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