10K Saturday with Vonzell Solomon!
Lulu: Okay, everybody, guess what? We are here with the lovely Vonzell Solomon for 10k Saturday. Hey, Vonzell!
Vonzell: Hey girl.
Lulu: So, everyone, this is 10k Saturday, the mini-episodes we drop every Saturday. If you are looking for our full-length episodes that drop on Wednesdays, make sure you check out our back episodes and look for those. But every Saturday we do a mini episode, and we ask someone what their 10k5 are. That’s what we call them.
Vonzell: Okay, girl.
Lulu: Doesn’t that make it sound official?
Vonzell: It does. It sounds real official. I love it.
Lulu: She was like, you have a podcast? I said, I do. And first of all, if you know Vonzell — if you are one of her millions of YouTube fans, then you know her as either a great singer, or a super funny lady, or both. And I need to tell you: you are goofy.
Vonzell: (laughing) I am.
Lulu: You are a goofy, silly, beautiful Barbie doll.
Vonzell: I’ve never heard anyone call me that. I love it. I think I’m gonna take it.
Lulu: You can put it on your website.
Vonzell: My YouTube channel, my website, my Instagram… everywhere.
Lulu: Your first “here I am” moment was American Idol. Was it great?
Vonzell: It was amazing. I had a great time. There were hair and makeup people, which I am all about — looking good, girl. And just being out of my hometown, Ft. Myers, Florida, and going to a big city, and just being thrust into it all, and learning songs fast, and the fast-paced life of Hollywood. But my most favorite part was, of course, millions of people watching and voting for me and everyone on that season — just not me, because I didn’t win, so… laughter) just kidding.
Lulu: You came close.
Vonzell: I came real close, girl. Third place. I’m not mad at it. Over 100,000 people auditioned, so I’m not mad at it. But performing in front of sixty to eighty million people every week was amazing. But I have to say my number one most favorite thing on the list was getting my hair and makeup done. (Laughter) And going to the Beverly Center mall and shopping, and the glamorous side of it.
Lulu: There’s something great when people are doing your makeup for you. It’s the best.
Vonzell: Honey, I love it. I love every bit of it. I was just living the dream.
Lulu: If you’re wondering what all this noise is, guys, let me tell you. You know how Alison and Ashley probably hate me because I never find the right place to record? We are literally sitting in a hallway, on the ground, on a carpet, in a backstage area of the Norwegian Breakaway with background music over us. Oh well, that’s the way it’s gonna be. But we’re casual girls.
Vonzell: We’re casual.
Lulu: It’s cool.
Vonzell: It’s cool.
Lulu: You’re also really funny. Have you always been comfortable being funny?
Vonzell: Yes, I think I’m more comfortable being funny than serious. My whole life, since I was a child. Cracked jokes, goofed around all the time. Got in trouble about it at school, laughing and just doing too much.
Lulu: So you have an alter ego and her name is —
Vonzell: Boomquisha! Boom to the qui to the sha! HONEY!
Lulu: (laughing) I can’t look at you while you say that. So you have an alter ego, and she’s a one-take wonder, I feel. You just say what you want to say, then boom, it’s on YouTube. You’re not editing that, you’re just letting her say what she wants to say.
Vonzell: I do edit her, because you know, she gets a little outrageous.
Lulu: Do you plan your videos? Do you script them, or do you just say them?
Vonzell: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Just depending on how I feel. Sometimes I’m just in a talkative mood. I’m a hermit, so when I’m alone by myself, I have a lot of things to say. There’s no one around except my camera. So I’m like, oh. Come on, Boomquisha, let `em know!
Boomquisha is now turning into a superhero. And her superhero name is Ghetto Fabulous Woman. And she’s gonna save the day. So who knows, she might have to save the ship one day in an episode. I have the intro song, it’s not finished.
Lulu: Oh, are you about to play it? Ooh, you know what? You’re gonna send it to me, and I’m gonna play it right here. This is the intro song. (Okay. It’s just a pause, with no intro song. This is either funny, or Lulu forgot to splice in the song. Should we just say it’s meant to be funny? That’s a better choice.) Okay. I’m gonna put it right there. (She didn’t put it there.)
So I have told you that I ask my guests these five questions. Are you ready?
Vonzell: I’m ready.
Lulu: Okay. I’m very excited to hear your answers. So, Vonzell Solomon: what is your current obsession?
Vonzell: My current obsession is Blue Diamond Salt and Vinegar almonds. Honey. Honey. Because I’m trying not to eat junk food. Salt and vinegar chips are my favorite, and I’m trying to stop eating fried things, processed things. This is a middle ground.
Lulu: It’s a snack.
Vonzell: It’s a snack, honey.
Lulu: Two days after I met you, you were bringing whole bags of potato chips to rehearsal.
Vonzell: And eating double-fisting. You called me out.
Lulu: I said, Vonzell, is that a family-sized bag of potato chips? She was like, what….
