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One-on-One with Zonnique Pullins

 Aside from the OMG Girlz, you’ve probably seen Zonnique Pullins in “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” a reality show that highlights the hustle and bustle of her talented musical family. With her single “Nun For Free” featuring Young Thug, the rising musician leaves fans wanting a more complete collection of music from her, and she thinks her new project, slated to be released this summer, will be something fans aren’t used to.

With the untitled LP, Zonnique says she’s aiming for a different sound, look, and overall vibe with her new music. In a JET exclusive interview, Zonnique talks about her upcoming album, which she mostly wrote and produced, and her quest to be taken more seriously in the music industry. 

JET: What can we expect from you musically as a solo artist? Will it be different compared to the material you released with OMG Girlz?

Zonnique Pullins: It definitely will be. I had a lot of creative control over this project and I wanted to try something different. I recently put out my single and my EP will be out soon. The sound I went for on this record is more pop than R&B, so that may be a bit different for the fans, but I like it.

JET: Are you nervous about releasing your new sound?

Zonnique Pullins: I’m not nervous about how fans will accept the music. I think people will understand where I’m coming from and what I’m doing with it. And even if they don’t, it’s not really about trying to make something that other people are familiar with. It’s about making something that I’m happy with and am comfortable putting out. I try to keep myself happy and that’s  all.

JET: Who did you work with to craft your untitled LP?

Zonnique Pullins: A lot of people helped me out with this project. My uncle Chez helped a lot with the sound. My mom helped out in any way she could, like with lyrics and advice in the studio. My dad helped with the track selection and putting the project together. I’m new to all of the production and stuff, but I was taking notes because in the future I want to be more involved in that process. I also had a lot of support while making this record that really encouraged me so I’m glad that support system was there.

JET: This solo EP is kind of like your grand induction to the industry as an individual artist. Do you feel any kind of pressure or feel as though you have something to prove given your success with OMG Girlz and your musical family?

Zonnique Pullins: Yeah. I do think in a way I have something to prove with my dad being who he is and my mom being who she is [and they are both independently successful]. But I think the great thing about them is that they’re really supportive and helpful. I had sole creative control over this project and it’s reflective of me, but I think it’s solid and will prove that I am my own person. And the [OMG] Girlz support me too. Even though the work we did together was very different than what I’m doing with this project, they’ve been encouraging. But I’m bringing the people something real and genuinely me so I think my fan base is solid enough that they’ll be open to what I’m doing. So no pressure, but I definitely know all eyes are on me.

JET: Now that you’re beginning to really focus on the sound you want as far as music, do you think you’ll want to continue doing reality television?

Zonnique Pullins: I think so. With the show now, I’m kind of in it by default. Maybe in the future I’ll have my own show. Though I really would love to get into movies and scripted TV shows. Right now I wouldn’t want a spin off or anything, but maybe in the future I could handle that. But I’m just trying to do one thing at a time and focus on what’s in front me.

JET: Since the EP is what you’ve got going on right now, what are you doing to make sure people take the music seriously and approach it with an open mind?

Zonnique Pullins: Well, we just finished the music video for “Nun For Free,” so there will be a visual for the single. I plan to really go hard and push the EP on social media. Maybe do a few round of shows to get people involved with the project on a more intimate level. I think small shows are really intimate and connect people to the music better. I want to get a feel for the reception of the EP, but in the future maybe go on a larger solo tour. But I just want everyone to know I put a lot into the project and I hope they enjoy what I have to give.

Catch Zonnique on “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” every Monday on VH+1 9:30/8:30. You can also follow her in Instagram at @starquality.