11 August 2022

5 minutes with Skales: The afrobeats trailblazer on the Nigerian music scene and his love for Kanye West

HUNGER catches up with the Nigerian star after the release of his latest single, 'Say You Bad (Remix).'

Skales has cemented himself as one of the most instantly recognisable names in the world of afrobeats. The Nigerian icon has managed to use his unique and versatile approach to the genre to help spread its sound to a global audience, picking up an army of fans along the way. Since starting his career in 2011, the star has released no less than six studio projects and a slew of chart-topping singles while collaborating with superstars like Nicki Minaj.

This year, Skales released his highly anticipated Sweet Distractions album, his first since 2018. With features from the likes of fellow afrobeats heavyweight Davido, the project is yet another glistening example of his immeasurable talents. His exuberant lyricism is on point and the melodies are catchier than ever. Last month, his latest single, ‘Say You Bad (Remix),’ again displayed his unmatched hit-making ability. The infectious dance-floor filler is, without a doubt, one of the songs of the summer. Here, HUNGER catches up with the enigmatic artist to discuss the growing popularity of the Nigerian music scene, life on tour and much more…

Can you describe what you do in a few words?

I am a recording and performing afrobeats artist.

What are your opinions on the Nigerian music scene and how it’s growing?

The Nigerian music scene is in the best form ever and it’s so surreal seeing different Nigerian music superstars breaking records on big world stages.

What’s your favourite country you’ve performed in?

My favourite country has to be the United Arab Emirates, the love I get there is just different.

What’s the best and worst thing about being on tour?

The best thing has to be that I get to perform live on stage and meet my fans who stream my music and give me a lot of support and the worst thing’s gotta be the jet lag.

If you could collaborate with any artist right now who would it be?

It’s quite simple, Kanye West.

If the crowd isn’t vibing, what’s the song that always gets people in the mood?

‘Shake Body’ and all my club bangers.

What’s the most surreal moment you’ve had in the industry?

The most surreal moment has got to be getting the opportunity to be on a track with Nicki Minaj.

What was the first album you ever bought/listened to?

The first album I ever bought with my money was ‘Graduation’ by Kanye West.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

I would probably be some kind of entrepreneur.

If you could choose one album to soundtrack your life what would it be?

It would definitely be my latest album, Sweet Distractions.

  • Writer Chris Saunders

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