Vonzell: Mid-bite. I was like, uh-huh. And then I had a sandwich in the other hand. I’m trying to stop the bread as well.
Lulu: Salt and vinegar Blue Diamond almonds. Are you going to stock up when you dock?
Vonzell: Yeah, I am. I already put in my Walmart order, and I’m going to pick it up in Miami tomorrow.
Lulu: Wait, that’s so smart. So right now, you’re working on a ship. You can come see her in the show VELVET on the Norwegian Breakaway. But you dock in Miami every Sunday, and you’ve already put an order in?
Vonzell: My grocery order, girl, yes. I don’t got time to be running around that store.
Lulu: That is so smart! You’re brilliant. Walmart.com, did you hear that?
Vonzell: You can get your groceries and — I got a comforter. I’m gonna be real nice and comfy on this ship, okay?
Lulu: (laughing) That’s brilliant.
Vonzell: Pajamas and everything.
Lulu: Okay, what is your wishlist?
Vonzell: What I really want right now is for my family to come on board the ship.
Lulu: Is it possible?
Vonzell: I don’t know. It costs a lot of coins. I have a big family. Parents, my eight nieces and nephews, and my four siblings.
Lulu: That’s why you got so far in American Idol.
Vonzell: I have over a hundred cousins, only on my mom’s side. And then my dad’s side, I haven’t counted them all, but I’m pretty sure it’s close, because my dad’s mom had thirteen kids, and my mom’s mom had twelve kids. Boom. Come on. And we can get those prayer warriors on the line. Email me, I will call the prayer warriors.
Lulu: You heard it here first, guys. If you need something done, let’s call Vonzell. She has thousands of people at her disposal. She just gets on her Facebook.
Vonzell: Hey, y’all, we got a prayer request…
Lulu: You could have your own podcast. Just prayer requests with Vonzell.
Vonzell: And Boomquisha. And I have another character named Mother Pearl. She’s the mother of the church. Hallelujah!
Lulu: Is that how she speaks?
Vonzell: Yeah. You know God! She takes care of all the babies. Sometimes I turn into Mother Pearl here. I’m like, what’chu need baby? You need some lozengers… Somebody said they’re not called lozengers. Maybe I made it up.
Lulu: They are called lozenges
Vonzell: Lozen-ges. I said logen-zers.
Lulu: I thought that was part of your character.
Vonzell: (trills) It’s a character choice! See? (Laughter) Okay, I’m back. I’m a hot mess.
Lulu: I wish this was a video podcast, because you’re so funny. Next time we’re together, you’re going to have to do a video with me.
Vonzell: You can turn that on.
Lulu: Yeah, that’s just a FaceTime camera…
Vonzell: Oh, it’s not going to record.
Lulu: This is way more profesh then that, okay, V?
Vonzell: Okay, honey. My bad. Let me back it up…
Lulu: Okay. That’s your wishlist, and your obsess— oh, I do wish your whole family could come.
Vonzell: Yes. But maybe I have to do another contract, and then maybe I’ll just have to put it in.
Lulu: Two weeks is what you’ll lose in pay, and you’ll take your whole family on.
Vonzell: Yeah. But I have to get them passports.
Lulu: They don’t have passports…
Vonzell: The children. They’re the ones that I want the most, because I try to talk to them on the phone and they don’t understand. One of my nieces, she’s like, why aren’t you writing me back? I’m gonna cry. Text message. I talk to her every day. We have a rap battle. Girl…
Lulu: A rap battle?
Vonzell: A rap battle before she goes to sleep! And we both fall asleep rap battling.
Lulu: You make up raps?
Vonzell: I go, You know Layla better get good grades in school / she better grow up to be smart and nobody’s fool. And she’ll be like, Auntie Vonzell, she ain’t no thing… (laughs) She’s seven years old.
Lulu: That’s adorable! So we can call you for prayer requests, and also any verses that we need spit. That’s how you say it, right?
Vonzell: Yeah, that’s how you say it…
Lulu: Spit that verse.
Vonzell: Spit that verse / it don’t gon’ hurt / girl come around, I’m-a… I don’t know. (Laughter) I haven’t had enough rest to give a full — catch me on a good day.
Lulu: The biggest question: if you had ten thousand dollars right now, what would you do with it?
Vonzell: If I had ten thousand dollars right now, I think I would split it up and donate it to either — I have two home churches. Shoutout to Hope’s House in Grenada Hills, California and my home church in Ft. Myers, Florida, and charities that I feel strongly about. Anything involving children. I love, love, love kids. And just helping people. I like helping homeless people, you know what I mean?
Lulu: You seem to me the type of person that will literally just pass someone on the street, and then go get them food and bring it to them. You’re that person.
Vonzell: I’ve done that plenty of times. That’s me.
Lulu: You’re keeping granola bars in your glove compartment.
Vonzell: Yeah, just in case.
Lulu: I pegged you. I got you.
Vonzell: You got me, girl.
Lulu: But if you had to spend it on yourself, what would you do with ten thousand dollars?
