Panshak Zamani, popularly known by fans as Ice Prince is Nigerian hip-hop recording artiste best known for winning the 2009 Hennessy Artistry for his song “Oleku”.
The music crooner hit the limelight with his party banger ‘Oleku’ after which he released several other rave tracks in his debut album, ‘Everybody Loves Ice Prince.’His second album, ‘Fire of Zamania’ which was unveiled in November 2013, has also been applauded by music lovers and critics alike, in the music industry. The singer ran into one of our reporters at an event recently, and an interesting chat ensued. Excerpts:
What are you doing presently ?
I just dropped my new album ‘Fire of Zamania’, its on the street right now, I am also up to recording a video for the album. I’m about doing my tour of UK and around Africa and I have new artistes I’m trying to promote as well.
How has life been treating you generally?
I just thank God for my life because I don’t see obstacles as challenges the way other people see them, I only see them as stepping stones for me.
Life before fame ?
Actually, I have seen life in different forms because I wasn’t born poor and I wasn’t born rich. I lost my Dad in 1999 and then things became different and my mum also passed away in 2011. So life has not been easy. I could remember back then, I was sent out of school because of school fees but today I thank God for who I am and where I am.
Has music always been your dream ?
Yes, but when I was young I have always wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer and a soldier. But music for me, started when I went to secondary school in the late 90s. I started performing at social events, at school and I would mimic 2Pac and B.I.G songs, and that’s when I fell in love with rap. A few years later, I joined the choir in my church and groomed myself as a musician.
But will you ever go for your dream profession ?
No, I don’t see any need for it, they were mere childhood fantasies. And even if I want to follow the dream, I don’t think I have what it takes to chase those dreams any more. So if you ask me, I think I am a musician, it is my call and it is God who designed me for music.
We learnt you were one of the artistes featured on the Nigerian cipher for the BET Hip-Hop Awards last year. How did you manage that?
It just happened one day, I got an email a day before the recording. I actually wasn’t meant to be part of it. It was meant to be Sauce Kid, Naeto C, M.I and Mode 9, but I think Sauce Kid was having problems with his flight from LA to Nigeria a day before filming and they thought he wasn’t going to make it, so they replaced him with me.
But then Sauce Kid made his flight and it was too late to bounce me, so they put all of us together and we went to the studio and recorded. Out of everyone who was on it, I was the youngest. I felt really honoured to be on the BET cipher, it was a good platform to be on and I felt blessed.
What can you say about your record label, Chocolate City , because you’ve been there for a long time ?
Chocolate City is one big family, where we make music and promote music as well. I think presently, there is one in Kenya with this one in Nigeria. Chocolate City has been existing since 2007 and I am proud to be signed to the record label.
Why are you still single ?
I don’t think I am planning to get married now because am still young, I’m in my youth and moreover, I am just 27 years old. Maybe later in my late thirties I can start planing to get married or not.
But what are your reasons ?
It’s because I still have a long way to go before thinking of settling down. I can’t say because of what I have, that I am okay to get married, no. I don’t think I am mentally ready for marriage. I think before one could get married, one needs to attain certain level of understanding and awareness. I don’t think I have those qualities just yet.
But are you in any serious relationship, and any plan of settling down with your baby mama ?
Yeah , but I wouldn’t want to talk about my girlfriend and about the mother of my baby. She is good and we are not talking about getting married because I’m not ready yet.
How did ‘Oleku’ come about and were you surprised about the storm it has created?
‘Oleku’ was one of those songs that came during one of my recording sessions. I came up with the chorus first, later I featured Brymo in it and we did it together. I don’t really have a good singing voice. Jesse Jagz produced that track also. So, we finished the song and then I sent it to my record label and they weren’t really excited about it enough to put it out.
They wanted us to touch up the song some more , but I was persistent and wanted to put the song out as soon as possible. They eventually got tired of my stubbornness and they were like, Just put the song out on the Internet and see how it goes. I was really surprised because I didn’t expect it to go this far. Like, I didn’t expect it to reach Tim Westwood. That’s really big and from that one song, I have performed all over the world.
Why do you think they’re taking more notice of artistes like yourself on radio stations like BBC 1Xtra ?
I think it’s my time. Well, that’s what I tell everybody. I think it’s time for Afro-beats and African music to get in. Like I always say, ‘UK music and American music have been everywhere.’ Jamaican music is big all over the world right now and I think it is time for Afro-beats as well. We have good music, we have good sound and we have something special to offer the world. I think it’s time for the world to listen.
How true is the rumour that Unity Bank has cancelled your endorsement deal ?
That is not true, they never cancelled the deal, even Unity Bank put out a press statement to that effect and presently they are still working on it. What you saw online then was mere rumour.
How would you describe a typical day in the life of Ice Prince?
A typical day for Ice Prince would be to wake up, shower and, if I’m not performing that day, I head straight up to the studio. I have a studio in my house. I go to the studio and listen to music that I made the day before and I just try to create new stuff. After that, I reply to my emails, get on Twitter to talk to a few girls and then return to the studio. If I have a visitor, I go and chill with them and then I jump straight back to the studio.