16 January 2015

Cleo Ice-Queen Is reaching Heights

BBAfrica Housemate Zambian Female Rapper Cleo Ice Queen
UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE

HIP hop rap music is a subculture which is believed to have begun with the work of US mega stars such as Dj Kool Herc, Africa Bambaatta, Furious Five and Grand Master Flash.

This subculture consists of four main aspects or elements, namely M-cing (rapping), Djing, Urban-inspired art (Graffiti) and B-Boying.

And over the years, the music genre has grown to be a global money-spinning business, raking in millions of dollars in the bank accounts of such rappers as P Diddy and Fifty Cent.

In Zambia this music style has not spared the new generation’s quest to revolutionise their ditties. Not even gospel singers have ignored its influence.

Before the 2013 Big Brother The Chase, little, if any, was known about Cleo Ice-Queen (real names Clementina Lukonde Mulenga), who has not only grown as a smooth rapper, but as a model and television personality.

And she may have missed out on the Big Brother coveted prize of $200,000, which went to Namibia’s Dillish, but Cleo can still walk head high because of her many achievements in her career.

“I debuted with a CD called Geminice with songs such as Timi Mekoko, which features Ghana’s multi-talented singer D-Black and Cameroonian D-Boy. And so far so good,” Cleo said.
But it was not just this dance song that ultimately introduced Cleo on the rap music scene because her song Addicted has also been received well by her fans. Addicted was launched on Vevo Music Channel last December.

Timi Mekoko debuted on renowned global airwaves such as Planet Radio, Channel 0 and MTV Base, making Cleo one of the few Zambian artistes to achieve this feat.

Long before she entered the Big Brother House, Cleo was working tirelessly on her rap antics, making her one of the most amazing female rappers in the country.

In 2012, she was also nominated for the Born & Bred as well as the Zambia Music Awards for her sentimental songs and songwriting prowess.

Her potential in the industry was tested and proven when she performed during an electrifying “Welcome bash” at the Polo Grill in Lusaka over a year ago.

“It was awesome…I mean performing with the likes of JK, MicBurner, J-Dash, Eva, Danny Kaya and CQ, it was a great experience,” she told the Weekend Mail.

After that huge performance on August 13, 2013, the world was soon to realise that Cleo Ice-Queen was not as “cold” as ice. To borrow from the lyrics of Stevie Wonder, she is Hotter than July!

“I have worked on a Mixed Tape titled Top of Decision under my manager Fortune Musewe,” said Cleo, aged 23.

The Mixed Tape, one of the best things to have emerged on the local hip hop scene, includes such songs as Zachiwelewele, Life of a Party, Big Dreams – Twalalwisha, featuring JK.

But it was the re-mix of Big Dreams which received a nomination for the Born & Bred Awards in the Best Female Up-coming category, and this obviously buoyed up Cleo.

Described by Nigeria’s P-Square as “a gem in the making”, after curtain-raising for the duo when they visited Zambia, Cleo went a step further by taking her music to the little thought-about places – prison.
On October 25, 2013, inmates at Lusaka Central Prison had a rare independence treat from Cleo, who did not just sing and dance, but went an extra mile and donated some goods.

Cleo reportedly wowed music buffs when she performed at the African-Urban Party in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Notable figures at the Rosebank bash included Nigeria’s One Neze, Dj Pico (Angola) and Wax Nde (Cameroon). The show was preceded with another huge show at Club 101 on September 13.

With her new project, which features the likes of Salma, Channel O award winners, Zone Fam and Roberto, Cleo has also featured on Jayrox’s single titled Ituntulu.

Probably her memorable shows in 2014 include one at the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) beauty pageant where she shared the stage with Macky 2.

“I was nominated in the Best New Artiste category during last year’s Zambian Music Awards but lost to Alphonso,” she said.

Cleo’s other achievements include her being featured on Lil and e-magazine covers.
This year, she has been nominated in the Best Collaboration (Ituntulu with Jayrox), Song of The Year (Ituntulu) and Best Mainstream (Female category) during the Zambia Music Awards. Good luck!

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