INTERVIEW: Zonnique On New 'Love Jones' EP, 'T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle' & More
By Isha Thorpe
April 28, 2017
Zonnique Pullins is ready to make a name for myself, one power move at a time! We witnessed the young star grow up on her parents show “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” over the years. Now, the now 21-year-old is ready to branch out and become her own person.
Slowly but surely, Niq Niq is unapologetically building her own image. She’s been recording more “mature” music that expresses her deep, inner thoughts; and has even been opening up more to her fans via social media.
The self-proclaimed shy girl who’s been living in her famous parents shadows is busting out onto the scene, whether we’re ready for her newfound bravery or not! But we should be. Seeing someone – especially a person as sweet as Zonnique – discover her voice is exciting to witness.
She’s officially left her OMG Girlz days, which she was in for 6 years, and is a full-fledged woman. Hear her roar! iHeartRadio got the opportunity to speak to the rising star about her new Love Jones EP, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta” and more.
Read iHeartRadio’s interview with Zonnique below. You can buy her Love Jones EP here.
What inspired you to record Love Jones? How was the recording process?
Since I became solo, I've been recording so much music and my sound has been changing. I've just been trying to figure it out as I grow. How I want to sound and what kind of message I want to talk about. I feel like the more I grew up, I started talking about relationships more. So I was like, I feel like my first tasteful project should be all about love. That's how I came up with the title. I was just like Love Jones, but I had never seen the movie.
You used to be in The OMG Girlz. Was it hard to find your solo voice?
I would definitely [say] it was not so hard, but just getting comfortable with just how you sound by yourself. I feel like being in a group, you fall in love with everybody's talent. I was in love with Bahja's voice, I feel like Bre just could dance and perform so well. Then, you sometimes forget your voice... So at first, I was like, ‘I mean it sounds okay. But, I'm not really feeling it.’ And my mom was like, ‘It sounds good!’ But the more I grew, the more I was confident in how I sound.
Did Tiny give you any advice when you left OMG Girlz?
She's given me a lot of advice since I've gone solo. I would say the most she just said is make sure I'm paying attention, make sure I rehearse. She's always like, ‘You've got to start rehearsing and just doing stuff by yourself, so you can be confident when you are doing this stuff.’ She's like, ‘You gonna have to do it by yourself, so you've got to start practicing and just singing around the house more’ because I was always the shy one. I'm still pretty shy. I'm becoming more and more out my shell.
I feel like my mom's [musical] ear is my favorite. She's a singer and she always hears stuff that nobody else hears.
Does Tip give you any music advice, even though he raps?
Yeah, definitely. I like to send him my music. But at the same time, I'm always nervous because he's -- I mean my mom, as well -- but they're both really big critics. And he's always still listening for me to be a little young so he's like, ‘I could listen to it past here so ... It was cool.’ He does definitely give me a lot of advice and she makes sure that I'm doing the right thing. When it's something serious and I need to know exactly what I have to do I, I call him.
The last season of “Family Hustle,” the season premiered on April 17. What can we expect this season?
You can expect so much growing up out of everybody. King, obviously as you saw in the first episode, is in love. I don't even know how to deal. And Heiress, you definitely get to see a lot of Heiress since it's the last season. Major, he's so grown like in such a small body and he's always to his self. He's just so awesome.
Everybody's just really growing up, I would say, and figuring out exactly what we about to be doing. I think Domani is so into his music. He's really popping, I would say, as his sister (laughter).
Do you see yourself having a spinoff of your own show?
You know what? I always hope that somebody would contact and say they're ready to do a spinoff because I would love to do something like that. I feel like it would definitely be first about my music career. I would hope that I could be doing some touring. Then, my relationship… I have to put that in there because everybody's really into it. And maybe have some cool moments with my family. I wouldn't to add them in too much.
So, you're also going to be on “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.” How did you get that opportunity?
Well actually, Brandon is the person who brought it to me. Brandon is a cast member on the show, who is Miss Deb's son. He's also into writing movies and TV shows. So he was like, ‘I got this call from 'Growing Up Hip Hop,' you want to be a part?’ I'm like, ‘Sure, I’m about to start doing my music career, I need somewhere else to talk about it on.’
It's definitely a different show from ‘Family Hustle.’ It's a little juicy; I can say it has a little mess. They put me in the mess, girl. I'm not really a confrontational person. I feel like it was some times where I had to argue with people. I'm really emotional so that [can] be hard.
So, what kind of artist exactly do you want to be known as?
I would just say, I would like to create my own lane and style. I would just hope that people just separate me [from my parents].
What are some words that you would describe your Love Jones EP and your music overall?
I would describe it majestic, chill and just a banger.
Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio