Skillions Records started operating officially as an independent record company in January 2010. Before then the Skillions, headed by founder Jayso was just a name representing a group of young multi-talented musicians. The group included Rappers, singers, producers & business executives.
Skillions as a rap group started in 1999 with just Jayso & T-Kube. Both were rappers & classmates in Senior High School. T-Kube left Ghana for the United Kingdom in 2000 and since then Jayso has been recruiting young rappers and singers like himself. For Jayso, the dream was to create an empire. A force that will take over the entire Ghanaian Music Scene.
By 2001, The Skillions consisted of Jayso, Ball J & Jinx Therapy (now Frank P). Jayso later joined the Haatsville Music Group led by Kwame Barfour Osei popularly known as Kobi-Onyame. The Skillions continued to make music together with Haatsville. Jayso continued to recruit talent to ensure the dream was kept alive.
EL, J-Town, Midknight, KP & Sandyswiz joined the Skillions between 2002 to 2005. The group worked on the first ever Hip-Hop Mixtape to come out of Ghana. The 21 track Mixtape did extremely well & provided a platform for each Skillions Member to showcase their versatility. The name “Skillions” represents a person with diverse skills. One with Millions Of Skills.
After the Mixtape, the Skillions members decided to pursue solo careers. Jayso went ahead to use his newly gained platform to help younger upcoming artists to also achieve their dreams. Jayso formed the New Generation Skillions. This group consisted of Lil’Shaker, Bra Kevinbeats, Joey B, Grafik, Killmatic, Paapa, Rumor, Noble, Padlock, The Third & Gemini. The New Generation Skillions worked on their Mixtape & it was a major success under the Skillions Umbrella & Ebuzu Media Services. Some members of the New Generation also pursued solo careers after the Mixtape.
Jayso himself enjoyed a lot of success from producing hit records for local & international artists. He put his artistry on hold to be able to support the young talents. Jayso & his manager, Melissa Mensah formed Skillions Records as a company & signed the remaining acts from the New Generation. For the first time, The Skillions were going official.
This move saw the launch of the Skillions Records line-up. Who can forget the famous picture of the artists on the label that was released online? Jayso, Paapa, Sandra, Lil’Shaker & Rumor made the cut. Jayso also signed Edi-Young, a young R&B artist from Nigeria & Adina, winner of Stars Of The Future Season 3.
– The first artist the label worked on is Edi-Young. This is because he had a commercial appeal & was set to takeover the R&B / Afro-Pop Scene. The label released his 1st single “You Are” featuring Jayso. A music video was shot for the song & made it to Channel O TV. The Label went ahead & released a 2nd & 3rd single. Unfortunately, the Label & Artist both agreed to halt the project due to a conflict of interest. Edi-Young was set to move back to Nigeria & the Label was left with no choice but to discontinue the project.
– Adina worked on her winning song for Stars Of The Future with Jayso. A part of the price package for the winner was a record deal with EKB Records headed by Kiki Banson. After the competition, she was signed to EKB & released her official single “Don’t Judge Me” featuring & Produced By Jayso. After a year with EKB she decided to exit the contract and signed to Skillions Records. With Skillions, Adina commenced work on a 10-Track album. The Label released a single with Jayso titled “Music” in 2011. The song was nominated for Best collaboration at the 2012 Ghana Music Awards. Like Edi-Young, Adina was also a student in her final year. The Label gave her the space to write her final exam and waited for her to complete school. After school, Adina enrolled for Internship as required by her school before she can graduate. With these responsibilities on her hands, Adina decided to exit the Label and focus on her internship. Adina signed to a new label/management company after her Internship & is currently working under that company.
– Lil’Shaker has released countless songs, demos, mixtapes since the New Generation Mixtape. A promising artist and producer. The focus of the label was for Lil’Shaker to work on an album. Lil’Shaker believed he was not ready & wanted to further explore his creativity. In March 2012, Lil’Shaker requested some space to be able to do his own thing. The Label obliged.
