Interview: Ice Prince Is On a New Sonic Journey

The Nigerian rap star lets us into his world, taking us back to his debut hit song "Oleku," the inspiration behind his new single "Kolo," and he reveals some info about his upcoming studio album, Fire and Ice.

When Ice Prince's first album arrived in 2011, it was replete with a blend of chilled, exciting hip-hop and colorful, bouncy pop tunes. His persona oozed newness. A young chap whose clothing style and intonation matched the kind of music he was making. The rap was distinctive, a mix of punchy flows and sharp lyricism with particular emphasis on storytelling. He alongside Wizkid and Olamide had injected dynamism and freshness into the scene and they were all armed with popular debut hit songs.

For Ice Prince, it was "Oleku," one he regards as an anomaly. "First of all I don't like to refer to Oleku as a hit," Ice Prince boldly blurts out about his debut, although he admits "it's a classic, timeless song." It's been a decade since "Oleku" rang around in clubs, serenaded end-of-the-year school parties and turned into a tune which enjoyed heavy rotation on radio. It's what comes to mind when the name Ice Prince pops up anywhere. The song is like a trademark to him but now in 2021, Ice Prince is so much more than that.

Rising from the northern Nigerian city of Jos to emerge as a symbol of Nigerian music, one that led to a meeting with Jay Z and ultimately winning a BET award in 2013, Ice Prince's past is well stocked with feats and achievements.

The energy he arrived with in 2011 hasn't simmered down any bit. The same mindset from his debut album still remains but now it's infected with some new life philosophies, garnered from both the good and ugly moments of life. His cool attitude persists, cuddled with his fiery energy from his ferocious rap style.

Now signed to 300 Entertainment, the same label of American hip-hop stars Young Thug and Megan Thee Stallion, Ice Prince feels no pressure. He has his eyes set on what's coming, buoyed by his feats and experiences in time past. His fourth studio album is almost done, he tells me via phone call on a hot Thursday afternoon.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for context and clarity.

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Photo: Bolaji Odukoya

Ice Prince Shares 'Kolo' Featuring Oxlade

The Nigerian veteran rapper drops his first single of the year and becomes 300's first African signee.

Ice Prince comes through with "Kolo," his new Edgar Boi-produced single featuring Oxlade.

The alluring track follows Ice Prince rapping about a love that makes you go mad over afro-fusion beat work. "I'm talking about a girl that I fell in love with and I'm going crazy thinking about," he explains. "I can't stop thinking about her and getting her the best things in life, and how I want to make her my wife."

Oxlade, who's coming off the success of his debut EP Oxygene, provides the falsetto hook for the song. "Oxlade is an amazing artist, so it wasn't hard for us to share our ideas together and come up with this record," Ice Prince says. "I'm a fan of his music, he's a fan of mine, and I'm happy we're able to put out a record together."

The track comes accompanied by announcement that Ice Prince has signed to Lyor Cohen's 300 Entertainment, the home of Young Thug, Megan Thee Stallion and many other stars.

Watch the new music video for "Kolo," directed by Nigeria's UAX, below.

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