Ice Prince’s rise to the top was phenomenal. His debut hit song Oleku made the difference for the Jos lad who came to Lagos without knowing anyone except trusting in a family friend’s instinct.
This is his story .
What’s your real name?
My real name is Panshak Zamani. I’m from Jos. Growing up in Jos up was fun and I loved every bit of it. I was raised among white gospel missionaries when Jos was still peaceful.
What kind of upbringing did your parents give you that made you who you are today?
I had a positive upbringing. My parents used to drop me in church to attend Sunday school every Sunday. They didn’t let me watch any adult movies, only cartoons. I had a positive upbringing like every normal child.
Are you the only child?
No.But I’m the only male child in the family. But I didn’t let that get into my head. I was humble and obedient but sometimes I wandered off on my own to climb mango and guava trees, like every other child.
Since you had such a religious upbringing, why didn’t you do gospel?
My music is my gospel and I believe an artiste shouldn’t go into gospel for the fun of it except he’s called. I preach positivity and I inspire people with my music. My gospel is the story of a boy who came all the way from Jos to Lagos and became successful without a god father.
Who encouraged you to come to Lagos?
The major motivation behind my success story today is M.I. Before coming to Lagos, I didn’t know anybody here. I shuttled between Jos and Abuja. But M.I told us to come with him to Lagos.
We came with him and it worked. The power to fight the fear of the unknown is what we had. I remember the first few months we got to Lagos. I used to sleep on the carpet and didn’t have a place to stay. It was Djinee who housed us.
I didn’t know who I was going to see. I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I didn’t even know I was going to be this successful. All I had was the passion for what I do. I followed it and here I am.
M.I even suffered more than we did. Before I joined him in Lagos, he’d already moved over to Djinee’s house. But before then, they were squatting with some other guys. We all went through that phase and paid our dues and it wasn’t like he brought me to Lagos and left me to suffer. We hustled to survive.
So what were those challenges you faced while staying with Djinee?
I didn’t really have the freedom because it wasn’t my house. I couldn’t bring friends to the house, couldn’t do certain things. Djinee is one of the nicest persons I’ve met in my whole life. He didn’t know us from anywhere and he accepted us into his house.
Didn’t you think about going to school?
I had my primary and secondary school in Jos. Then I got admission to study Zoology at the University of Jos. But I didn’t graduate because at a point I had to leave Jos for Abuja so I could continue schooling in Abuja. But my music became more serious at that time and it took my time.
Now that you have made money, are you planning to go back to school soon?
To be honest with you, a side of me still feels like going back to school. But I don’t belong to that school of thought that says school is everything. I’m not a dullard and I think I have enough education to make me succeed. I’m not saying youths should drop out of school. All I’m saying is that there are other ways of doing things without going to school. I always ask if everyone goes to school, who’s going to sweep the streets?
Is that the kind of advice you’ll give to your children?
Please don’t quote me wrong. I’m not saying youths shouldn’t go to school. What I’ll tell my children is what my mother told me. She said that I should follow my heart. If your heart wants to be a musician then follow it because your spirit can’t lie to you. If your spirit tells you to go to school before doing music then follow it. But if it tells you to leave school for music then do it. I followed my heart.
Then does it mean you’ll do music all your life?
A lot of times when people look at us, they think all we do is music. I’m a business man. At a certain time, I may not perform all my life and that should be over at age 40. Aside music, I’m a landlord and I collect rent. Even if my music fails today, I’ll still live my life and feed my children. I also intend to go into clothing and others. But for now, I’m into real estate and I have my houses in Jos. So I’m cool.
So how does it feel being part of Chocolate City?
It’s an honour being here and I’ve been looking forward to it. I always tell people that if I come back in my next life as a musician, I’ll still like to work with them. They’re honest people and we’re brothers. The thing about Chocolate City is that what we have goes beyond business. We’re family. M.I and Jesse’s parents basically adopted me when my parents died. Even when we have issues, we sort it out in house.
And you’ll never hear or read any negative story about us in the papers. Chocolate City has probably the best and fairest contract in Nigeria. Their contract is world standard and I’m very happy with that. When a show comes in, they take their percentage, I take mine, the management picks its costs and I’m very happy with it.
You look like someone who loves girls. How do you cope with girls?
One philosophy my mother taught me is to treat a girl the same way you’ll like another guy to treat your sister. For me, I don’t have brothers and women mean a lot to me. I grew up among women and I know how to handle women although I’m not a flirt. I know my family background and I stay away from anything my parents won’t be happy about. Although they’re gone, I know what they’d have loved me to be.
Which is your most embarrassing moments with girls?
I have faced a lot of moments but I don’t see them as embarrassing. I have a girlfriend and I’m faithful to my relationship. I don’t do stuff outside my relationship.