Banky W and Skales demonstrate that music business is not personal

The music business in Nigeria is a fractured venture reliant on makeshift pillars, with very little rules of engagement. In this industry, it’s a free for all, with the lines that separate business from personal ventures being pushed around, and eroded by the incursions of personal interests. That’s why criticism thrown to an artiste will be taken personal, and the accolades are lapped up by both the artiste and the person that goes to bed after the camera shuts down. This is because business is personal. You touch the business, you touch the human.

The sole purpose for this lies in a model that isn’t designed to separate both parts of the art. The creators of the music (Musicians) represent both the business and isn’t a machine. Innocent Idibia is a 41 year old man with a number of kids, first, but he is still 2face Idibia, the legendary African singer with a lifetime of awards and accolades. An attack on 2face Idibia is regarded as an affront on Innocent Idibia. That has been the prevailing approach to the basic level of the music industry, and it has trickled up and down, all into other spheres of it.

Banky W and Skales are casualties of this. The former signed up the latter to his EME Record label in 2010. The move was simply a business venture, with earned cash flowing in as financial investment from the record label to Skales, in the hope of building the man as a business, that would one day, yield profits. The same was also done for Wizkid too.

Wizkid’s success story has become legend, while Skales failed to pull his full potential at the record label.

His agreement was not reestablished on termination in 2014 a purely business decision for the benefit of the record label.

Banky W was vilified for the decision, as individuals failed to understand that at the end of the day, every squad or movement is bounded first by the economics of the relationship. Banky W and Skales had become friends during his time at the record label, but that relationship was guided by a contract which supersedes every notion of sentimental attachment.

Banky W tried to combat that by repeatedly explaining himself about the decision to cut Skales loose. Skales on his part picked up the reigns of his life, and forged ahead. He is a grown man now, far different from the kid who packed his bags from EME.

But it was all business, nothing personal, even though many failed to understand it.
Today, the duo are out with a new collaboration, on a song titled ‘Nobody’s Business’. The track produced by Killertunes is an immersive tropical dance single, complete with syncopations and native adlibs. The subject of the song seemed to address this, also taking Skales’ recent dispute with Baseline Music into context.

The new move is business-driven, with money to be made by both parties and their reps. On the element of personal undertones to the new work, only friendship can be pointed out as a plausible ingredient. Banky W and Skales remain friends, but it is business that rules in this case. Not the more intriguing personal sub-plots that our complex, human-interested, psyches are kicking the bucket for.