Cleo ice queen doesn’t seem to rest since Big Brother, in between appearances, studio, endorsement deals and being a mom, Cleo’s quality of work keeps getting better and better, with two hot single’s on rotation in Zimbabwe and Ghana (Timimekoko and Koene by Edem ft Cleo) and another hot single on African radio with the video on Channel O Africa (Jayrox ft Cleo – Ituntulu). Arguably the best female emcee in Africa, 2012 South African Hip Hop awards nominee (Best female category), 2nd place runner up at Big-Brother Africa 2013, Zambian Music Awards 2014 nominee. Born and bred Zambian, Cleo Ice Queen is a female emcee who has clear goals and knows where she is headed. With only the release of one mixtape in 2012 Cleo Ice Queen is somewhat of a triple threat as she is a rapper, model and television personality.
Acada magazine caught up recently with this ever-busy rapper, and we had had this exclusive interview with her. Except:
What’s been happening to Cleo Ice?
A lot has been going on. I'm working on my debut album, a couple of collabo's, music videos, a fashion line and the most important job of all, being a great mom.
After big Brother, what have u been up to?
Well it’s been one thing after the other...working on my music, collaborating with artists across the continent, touring our lovely continent of Africa and performing at various shows. I have also engaged myself in various charitable events and programmes in Zambia which I’m very passionate about. Every day is a step at a time and it's been a very blessed experience for me all in all.
As a nominee in the Best female Emcee category in Africa 2012 South African Hip-Hop Awards, how did you get into the rap game?
I've been rapping since age 6, so let's say the game chose me. I started professionally when I was 21 (2010), so emcee'ing has always been a part of me. It took hardwork and determination to propel myself into a space where my music began to get recognised.
I was a college student based in Johannesburg, South Africa but even so, I continued to pursue my musical interests.
Are your parents in support of your chosen career?
Well, in the beginning, not so much. But I’m a grown woman now and I've proven myself by taking my career seriously and making something out of it.
Tell us about your childhood
My childhood was filled with lots of music. I sang at my 4th birthday, fell in love with hip hop at 6 years old, had my first studio experience at 12years old, won a local provincial talent competition at 15, started releasing singles at 16 and ever since I decided on showbiz as my career path at 21. There has been no turning back.
Any pranks you can recollect?
I call my celebrity friends and pretend to be a deranged fan, lol!
Your educational background
Well, in the school of life or in formal school?
Just know I graduated top of my class in both fields.
Can you share with us your school / campus memories?
I remember eating a lot of noodles in college. I hate them now. I was in a lot of cyphers too, and I played a lot of basketball.
What are the challenges you faced combining your studies with music?
It’s difficult to focus on both at the same time, but still need to joggle in between the two and manage my time effectively to accommodate the two.
What fascinated you about rap?
The brutal honesty that comes with it, the quick talk, the rhyming, the skill, the wordplay, the message, the pushing of particular agendas, the bad ass beats, the swag, the culture, the movement, the pioneers that came before me, everything about rap fascinates me.
What did your participation in the Big Brother Africa taught you?
To accept people's flaws, including my own.
What is your definition of style?
Style is what one possesses. How one carries himself/herself. Style is confidence, swag and class.
Any major beauty regimen?
I cleanse, tone and moisturize, every morning and night.
What inspires you as an artiste?
Everyday life inspires me and it can be anything, a road trip, a conversation, music, movies, and art. The list is endless. I believe the world is my oyster and inspiration is all around me.
Your advice for all the young ones looking up to you and those that might want to go into the music business?
Put God first. Stay driven, determined, focused, consistent and humble.