Vanilla Ice in Dubai

Vanilla Ice in Dubai

Ready to welcome 2014 with a show on the Palm Jumeirah, Vanilla Ice tells us about living with Amish people and his passion for poetry

By (Adam Zacharias)

Published: Mon 30 Dec 2013, 11:39 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:15 AM

Vanilla Ice.

THE PAST 18 months have seen Vanilla Ice’s schedule busier than ever – with the hip-hop star acting alongside Adam Sandler in That’s My Boy, starring in two reality shows and touring with New Kids on the Block.

Nowadays the entertainer, best-known for his classic 1990 tune Ice Ice Baby, can be seen hosting his own series The Vanilla Ice Project on the DIY Network in the States. Currently in its third season, the show follows the 46-year-old as he buys houses on the cheap, renovates them and then sells them on for a hefty profit.

Ice has been ‘flipping’ houses in this manner for more than 15 years, earning enviable sums in the process. His other show for 2013, titled Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, saw the star enter an Amish community and adjust to their traditional ways.

Here’s what the rap icon had to say before his New Year’s Eve show at N’Dulge nightclub, Atlantis the Palm.

What was it like living in an Amish community for your reality TV show?

The Amish people have great morals and they’re very sweet people. They work hard, and take care of their families and farms.

And what was the hardest part about adjusting to the Amish lifestyle?

It was a culture shock when I first got there. I lived with them with no cell phone, no TV, no e-mails, no Twitter, no Instagram, no electricity, no zippers on the clothes and no mirrors. I must’ve cut myself shaving a dozen times!

You’ve been ‘flipping’ houses for a long time now. Do you have a lengthy client list of other celebrities?

The homes I renovate on TV are all mine, but I do build homes for other celebrities, as well as wealthy CEOs. They’re fans of the show, and I have a pretty lengthy client list. It helps when you have a good reputation for building around the Palm Beach area. That’s how you build clientele, and I love going above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

Is it hard to tour or release new music when you’re busy with all these other endeavours?

The construction takes up about eight months of the year, so I haven’t had much time lately. I play select shows but I haven’t been able to get in the studio, even though I’ve wanted to. And making a record isn’t like turning on a light switch – all the stars need to line up.

In what way?

It’s kind of like when an author writes a book, they usually have to rent a house up in the mountains far away from everybody. I’ll definitely get back in the studio eventually, but now is not the time. I’m always writing though, and I have a major passion for poetry.

After 24 years, how do you feel about Ice Ice Baby?

I love Ice Ice Baby. It feels brand new every time I sing it. I love the energy – it gets everyone moving – and a great song will always be a great song. It also brings back great memories for both me and all my fans who’ve supported me through the years. It might help you remember who you were dating at the time, what kind of car you were driving…maybe you even had a zig-zag shaved into your head!

You’ve tasted both the honey and the poison that fame and fortune bring. What have you learned from your experiences?

I’ve sold millions of records, but I’ve also learnt that money can’t buy you happiness. You learn that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. When you’re struggling with depression, you think that there’s no way out. But there is – the sun will come back out, you just have to weather the storm.

What advice would you give someone hoping to turn his or her passion into a career?

The best advice I can give anyone is to follow your dreams. Anything can happen – as long as you believe in yourself, that’s really all you need. It does help when others believe in you, but as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort, rest assured that something will happen.

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