Panshak Henry Zamani (born 30 October 1984), better known as Ice Prince, is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and actor.
Early Life & Career
Ice Prince was born in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. At age two, he moved with his family to the mining city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He is of Angas ethnicity. While residing in Jos, he attended St. Murumba College. He also attended the Science Tutorial College in Jos.
He began writing Rap songs and started performing them at social events held at his school in 1999. It was not until 2001 that he began going to recording studios to record. In 2002, he formed a group called the “ECOMOG Squad”. They had few performances as a group and split a year later. In 2004, he connected with M.I, Jesse Jagz, Ruby, Lindsey, Eve, Taz, and together they became what is now known today as the “Loopy Crew”.
During an interview with Adeola Adeyemo, Ice Prince was asked to summarise his story. He said “I started out in Jos in a group called ECOMOG squad. We used to rap and sing together. The group split up after a few years and after that, I joined the choir in my church and started singing Tenor. That was about the time MI moved back to Nigeria and we became friends, we became family, we started living together, started making music together. I had a song that made it to Number 1 in Jos, that was when I started getting more attention. Then I got admitted into University of Jos to study Zoology but then I couldn’t really continue because of some financial constraint at the time.” Ice Prince also opened up about the passing of his parents and the challenges he faced early on. He said:
“Life was not that rosy. When my dad was alive, life was pretty much rosy but I lost my Dad in 1999 and it was my Mum that was taking care of me up until she died too. So it was kinda hard to get by, really. I dropped out of school in my 100Level to focus on my music.I moved to Abuja and started living with MI and Jesse Jagz. We were making music, doing some small small shows just to get money. Then we moved to Lagos, we got a chance to chill at Djinee’s house. Djinee gave us some space in his house to sleep. Djinee is like my Jesus. He came through for us. We lived in his house and made it very uncomfortable for him but he took all the pain and accommodated us. This was in 2008. Gradually, there was steady growth. We got our own place, started making music. In 2008, I hosted Sprite Triple Slam. We did 30 shows, 15 in Lagos, 15 in the East. I got some small money off that to buy some new jeans and shoes so that girls would, you know, say hi to me when they see me.”
During the aforementioned interview, Ice Prince shed some light on his record deal with Chocolate City, saying: “My record deal with Chocolate City came off of my affiliation with MI and Jesse Jagz. We are pretty much brothers, we’ve always lived together, always been together. But then Chocolate City signed MI first. It was like they did it in order of our age. Then they signed Jesse Jagz. Jesse was obviously more ready than I was at that time. Then they saw that I was getting ready as well and they signed me too.”
In 2009, Ice Prince participated in the Hennessy Artistry competition, a competition organised by the Hennessy brand which supports urban and contemporary music. The competition featured the likes of Bez, Mo’Cheddah, Blaise, and Jimmy Flames; Ice Prince came out 1st with his lead single “Badman” at the end of the competition.
During the aforementioned interview, Ice Prince opened up about why he chose to name his debut album, Everybody Loves Ice Prince. He said “What made me give my album that name was when I lost my Mum, really. There was so much love, so much care from all around the world. People really showed me love and it was after that incident that I came back to record my album and I thought what better name to call my album than Everybody Loves Ice Prince because I was shown love.
“Oleku”, Ice Prince’s first single off his debut album was met with great reception throughout Nigeria. The song was released under Chocolate City. Ice Prince’s ‘rap resume’ has a long list of songs he’s been featured on. He was featured on Taikoon’s “Respect My Hustle” with Banky W, DJ Neptune’s “This Gbedu Reloaded” with YQ & Shank, Bez’s “Super Sun (Remix)” with ELDee & Eva Alordiah, YQ’s “Efimile (Remix)” with Naeto C, M.I, Banky W, & ELDee, Pherowshuz’s “Korrect (remix)” with M.I & Terry Tha Rapman, Dekunle Fuji’s “Funmilayo” with Jesse Jagz, Jamix’s “My Party” with Wizkid & Kel, Reminisce’s “2 Mussh [Remix]” with Sauce Kid, and Knighthouse’s “Make it Better” with Mo’Cheddah, Funbi, & Mobie, among others.
In 2012, he began frequent collaborations with Grip Boiz City producer Chopstix, releasing “Aboki” in the summer of 2012. An accompanying music video was released alongside it. “Aboki” peaked at number 92 on Afribiz’s Top 100 chart.
On 28 August 2012, Ice Prince released “More” as the second single from the album. The song was also produced by Chopstix. The music video for “More” was shot and directed in London by Moe Musa. It stars Lola Rae, a British Nigerian recording artist known for her single “Watch My Ting Go”. The video premiered at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
On 25 January 2013, Ice Prince released “Aboki (Remix)”; he described the song as the “biggest African collision ever”. The song features Sarkodie, Mercy Johnson, Wizkid, M.Iand Khuli Chana. On 24 April 2013, Ice Prince and Chocolate City released “Gimme Dat” and “V.I.P” simultaneously. The former made the album’s final track-listing, while the latter didn’t.
In 2015, Ice Prince began making available singles from his third studio album. The eventual release of the album signified his first independent album outside Chocolate City record label. He revealed to Pulse he had Universal Studio in the US mix and master the album.
Ice Prince has a son named Jamal with Bimbo Babatunde. In an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, the rapper said he dated Eva Alordiahwhen he first relocated to Lagos.
Everybody Loves Ice Prince (2011)
Fire of Zamani (2013)
Jos to the World (2016)
Trash Can (2015)
The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (2015)
House of Gold (2013)
Shuga season 3 (2013)
Hennessy Artistry, Hennessy Artistry Club Tour, 2009
Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Ben TV Awards, 2014
Young Artiste of the Year, Eko FM/Radio Lagos Awards, 2011
Song of the Year, ‘Oleku ft Brymo’ City People Entertainment Awards, 2011
Best New Artiste, Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2011
Hottest Single of the Year, ‘Oleku ft. Brymo’ Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2011
Best Rap Single, ‘Oleku ft Brymo’, The Headies, 2011
Song of the Year, Oleku ft Brymo, The Headies, 2011
Most Gifted Newcomer Video, Oleku ft Brymo, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2011
African Artist of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2012
Best Rap Album, ‘Everybody loves Ice Prince, The Headies, 2012
Most Gifted Hip-hop Video of the Year, ‘Superstar’ Channel O Music Video Awards, 2012
Best International Act: Africa, BET Awards, 2013
The Best Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards, 2013
Best Rap Act of the Year, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2013
The Best Hip Hop Video, Nigeria Music Video Awards, (NMVA), 2013
Best Rap Act of the Year, 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2014
Peace Achiever’s Award, Peace Ambassador Agency, 2017