The Legendary rapper, actor, producer Ice-T celebrated the introduction of his Protégé talented singer ZIEME, along with Coco his wife on the new emerging and immersive FanRoom Live. The couple spoke about love and relationships to the background love music of ZIEME. FanRoom Live is a platform that inspires actors, musicians, comedians, and sports figures to engage and interact with their fans virtually. The sessions are always interactive and more like a meet and greet. The platform digitally connects the fans with their idols in an intimate setting and allows backstage meet and greets as well..
Prior to the interview I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the iconic superstar as well as ZIEME regarding the singers introduction to the world. Ice-T is one of the most salient rap music influences on the planet. His career as an actor, rapper, producer, and songwriter challenges the longevity of the Queen of England herself. ZIEME is an emerging global phenomena who has the ability not only to captivate his generation but to also channel generations past as he pushes the genre forward.
So how’d you two hook up?
Ice: I have a business partner named Mickey Benson. He’s been helping me throughout my whole career. He’s from New York, the South Bronx, and he had found this group called The 5ive L’s which ZIEME is a member of. I’m into talent. I wanted to find somebody that could sing, but I wanted to find a soloist. Mickey said “well ZIEME‘s group is disbanding, but ZIEME is here.” I asked if he had that falsetto? He said “yes that’s the one that sings high.” So I met with ZIEME and he was so humble, so cool, and very professional for a young man. I told him that I had a pet project, “I want you to remake some oldies.” “You have to really be able to sing, there’s a whole bunch of different ranges. He killed it. He sings every vocal on these songs. So that’s where we are today.
I actually listened to the record and ZIEME you are super talented, your voice is salacious, sexy, beautiful and everything it needs to be. The thing is a lot of people your age have never heard these songs and while your reinventing them do you think they are going to catch on like they did back then?
ZIEME: That’s a good question. I guess it depends on how they connect with me as well and how I perform that record. I want to perform it in a way where those people can feel that same feeling that our parents felt and our parent’s parents felt. So, when I’m singing it, I’m really trying to connect to that visual of the 70’s when love was still activated, and hopefully while all of this stuff is going on, they will gravitate to that. When you listen to them they give you a dope vibe.. when you listen to it it’s a straight, listen through album and it’s smooth…..
Ice: One thing when we did the record, that record is not only a record but a demonstration. It was a way I was saying “I wanted to demonstrate his range.” ZIEME sings every vocal on that record, the background vocals, the harmony…..there’s only one singer. A lot of these songs had maybe 3 or 4 singers. That’s a trick too, to be able to sing the entire song, the whole record by himself.
Ice T, back when you started recording originally, if you had had the technology we have today would you have done anything different?
Ice: I just did what was happening according to my capabilities. When I decided to rock ‘n’ roll I didn’t think I could sing. I’m not a singer. But then I looked at rock ‘n’ roll and thought who the fuck can sing rock ‘n’ roll? I knew I wasn’t going to sing “Journey” or anything like that so at that time the hard-core metal thing was coming out and I knew I could sing better than some of them…. I try to model my vocal ability around Tom Anaya from Slayer where it was a shout…but you could hear it. You could understand what it’s doing. I was surrounded by a bunch of great musicians. The reason I made “Body Count” was not so I could sing but so my friends could play their instruments. The reason I’m working with ZIEME is because he needs to be heard. It’s not like “I wanna get in the business, I wanna make the money ” No! If you sing this good, you need to be heard. That’s what I like to work with. I like to work with people that have raw talent, that need to be heard.
ZIEME what would be your ultimate stage fantasy, and Ice, have you had yours or are you still looking for it?
ZIEME : To play the Super Bowl would be dope.
I have a feeling we will see you there next year…And Ice have you had a stage fantasy, are you still looking for one?
Ice: That’s a strange question. I’ve kind of done everything I’ve ever wanted to do, like perform with different artists. I guess maybe to have been on stage with Prince because I idolized Prince. I’ve been in front of super large crowds. I don’t know… My fantasy was just to be in the game. I just wanted to be a rapper and mentioned amongst the rappers. Coming from nowhere and trying to be in the game, that’s a big thing. For ZIEME, just to be mentioned amongst the artists…just to get in the game, that’s usually the first fantasy.
ZIEME: Yeah, that’s really the first fantasy because I’ve been on a lot of stages with legends …Just to be in the game and named amongst those names, that’s enough for me.
Ice, you’ve had a super long and accomplished career, and through it you’ve always been present…you’ve always been a superstar, there was never a time that there was no Ice-T. What advice would you give ZIEME so that he follows in your footsteps?
Ice: Never stop hustling. You don’t relax. When you are really at the top that’s when you push, you don’t slack off. Also take advantage of all opportunities that come to you. You know maybe you can act, don’t be afraid to diversify yourself. We’re artists so just take advantage of being artistic. I would’ve never thought that I could act, but I found that part of myself. So don’t be afraid. You can sing but that’s one part of you. You can probably also write, you could probably also write scripts. One of my mottos is “You don’t guide life, you ride life.” None of us know where we could be. We are all somewhere other than we thought we would be. But you have to be willing to take those opportunities and when they come apply yourself to the fullest. You never know what could happen.
ZIEME you look ready to do that? What made you decide to go into the music industry anyway because it is very hard?
ZIEME: I’m so ready. You know I sing, I write, I act..I love acting. I do a lot of different things. Singing is in my family and in my blood. My mother sings, everyone sings so it was destined to be.
Ice: I don’t think you decide if you want to sing. Either you can sing or you can’t, it’s a gift. If I decided I wanted to saying ain’t no way I’m gonna sound like him. I’ve been wanting to sing like him forever but there’s no way, it’s a talent. You either have it or you don’t. He’s very fortunate to have a voice like that.
Interview by Eileen ShapiroYouTube
Stay tuned to FanRoom Live for further upcoming chances to meet your idols. Next up is the beautiful and dynamic Morgan Fairchild on February 20th and iconic bass player Leland Sklar on March 4th. More information
Photos Provided by Ice T