The Wrap Up’s Mobolaji recently sat down with BET Award-winning artist Ice Prince to catch up with him during his ‘Fire of Zamani’ UK tour. We spoke about him winning a BET Award last year, his new sophomore album, working with French Montana on 'I Swear' and what’s still yet to come from him...
The Wrap Up: Firstly, congratulations on your BET Award last year. How did it feel winning that?
Ice Prince: It felt great; it felt like a blessing, a dream come true. I never imagined in my life that I was going to get to that level of success; let me put it that way. It was nice.
TWU: Your new album ‘Fire of Zamani’ features a lot of international acts: Wale, Chip and French Montana. Why did you feel it was important to choose those artists for your album?
Ice Prince: I got introduced to French Montana by a mutual friend in the States and we got a chance to get into the studio, so we did it. We also met Wale during the BET Awards and I got a chance to record with him. I’ve always wanted to record with Chip, or do something with Chip. Abrantee hooked me up with his people and we made the call – he was excited to do it.
TWU: Let's talk about your single ‘I Swear’ featuring French Montana - why did you choose that to be your official UK release?
Ice Prince: I feel like that’s what’s gonna cut across the most. Because the UK really embraces Jamaican music, I know. This is a very Jamaican-influenced song, plus it has French Montana on it – and that’s a huge statement. So it’s only right that we push this bigger than Africa.
TWU: What was the studio session like with you and French?
Ice Prince: It was good, really nice. Dude got to the studio maybe an hour before us, because me and my manager were coming from a different city. I remember it was Ramadan so he was fasting at the time, but he didn’t complain – he contributed to the song as well, and said what things to take out.
TWU: You took on a whole different sound from your first album ‘ELI (Everybody Loves Ice Prince)’ to your new album ‘FOZ (Fire of Zamani)’ - what influenced that?
Ice Prince: Growth. I believe that that’s what growth is. There’s no way my first album can sound the same as my second album. It’ll either be better or way off it, basically. And I wanted to test different sounds and explore different genres of music – I wanted to do highlife, I wanted to do rap, I wanted to do a genre of music called ‘newsbeat’ which is the last record on my album – the genre comes from Jos. I wanted to test all those sounds on the album.
TWU: We can tell you’re a big fan of hip-hop just based on the collaborations on your album. Which hip-hop artists are you currently listening to, or what album?
Ice Prince: Right now I’m listening to ‘Nothing Was the Same’ by Drake... yeah, I’m still listening to that. That’s a very dope hip-hop album.
TWU: Why did you want to go into merchandise?
Ice Prince: I think it’s what every artist should do when they put out an album. I was putting out the ‘Fire of Zamani’ album and I didn't want to put it out to just let it go like that. We wanted to make t-shirts, sweaters, sunglasses, earpiece, just so the fans can get an item from buying the album. It’s kind of like experiencing the album, init? Rick Ross does that, Jay Z does that. If Ross was going to release an album, they’ll do cups, bandanas.
TWU: What’s still yet to come from Ice Prince?
Ice Prince: There’s videos coming out from the ‘FOZ’ album, that’s what we’re on right now – we’ve put out ‘I Swear’ and ‘Jambo’ already out. We’re putting out ‘Whiskey’ and ‘Mercy’. I’ve got a mixtape called ‘Ice Prince and Friends’ dropping sometime this year. Apart from the music there is the ‘Zamani Foundation' - a big project that I’m trying to push as well. Those are some of the things I’m up to right now.
There’s Super Cool Cats music, my new outfit, and I have a few artists that I want to introduce to the world. There’s a girl called Ruth and a guy called Stunt. They’re all super cool cats. And there are a lot of producers in that outfit as well.
Words: Mobolaji | (@MoBolaji_)
Online Edit: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)