Cleo Ice Queen has been grinding hard lately as we know she has big dreams she plans on making a reality. The Zambian rapper was nominated at the SA Hip Hop Awards back in 2012 and was 2nd place in Big Brother (The Chase) in 2013. She has since dropped several hits since then and is currently working on her album that’s scheduled to drop later this year. Here is how the interview went:
How would you best describe Cleo Ice Queen’s music?
Cleo Ice Queen music is hip hop, its timeless, its story telling, its turn-up, its educating and its entertainment!!
When did you start rapping?
I starting rapping at about age 6. Rapping along to TuPac, Coolio, JayZ, Eminem, Missy Elliot etc
When did you realise it was something you wanted to make a career out off?
Hmmmm…well I always fantasized about being a mega rap star, but only took it as a serious career at about age 20
Who are your musical influences?
Im influenced by many things but musically, I would say the likes of Lauren Hill, Beyonce, Bob Marley, Nicki Minaj, AKA, Pompi to mention a few.
Is there a particular artist or song that made you want to take on music as a career?
Well, I would have to say Lil Bow Wow at the time, Missy Elliot, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from everyday life, my surrounding, my struggles, my triumph, the youth of our generation and the great musical legends of our time.
How do you prepare for your shows?
I go over my set in my mind, I like to be in silence…in a meditative sort of mode. I inhale and exhale..if you know what I mean…*wink* lol
Can you run us through your normal working day? What do you get up to during the week?
Well, my typical day starts with getting my 5 year old daughter ready for school, after that I hit the gym. Then, I either go to studio or handle some of my personal business, thereafter, I check in to RockFM Zambia 96.5, from 3pm to 7pm. After hours, its either I go back home, sundowners with my sister and close friends or quality time with bae..lol…don’t ask :p
Besides music what does the Ice Queen spend her time doing?
Well…mothering the greatest nation…what else?? Lol kidding..but not kidding. I read, I play…play hard…I listen to mellow music, I work on my clothing which is due later this year, its called Purple Haze. I strategise, I plan, I rest, and of course I WATCH SERIES!!!!
When can we expect a full length project from you?
You can expect that in October. I birth my album GeminICE…in the time of scorpio’s…its gonna cool the summer and sting a few folks…lol!!!!
What have you learnt about pursuing your dreams?
I have learnt to be persistent yet patient. To take lead with grace and tactfulness. To aim high and dream big yet set realistic goals. I’ve learnt to forgive myself, to love myself in all my neutrality, flaws and all. I’ve learnt not to look down on anyone and to help others whenever I can. I’ve learnt to overpromise and aspire to live up to my word. I’ve learnt to give respect in order to earn it. I’ve learnt that money is not everything but planting that seed and building that empire is. Lastly, I’ve learnt to dress well, smell like a million bucks and BE ON TIME!!!!!!! LOL
What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Challenges are always inevitable, but the biggest is having to TRANSFORM and not CONFORM. I have to educate my audience about me and what my music is about, instead of going with the trend or whats hot. Being a solo indie artist and a single mom also gets quite challenging but that’s a challenge I love to conquer day by day!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself being well grounded and steady on the road to wealth..I see myself inspiring and uplifting nations. I see my clothing line flourishing, my music becoming more mature, timeless and classic, probably will be playing an instrument by then…guitar maybe. my acting should have kicked off by then and I should have played a role in making African movies and TV a force to reckon with. I see an addition of children…I love kids…and also I should be done with my degree in psychology by then…which will pave way for me to later having a talk show and channel/network..kinda like Oprah. More Tyra…less Oprah…lol!!! Oprya Ice Queen…lol!! God’s grace, God’s will
Where are you currently based?
I’d like to believe I am an African citizen. So based in Africa. Lol!!! Lusaka, Zambia *wink*
I know all the gents want to know if you are seeing anyone?
Of course they would love to know….. *tongue out*
What do you look for in a man?
I look for Jesus…in a way. Lol!!! No really though… Kindness, love, patience, compassion….he should be willing to die for me……
What do you do for fun?
I dance, I driiiiink, (responsibly ofcourse), I hang out with positive folks, I take my daughter and her friends out to play, I rock harrrd!!! I *inhale, exhale* breathe *cough cough* *wink* LOL!!!!
Who are your top 5 hip hop artists on the continent?
2. Jay Rox
3. Cleo Ice Queen
4. Khuli Chana
5. Ice Prince
What advice would you like to give up and coming musicians?
Stay strong, work hard, keep your passion alive, stay focused, driven and determined, have faith and trust in God.
Any words of wisdom to the youth?
My whole interview has bursts of wisdom..or atleast I would like to believe. Indulge young youth and be inspired. *much much love*
Where can your fans reach you?