"I’m really growing as an artist and getting to showcase what I have on my own."



Zonnique Talks Her Solo Debut 'Love Jones' & Life on Reality TV

For someone who’s spent much of her life in the spotlight (as the daughter of hip hop legends T.I. and Tiny, she can hardly avoid it), Zonnique serves up a surprisingly chill vibe. It’s perhaps not what you would expect from a 21-year-old megastar who’s racked up Instagram followers in the millions and recently hopped from one reality show to another (transitioning from The Family Hustle to Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta), but there you have it—people (especially celebs) are not always what they seem.

Aside from gracing the screens of televisions across America, Zonnique lands in our earbuds as well: most recently, with a brand new EP titled Love Jones. The record is her debut as a solo artist since splitting from OMG (“Officially Miss Guided”) back in 2015, and it’s reflective of the fact that Zonnique is still exploring who she is as an artist; dipping into multiple genres and moods, Love Jones gives us a taste of the many different directions that this musician’s career might go. Unsurprisingly, each one is just as dope as the next.

Are you back in Atlanta?

I am, but only for a couple of hours.

Cool, where are you headed?

Out to LA.

Are you doing music stuff out there?

I’m actually going to take a couple of meetings, and also recording, and possibly doing some acting stuff. I want to audition for some roles while I’m out there.

Amazing. Well, Love Jones has been out for a couple of months now. What has the reception been like so far?

I think that the reception has been really good so far. I feel like everybody is giving me feedback on what they like the most, which helps me figure out what field they like, since all of the songs on there are kind of a different vibe, and can kind of go into different genres I would say, so I get to have a chance to get a feel of what kind of sound they like to hear from me. Everybody has really been very receptive.

Yeah, I noticed that all of the songs can definitely stand alone as totally different singles, so what was it like putting them all together? Were you just in a different head space for each one or you consciously wanted all of them to be totally separate?

Well, I had been recording over a long period of time since I had been broken up with the group, and I feel like my sound had just changed so much over time, and I got to record all types of fields, and even got to figure out what I like. But I think that after I figured out what songs I wanted to be in the project, I favorited each song that had a different vibe, and I feel like they all sounded good, so I was like why not put out something that was diverse and everybody can have a favorite. Different people listen to different music.

And now that it’s out and you’ve been getting vibes from people, do you feel like you’re able to hone what you want your next project to be more so, or do you fee like it’s going to be another mix of stuff?

You know, I feel like with this next one, I kind of get a feel of what they like more, so I would like to cater to them a little more and do the kind of music they favorited. But I feel, it still will always be a little diverse because I, myself, listen to all genres of music so I’m going to stay true to myself also.

How do you feel like you’ve evolved as a solo artist since leaving the group?

I feel like I’ve evolved a lot since becoming a solo artist. I feel like in a group, you kind of fall in love with each other so much that you don’t even really look at yourself a lot and I think that was my problem. I think that now being a solo artist, I get to gain more confidence in areas I wasn’t so confident in, like interviews and really just little stuff that I was like, “You know, I don’t think I’m really that good at it.” So now I’ve been able to really work on myself and become even more of an actual artist than just a solo artist.

Yeah, I mean you go from having an identity of a group of people, to all of the sudden the spotlight is on you. I mean you can do whatever you want, but it’s all on you to be whatever that is.

Yeah, it’s really different.

Do you ever talk about your mom about her music career or ever ask her for advice?

I would say that me and my mom, we both just have such a passion for music, so we like to exchange each others’ feels for music. It’s really great that we get to work with each other and it’s great to have her advice because she really, really knows everything, but then sometimes we disagree because I’m like, “Music has changed, Ma. You might think people are really going to love that, but I don’t think so.” So it’s just a really good balance of figuring it out together and continuing to just grow together, I think. But my mom is just a super boss when it comes to music, so she definitely gives me tons of advice.

So The Family Hustle show just ended, right, and Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta just started? Is it just another film crew around you all the time or is it any different? Is this your version of normal now?

You know, everybody kind of thinks it’s really normal for me just because I’ve been on TV for so long, but it really is so different. I think with this show, it’s just a different vibe. I’ve never really filmed with my friends or new people I meet, so it’s definitely a new vibe, but I think that on the show I’m really growing as an artist and getting to showcase what I have on my own, so that’s a great plus I would say. Yeah, it’s definitely different, you just have to tune in to see what I’m talking about. It definitely gets messy as well.

What is it like now just filming further away from your family where it’s more about you and your music and your friends?

You know, it’s been pretty interesting I can say. Filming that show, I was really in the beginning of putting my project together, so I had a lot going on and you can see the whole process of that, but I also think it’s been a great for me because people can separate me from my family a little bit and get to see what I’m up to and me as an artist.

Yeah, it’s cool. It kind of sounds like a new chapter for you and you’re on your own.

I know right, thank you!

It’s exciting! So what have you got in the pipeline for the rest of the year, then?

Well, right now, in these couple of weeks, I’m filming the videos for my projects. I’ve only done one so far, but I’m trying to do all five. I’m not really sure. I’m trying to see with timing if I’ll be able to do that, because I don’t want to just take too long to put out the videos. But right now, definitely filming them. And then future things, performing. I’ll be going to different cities and hopefully getting on a tour. Definitely just more music. I want to put out an album next and I’ve already been working on it.

You’re one busy lady.

Aw, thank you!

Featured image via Zonnique

Stay tuned to Milk for more from hip hop mavens.

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