Rap queen Cleo Ice Queen is at the end of this month expected to launch her EP Leaders of the New School at The Music Club, East Park where she has lined up the likes of Towela Kaira, Natasha Chansa, T-Low, Ryan Blaze, Kunkeyani Tha Jedi and Mix Kasamwa among
others as the supporting acts. The list of supporting acts is not surprising Cleo has
spoken about the EP being inspired by the new generation of hip-hop artists.
In fact, she deliberately reached out to them for collaborations on the project, which was released under Def Jam Recordings Africa last May.
It is good stuff. There is for instance the much-loved single On my own, which features Towela. The song celebrates women who regain their strength after a breakup.
The video is equally good the visuals are playful, light, colourful and sees the Def Jam
Recordings signee surrounded by powerful women. The launch of the EP should
equally, be colourful. Hosted by Brizzo and Pretty Tash, Cleo will be backed by The Icey Band at the Friday, September 30 show which is expected to run from 16:00 hours to midnight.
Charges for the show are pegged at K 100 for what is being called the icey golden circle, K300 standard and K1,000 for the VIP.
“I wrapped up my EP,” she said. “l started working on this EP last year in July or August
somewhere around there. I started working with the beat banger and the first person we
had with us was T-Low if I’m not mistaken and Ryan Blaze. From there on, we just carried
on and on until it was wrapped up sometime early this year.
“The inspiration behind the whole project has to be the young and upcoming hip hop
Cleo thinks so much has happened from the time she was starting out herself.
“So, I’m just really inspired to see all these young people promoting the hip-hop culture,
promoting what it is to love hip hop, from our dress code to the way we speak, to the way
we rap, to the way we sing, It’s just a whole different vibe,” she said.
“Hip hop is its own beautiful genre and I’m just inspired by all these young artists, not just hip hop but even R ‘n’ B, just different sounds of all these young and upcoming artistes, these big dreamers that are trying to curve their way and make their mark in the industry, they’re very inspiring to me, so I felt like having them on a project will be beneficial to both of us, to myself in terms of tapping into their fan bases because even if their fan bases are small, they’re valid and they’re engaging and exciting so that’s a plus for me.
“On my side it was about pulling up this younger generation of hip hop so that hip hop doesn’t die for us so that was the inspiration behind it.” Cleo certainly enjoyed working on the project.
“There’s a lot of growth, a lot of versatility,” she shared. “I’m coming out of my shell and I’m not feeling restricted about it because I live in Zambia I must do this type of music or because I’m from Africa I must do this type of music.
“I’m just expressing on beats that I like with producers.”