Nigerian Afro beat/hip hop artists Taribo Kevin Horsfall, aka Skallah Skallito has been in the music industry for the past 10 years but is still trying to get things off the ground.
He describes his music as a fusion of most musical styles including Afro beat and hip hop.
He has just released a new song “Ingehpu”, which he says has very erotic origins. He has been talking to Francis Ngwa.
Q What inspire u to write “ingehpu” and what’s the song about?
Basically, it’s the “trendy” dance moves in parties and social gatherings. Ingehpu is a word from the kalabari tribe, which means the back and forth, round and round movement of the waist during sex. In my song though, it is about a particular dance pattern fused into most of the dance moves, where dancers move their waist sexually in different patterns.
Q How will you describe the style of music you play?
My style of music is Skallatary, which I created created. It is really a very generalized style with no boundaries. I fuse as many different musical styles as I possibly can.
My musical style also explains my versatility in music and a whole lot of other things in life, > What I do then is fuse different genres from highlife, hip hop, Afro beat, Reggae, R&B, Pop etc. I get one generic style some will call Afro hip hop but I like to call it Skallatary.
Q What’s motivated you into becoming a musician?
I decided to play music because I loved music while I was growing up. I always tried to sing along to songs by great artistes like Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Bob Marley, Fela, Kriss Kross, Dr Dre, Snoop dog, Plantasion Boys, Trybes men , and several others.
While still a youngster, I enjoyed memorizing the lyrics and singing along to the music was very exciting. I then started thinking of writing and performing my own songs. I started by recording myself doing acapella on tape recorders, which I later played to listen as I sang. That was very exciting and a lot of fun. That is how I eventually started playing music.
Q Nigeria now has some of the best Known African musicians from P Square to Flavour to Iyanya. What will you say is responsible for this explosion of Nigerian music on the international music scene?
The reason for the rapid growth in the industry is first of all the availability of new technology that helps artists get their music to a wide audience with a simple click of a button. A lot more people now accept and believe in Nigerian music which was not the case before. Also, there is huge investment in the industry by individuals and corporate bodies which is mostly because of the originality and quality of new music. People now support so you can get huge returns from the industry. These are some of the reasons Nigerian music is now very popular around the world.
Q What point do you want to get to in music?
I will like to get to a point where people can listen to my music around the globe and certainly make enough money to affect the lives of people around me and many others.
I will like to own my own independent label comfortably signing younger musicians and having a well-recognized brand.
Q Take us through your creative process from the time you decide to write a song to the time your fans listen to the music.
Most times, I get inspired by a beat. At that point, I just come up with a hook (chorus) and once that’s done the rest is easy. Sometimes though, I listen after recording and go back to re-record if I don’t feel comfortable with the sound of my vocals or the delivery of the lyrics. I like to make sure I sound the way I think I am supposed to because I believe in letting my emotions in on a track to reflect the reality of the story I am telling on a particular song.
Q You have been singing for some time now but don’t appear to have had the big break. What does it take to produce that one song, album that will establish you as a musician?
Honestly, most times you never know that one track or album that will do the trick. You just have to believe in what you do and keep making good music. Good music is timeless and over time, might spring forth as the magic trick regardless of the time it was recorded.
Q What are some of your musical influences?
My music influences are quite diverse but if I must be specific, I will say a beat, life circumstances and songs by other musicians and art in general.
A typical example is the great Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His Afro beat is a great influence in some of my songs like “Ingehpu, Cohngo Nite” to name a few . Rex Jim Lawson a legend from kalabari from Southern Nigeria and his high life is also a great influence.
“Cool it Down,” a love song I wrote was heavily influenced by him.
Birthday. Born July 14
Star Sign– Cancer
Best Friend– My Wife
Favourite Meal– Garri and soup (fresh fish and local recipe)
Biggest Unfulfilled Dream– To build a very comfortable Home for my family and parents.
Greatest Love– My Son
Favourite Colours – sky blue, yellow, brown.
Favourite Foot Wear– Sneakers and trainers
Hobbies– Sports (Taekwondo, football, swimming ), Watching and listening to music videos.
Life Philosophy – when looking for faults in humans use a mirror not a microscope. Life is short, do what makes u happy.
You can listen to the song here