Renowned singer and CEO of Empire Mates
Entertainment, Banky W speaks recently on why
he dropped one of his talents, Skales.
Skales (Raoul John Njeng Njeng) was signed to
EME in 2010, on a 3-year contract, and amidst a
number of hit songs such as Mukulu, Take Care
Of Me, and Komole, he had not truly risen to
the top of mainstream Nigerian music, which
made EME refuse to offer him a new contract
after his previous one had expired. Banky W has
revealed that he had creative differences, as
well as a conviction, that Skales needed a new
spark in his career, that was why he was let go.
He told Pulseng: “My disclaimer is that people
tend to make things a lot more negative than
“I have to say that we are very proud to have
discovered Skales and his talent, and to have
given him a foundation to begin to express
himself as an artiste, and also the platform to
release that music to the world.
“Recording deals are based on the number of
albums or the number of years. The years have
passed, and we haven’t gotten to the point
where we could release his first album, but we
built a bit of a buzz, but we just haven’t gotten
to the album.
He continued. “And then I looked at it. Some of
the greatest artistes you know, had to go
through 2 or 3 different labels to really figure
out what it is that they wanted to do. 50 Cent
was famously on Columbia, then he eventually
moved from there and went down to Dr Dre,
and then to Interscope. And Alicia Keys was on
3, 4 different labels, Lady Gaga same thing.
“So sometimes an artiste, just for their own
creative purposes, needs a new environment.
And I think with Skales, when we found him, we
said it’s like finding a young M.I. He’s a rapper,
we are going to make this great rapping artiste,
and he creatively decided to start changing that
direction. And that’s fine, because we can never
force an artiste to do something. We just try to
make the best with what the artiste brings.
“But there were those kind of creative
differences and I just felt like, ‘You know what,
this guy needs a new environment, he needs a
new story. We got to the point where we said, if
we had just kept him there, he’ll just be like Jay
Z and the Rockefellas. There was nothing new to
the story, so they kinda just remained there,
and we never saw Skales like that.
Skales had gone on to release a new song,
‘Shake Body’, which received massive
acceptance from the Nigerian public, with a
video to go with it. With an eye on business,
Skales opened up his personal recording label,
OHK Music which has producer Drey Sticks.
Banky believes these good moves would have
occurred if Skales wasn’t given the nudge, and
“We felt like, if Skales was going to be successful,
it had to be a different story, there had to be
something new, a new background, just a
different story that will give him the freedom to
do what he wants to do. Banky W added.
“To be honest, I was proven right.” Banky
replied when asked if he did good. “The minute
we decide to amicably part ways, he comes out
with the biggest songs of his career, the ‘Shake
Body’ song. Would he have come up with that if
he was still under EME? I don’t know.
“But what I do know is, he is doing really
fantastically well now, and that goes to show
you that sometimes, it’s that change of
environment. You need a kick in the butt, a
Currently, Skales is signed to Baseline Music too,
on a N200 million recording deal, which will see
him record and release an undisclosed amount
of songs. Banky W feels proud that good things
are occurring in his life, and will always be
proud of Skales.
“I’m proud of him. I’m really happy for him, and
I hope he has a million more big singles, and
goes on to have a fantastic career. And if it
does, it justifies why we signed him up in the
first place, because we thought he could be a
successful artiste. Big ups to Skales.”