(AllHipHop News) The public has watched Zonnique Pullins grow from being a child star to a young woman. Most of the world first became aware of the now 20-year-old Atlanta resident from her appearances on the unscripted television series Tiny and Toya and T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.
However, Zonnique also grabbed the attention of a supportive teenage fan base as a member of the R&B/Pop trio The OMG Girlz. With her teen years behind her, the vocalist affectionately known as Nique Nique has parted with her “sisters” to move on as a solo act.
Last year saw the arrival of Zonnique’s first official single “Nun For Free" - a collaboration with buzzing ATL rhymer Young Thug. Nique is back with a new carefree track titled “Worst Friday.” The song plays off of the stoner theme from the Friday movie while also serving as a takedown of a bothersome ex-boyfriend.
Zonnique is currently crafting her debut studio album. With her mother Tameka "Tiny" Harris and stepfather Clifford “T.I.” Harris offering their expert assistance, the starlet is on a journey to join her parents as an award-winning entertainer.
In this interview with AllHipHop.com, Zonnique talks about her music career, teaming up with Thugger, and what else is on the horizon.
What were your thoughts behind your new single “Worst Friday”?
I wanted it to be different from my first single. All of my music has a mix of R&B and Pop, but I wanted it to be a little more Pop driven, a little more kid friendly, but also a little risqué. That’s how we came up with the concept where it sounds like it could be about smoking or about a relationship. We just wanted to make it really fun.
How involved were you with the writing process?
The girl who co-wrote it - her name is Libby [Abrego] - I’ve been working with her forever. We both write together. I’m really comfortable writing with her, so I got to write a lot.
You mentioned your other single. You dropped a song with Young Thug. Were you in the studio with him when he was recording?
I got there right after he finished it. We listened to it, and I was like, “I love it!” He said, “You like it?” I told him, “I love it.” Then he said, “Let me go back in.” So he goes back in and does background vocals behind his verse and the whole song. My mom said, “It sounds like a duet now.” I said, “You hyped it up even more.” We had really great chemistry doing the video. He’s a really nice guy.
Was he originally just supposed to do a verse?
Yeah, he was going to be on the third verse, but I think that my pops said, "We’re going to put the verse right here." It made it different, because you expect the feature to be at the end of the song. I was really cool with it, because it sounds like a duet.
Are your parents heavily involved in the creative process?
They are - in and out. They usually look for me for all the creative things, and they’ll overlook it. My mom especially. She’s more into the creative process. With my stepdad, I just go to him at the end and get his opinion about it.
Do you feel any sense of pressure? You have two parents who are Grammy winning hit makers.
I feel pressure with a lot of things I do. I always feel pressure, but I get through it. It’s like, “I know they’re going to be expecting this, because my parents are these people.” So I got to put on a show. I feel like I have to do my best at anything, so it’s not too much pressure.
You came up with The OMG Girlz. Now you’re a solo artist. How has that been different for you?
It’s been a lot different with just not having them with me all the time. It would be louder in here. [laughs] I'm just getting into not depending on them for certain things and just doing it all myself. At first, I was really nervous, because I didn’t know if I could tackle it all by myself. My family said, “You can do it. This is what you’ve been doing.” The change has been pretty good.
How far along are you with the album process?
Right now, I’m just really creating. I felt like I finished it awhile ago, but my mom always tells me to go back to the studio. We have really good material, but she’s really into making more and adding and subtracting to the list of songs we can put on the project. We’ve been subtracting songs that we fell in love with months ago and putting on these new songs that we just recorded.
T.I. is a co-owner of Tidal now. Are you going to have some type of association with Tidal as well?
Me and my mom were talking about it, like maybe we should release some things on Tidal now. We’ve been talking about it. I feel like when I get the perfect thing to be on there - because I feel like it’s so many great artists on there - I want whatever I put on there to be perfect.
A lot of people know you from your appearances on TV. Do you feel like that has been a beneficial part of being an artist?
It definitely has been a beneficial part. When you’re an artist, it’s hard to get your stuff out there a lot of times. Being on TV is an outlet for people to get to know you more, so I’ve always been able to showcase what I do on TV. With The OMG Girlz, T.I. & Tiny helped a lot because we were always in rehearsals. Most of the time in the beginning, I was on tour, so it was always that missing kid that wasn’t there, so [the cameras] had to come to a show. That really showed us to the world.
What are your expectations for your career?
I see my music career going really far. I would like for it to branch off into other things. I want to get into acting first. I’ve been in meetings, but I want to get some training so I can perfect it. After I master it or get into a couple of TV shows or movies, I want to pursue modeling. I see my music career taking me to award shows, performing, and really just being a branch for all the other things I want to do also.
Have you thought about having your own reality show?
I have. I’ve really been talking about that lately. I was telling my mom I wanted a show where I grow up. It could be a reality TV show, and I could move. I don’t have to be in Atlanta anymore to try to do my own thing. Just to get away from them. [laughs] I said, ‘Ya’ll can come visit me, but I feel like it should all be on camera.” So we’re talking about that.
You’ve had fans that have followed you since Tiny & Toya. What has been the reaction from your fans?
The reaction has sometimes been surprising, because sometimes I forget I’m on TV. The only thing I stay away from is going to Lenox Mall on a Saturday. Other than that, I’m like, “Let’s go. I’ll be okay.” My friends say, “Do you really feel like dealing with that today?” I say, “Let’s go. I’ll wear shades or something." I do that with my boyfriend all the time. I’ll put on a wig, and he’s like, “You still look the same.” [laughs] I still do look the same, and people always still know me. It’s always a little surprising.
You’ve managed to handle fame?
Yeah, definitely. I know how to handle it. I’m nice to people. I take pictures. I don’t mind. As long as it’s not overbearing.
PHOTO CREDIT: Donte Brown