– Paapa is an excellent artist & producer. His 1st project with Skillions Records was his debut album “Solar”. The album has been very successful & still doing extremely well. His thrilling Live performances have won him fans from all over the world. Paapa is currently working on his 2nd album with the Label. He titled it “Songs For Kukua”. A student of Reed College in America. Paapa has been able to successfully combine school with his musical career.
– Sandra is a jazz entertainer/performer & the most commercially successful artist under the label. Sandra has performed on many stages & plays weekly Jazz shows. Sandra is currently making the transition from a performing artist to a recording & performing artist. Her first official single will be released by April 2013.
– Rumor is a hip-hop artist. His first project with the Label was an EP titled Fans, Friends & Followers. This project was released in 2012. 3 music videos were shot for singles off the EP. Namely, “ME (My Epitome)” featuring Sam Broadway, “Hectic” & “Well Well” featuring Bradez. All three songs were produced by Jayso. The label in conjunction with Rumor’s management team embarked on projects to further promote the Album. In January 2013, Rumor requested an exit from Skillions Records to pursue his career elsewhere. The Label obliged. According to Jayso, The Label does not believe in pinning people down against their will.
– Jayso is responsible for countless productions for all artists signed under the label including himself. He also engineers, mix & masters all songs produced under the Label and in the Label’s recording studio. Jayso is also an excellent rapper and singer. Unfortunately, he has not been able to explore that side of his artistry because of his selflessness. Rather he took his time to harness his artists. As CEO of Skillions Records, he has executive responsibilities and plays the big brother figure to his colleagues. Jayso formed a media company called 6miludo Media and invested in video production equipment. His reason was that he lacked the huge resources as an Independent Label to fund all his artists videos and press material so setting up a media production house will help solve that issue. He partnered with another young talented graphics expert by name Deon Wils and together they formed 6miludo Media. Today, the company is not only responsible for videos like Edi-Young’s “Petrified”, Rumor’s “ME” & “Hectic”, Paapa’s “Jesus Cries” typography video, but also TV informercials for Golden Tulip Accra & Kumasi, Ghana Home Loans & many other clients. “Bayla Trap” by R2Bees & “Pizza & Burger” are materials directed by the same company.
Jayso believes strongly in allowing his artists to express themselves creatively but still maintaining moral discipline in all products released under the Skillions Records brand. The slogan of the Label is “Positive Music No Gimmicks”. Non-swearing, uplifting, inspiring content & positive lyrics are marks easily identified on materials released under the Label. Jayso is currently working on a joint-album with Sarkodie after over a decade of suppressing his artistry. Finally a Jayso album. Not just a Jayso album, but in collaboration with Ghana’s most successful musician, Sarkodie. Jayso, is the same producer responsible for the International Success of Sakordie’s maiden album “Makye”. Jayso produced hit songs like “Borga Borga”, “Lay Away”, “Push”, “Chat With You”, and mixed and mastered the album.
The first single off their joint album “Pizza & Burger” has already aired on BET International & enjoying a lot of air-play locally and internationally. The Mind Game is the album title and will be released in April 2013.
Like any Indie Label, Skillions Records has had it’s ups & downs. For a 2 year old company, it has done extremely well. Being able to showcase alternative acts to an industry like ours where there is very little audience for any music other than the popular, is a big achievement. The Label has listed Paapa, Sandra & Jayso as the main acts (as at February 7th, 2013). The Label has promised to continue to provide a platform for young musicians. The main aim of the label is to showcase the diverse talents & alternative music options in Ghana. Jayso has also mentioned that there is a huge queue of young musicians waiting to be signed to the Label. The Label cannot sign everyone but with initiatives like Jayso’s online competitions, these young musicians have an opportunity to get heard. Skillions Records knows no fall. The Label is getting bigger by the minute and with focus on their strongest acts, Paapa, Jayso & Sandra, the sky is only the starting point.
* Full List Of Skillions members since 1999.
Jinx Therapy aka Frank P
Sandyswiz aka Sandra Huson
Lady Nancy Jay
Noble (Black n Peach)
Copta (in the making)