by Chinwe Okafor
Skales back in 2009 was a charismatic young man. Very shy but still persistent to get his music out there and make it heard. His song ‘Heading for the Grammys’ was supposed to be his pathway to…you know…
I met him once when a friend went to interview him together with Wizkid. There were four of them though- MoCheddah, Wizkid, Eva Alordiah and Skales- and they seemed chummy and best of friends. What could go wrong?
Fast forward and two of the lot gets signed into the same record label and that is where it all began.
Wizkid and Skales set forth into the world, each with his own course and onto their paths in life. Wizkid settled for a more commercial terrain while Skales stuck to his genre of music- Rap/Hip-hop.
They both battled with school, Wizkid dropping out later to put in more commitment into his musical career while Skales strived to finish to then begin his chase proper.
All that time it probably took him to do so, Wizkid already built a following for himself. He sacrificed something and got a developing result in the end.
By the time Skales was ready, it looked like there may be no space for him left in the sky. And so he tagged along. On every song, in every video.
Then came the label album and finally he got his chance to show himself, but even that left little or no impact. But he continued to tag along; at shows, during events, he was spotted with the members of the label, as it should be. But it would help if he was known for at least a song.
Then he started performing on stage with Wizkid, almost mistaken for a hype man. He was fast becoming Wizkid’s shadow. It almost seemed like he couldn’t keep his face for long in the public except he was beside Wizkid.
Then his contract expired and he was made to leave the label with a non-renewal of contract and it seemed like that was his breakthrough. But with the breakthrough came greater responsibilities and many changes.
He quickly ditched his original genre he harnessed for so long and ventured into the commercialization terrain. A terrain his then good friend and former label mate was nearly king over.
The change worked well for him, he looked happy like he had been missing out in/on so many thing so much that his one time ‘bro’ fast became his competition.
His musical career that seemed like it was non-existent started going up by the bars and it seemed like he was finally going to clinch it when Headies came and he was amongst the Next Rated in Nigeria. A category his now rival, won fair and square without any hassle. It took Wizkid barely a year to be in nominated in this category and win but more than 5 years for Skales to get on it.
Skales has started gaining ground again, much credit going to his change of genre to the one that practically made Wizkid. So in a way, he still is a shadow of the singer. He still hasn’t properly harnessed his own thing for himself. He is still chasing that dream he wants that Wizkid already has.
Wizkid during his Twitter fight with the rapper today claimed to have helped him while the label wanted him out due to his non-remittance of what was being poured into his establishment financially. But whether that was true or not doesn’t make any difference. Wizkid may have been his label mate and good friend but he wasn’t obligated to helping anyone grow.
It is business, to each his own path.
Skales has finally been given the chance to once again save what was almost extinct of his career and the least he needs is to throw stones through the glass house he lives in.
Wizkid is the least of his problems. Skales needs to understand that no matter how much he throws jabs at Wizkid, he is like a wall now. His brand can withstand any obstacle that may come its way without as much as a scratch and he would bounce back healthy and without effort.
Skales on the other hand is barely on the surface and is yearning so much to be back at rock bottom by picking meaningless fights via social media – the one community that can either make or mar you- and with the way things are going, they are more likely to mar him than make him. That’s how strong Wizkid is and how weak his own career is. His career is still a baby developing. A little false step and the baby gets cold.
Skales needs to face more important priorities such as staying away from petty fights, working harder to not be Wizkid’s shadow or even hide behind talents such as Patoranking and Runtown [not that those two barely scratch the surface also; especially the latter]. If he pays more attention, he is even better than both. To me, he made that song, Emergency relevant. Worst, he was in the industry before these lot.
As to if Skales has potential, I lost hope in that a long time ago. After all, Wizkid’s music became a jingle we fast accepted. To make a difference and show the nation and beyond that he indeed knows his onions, he needs to refocus and stick to his path and aim at achieving that goal that is taking him almost a decade to achieve.
Fights will only send him back to where he came from and I’m sure he doesn’t want that right now, especially as he is almost there. Emphasis on ‘Almost’.