As the chorus wafts through the speakers, everyone is gripped by some frenzy. They find the hip-hop lyric irresistible. In rapture, they begin to sing along. ‘Oleku’ is by no means a new song but it is a song that soothes frayed nerves and thrills adventurous minds. It is perhaps, Ice Prince Zamani’s biggest song ever. But the music star has not rested on his oars. Having dropped another album, he hopes to capture the imagination of the world once again, with ‘Jos 2 d World.’ He is heralded as one of Africa’s hip hop greats, thanks to his evergreen ‘Oleku.’ In this interview with Azuka Ogujiuba, Ice Prince clearly proves that he’s back like he never left
• My Hit Single Has Taken Me through an Incredible Journey
• Performing on Stage Draws Me Closer to My Fans
What change did your first hit single, ‘Oleku,’ bring about in your life?
The hit single, ‘Oleku,’ was a song that literally changed my life and gave me a voice as an artiste to be heard. Till today I am quite respected for having such a classic record under my belt. It is necessary to say kudos to Jesse Jagz and Brymo for working with me to create that masterpiece. It’s been an incredible journey of living and learning. But I must say that it’s been God all the way. It is six years since I was welcomed to the big stage with the release of my first official single (‘Oleku’) and I’m still alive doing what I love (music). My fans are still asking for me. I’m about to drop my third album. I’m super-excited and feel blessed.
Let’s talk about your new project, ‘Jos 2 d world,’ which is interestingly the title of your latest work of art.
‘Jos 2 D World’ is the title of my new and third studio album. It is an 18-track album, with a two-track medley bonus done with producers like Chopstix, illkeys, Mr. Kamera, Sammy Gyang, Tone P and Fresh Brit. This is the first project I will be the executive producer in collaboration with my Business Manager, Tobi Sanni Daniel, under my record label, Super Cool Cat Entertainment Company. Also, I have features from Krept and Konan, BRE-Z (From the American TV Show Empire), Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Vanessa Mdee, Timaya, Phyno, Yung L, Runtown, Sojay, Phil Ade, Koker and Dice Ailes.
It took quite a while before you dropped this new album. Why did you keep your fans waiting this long?
It took me sometime because I needed to take time to work on the quality of music I intend to release to my fans. They say everything good takes time. Also, a lot of behind-the-scenes issues were involved. But I had to take care of myself, my family, my team and others. Now I’m ready to serve my fans, Zamaniacs.
How many tracks does this album have and who did you feature in it?
It is an 18-track album with a two-track medley bonus and I have 13 features in all.
In the last couple of years, you have toured within and outside the country. How does that influence your music?
Touring and performing are what bring me closer to my fans. That way, I see and feel their response to the music I make. It gives me more experiences and topics to talk about, I learn about more genres of music and that helps my versatility as an artiste.
Which are your favourite tracks in the album that you’ll want people to listen to?
That’s really hard to pick. As a matter of fact, I love a lot of the songs in the album. This album did not make it to the final cut of the tape. I will let my fans pick their favourite.
Is there anything about this album you’d like to go back to the studio to remake?
I don’t think there’s any song I’d like to add or remove anything from at the moment in the album. In fact, I wish I could add more songs or release a double CD for my fans because I have a lot more. But (Trash Can Ep volume 2) also on the way though – stay tuned.
Will there be a new rhythm in the new album and a new dance step to go with it?
You know I said it from day one: I dey rap, I dey sing, I dey come MC. Ice Prince hasn’t changed and so hasn’t his music. So expect a lot of everything you already know me for. And if you don’t know about me yet, please get my new album and find out about my story, ‘Jos to D World.’
Did you work with Chopstix solely on the album or you had a mix of different producers?
Chopstix worked with me as a co-executive producer on this project. I solely produced five songs on the album including songs like, Stand Out with the girl,’ and BRE-Z from the series Empire.
What is truly special about the title of your new album?
My city (Jos) has been portrayed or perceived to be a violent or crisis-related city for some time now. Since the first major crisis broke out September 7, 2001. And Jos used to be a hub for entertainment and a place to groom talents. It is seen as the home of peace and tourism with beautiful weather and amazing people. As a son of the soil, it is my duty to remind the people of the city that once was ‘J-town.’ We need to send the J-town glorious good news to the world.
What genre or style of music should we expect from the album?
Expect the versatility of Ice Prince and the Fire of Zamani. I dey Rap, I dey sing, I dey come MC.
What would your producers say they appreciate the most about you during the production of the album?
That question I will leave for my producers to answer. But I would say they all know I have deep love and belief in them.
If you were to blink your eye and be in a favourite place right now, where would it be?
If wishes were horses, l would love to be in Aso Villa right now with President (Muhammadu) Buhari and Vice President (Yemi) Osinbajo discussing how we can move Nigeria forward. I would love to be able to release more albums and share my story through my music.
Is there something you would like to do more often in the future?
I’d love to be able to release more albums and share my story through my music
How do you manage music and other obligations?
It’s really tough handling the busy schedule that comes with music and other responsibilities in life. But l would say God has been faithful. I keep my head low and I stay devoted to God.