Vonzell: I would invest it into one of my businesses. Is that still not for me?
Lulu: She’s so practical! What kind of business?
Vonzell: I have a hair business that I’m starting, and it will launch in July of this year.
Lulu: You’re creating hair?
Vonzell: Extensions and wigs.
Lulu: You did not tell me about this.
Vonzell: I did not, girl, but every time I was not at rehearsal, I have been working on this website, meeting with vendors when I get off the ship, and all that stuff. I’ve been wanting to do this for ten years, and this year I said, you know what? Everything that I’ve been wanting to do, I am going to do it. No matter what. And I’m working on a new project — new music coming in September. I’m either going to be recording in the studio, or I’m doing music videos in Miami. So I’m setting up.
Lulu: People need to follow you. If you’re not following her yet, this is what she is on all the social media…
Vonzell: Instagram, I’m @VonzellSolomon. Don’t you give me no “m-a-n”, baby, because that ain’t it. MON. Vonzell SoloMON.
Lulu: And you can look her up on YouTube and subscribe…
Vonzell: Yes, so on Instagram and Twitter I’m @VonzellSolomon, on YouTube @VonzellSolomonMusic. My website is www.Vonzellmusic.com.
Lulu: I want to wear one of your hair pieces in one of our video shoots.
Vonzell: I’m going to start cute with a regular line that’s very sophisticated, because I have many sides of me.
Lulu: You do have many sides of you! (Background noise increases) Oh, hold on, everyone. It’s getting real loud.
Vonzell: It’s getting real loud in here. Wait a minute, baby! (They stall, until:) And then Boomquisha will have her line, and it’ll be a little wild and crazy. Crazy wigs, colors, fun. I’m so excited about it.
Lulu: You’re such a go-up-and-getter.
Vonzell: I was going to say that about you.
Lulu: We have a lot of similarities.
Vonzell: I believe so.
Lulu: Because you also like people to like you, and you’re also a hustler…
Vonzell: Yes, a hustler, baby.
Lulu: And you also, if people are looking at you too long, do something funny so that they look at something else.
Vonzell: (laughing) Get away. I’m like, get out of here.
Lulu: Stop looking at me. Stop staring at me in this dress. Besides investing in your business — play the game.
Vonzell: Okay. Let’s bring it on home. I would (chuckles) go shopping.
Lulu: What would you blow it on?
Lulu: Hair for yourself?
Vonzell: For myself. Honey, there are some fabulous wigs out there that cost thousands of dollars.
Lulu: Thousands of dollars?
Vonzell: Yeah, what you think — Beyoncé don’t be wearing no regular weaves and wigs! She’s got that expensive wig, honey! Cher as well. So I would get me at least one good wig, as much as I can.
Lulu: Like a ten thousand dollar wig?
Vonzell: I wouldn’t want to spend it all, the ten thousand dollars, because I want some other stuff. I want some shoes, some things to go with that wig, honey. Some outfits. And makeup. And I’m about to start doing YouTube hair tutorials to help people. Because I’ve been wearing wigs for for fourteen years. And this month with rehearsals, it’s been a plop-and-go. I don’t got time. And so I’ve been trying to fix on this wig, because I didn’t want to bring a lot of hair. I brought Boomquisha’s wig and it took up a lot of space in my luggage. You saw my luggage.
Lulu: Vonzell, this is not your first time at the rodeo, and you tour around the world. I don’t understand how you have not minimized what you bring.
Vonzell: That is minimized.
Lulu: That is not.
Vonzell: That is!
Lulu: That was the biggest bag — how much did they charge you to check that bag?
Vonzell: Four hundred dollars. And I’m just used to it. I’m used to it.
Lulu: What do you have in there? Gowns? Wigs?
Vonzell: I have all of my Boomquisha stuff, her superhero clothes, a green backdrop, a green screen —
Lulu: — you brought a green screen on the boat?
Vonzell: Yes! My camera equipment, my recording equipment, I have a recording booth, an Isovox, they call it.
Lulu: Why are we not using that now? Why are we in a hallway?
Vonzell: They scared me! I didn’t know if I could let you in my room, or I could go to your room, so…
Lulu: I can, because I’m a contractor.
Vonzell: I have a camera slider, so people who do the camerawork for me, I just program it…
Lulu: It’s like a steadycam-y type of thing, but it’s a robot?
Vonzell: Yeah, it’s motorized.
Lulu: You have a robot steadicam with you? On the ship? (Laughter) That’s why you have all those bags?
Vonzell: It’s not even all clothes. It’s equipment. So that I can live my life.
Lulu: You’re my hero.
Vonzell: So that’s just my life now. If you really are serious about doing all the things that you want to do, you gotta do it. You can’t wait around. So I ordered those forty-inch duffle bags…
Lulu: They’re gigantic. All right, so you’ve already answered the question of where you would donate the ten thousand dollars. Which brings us to the last question. What makes you happy today?
Vonzell: Today what makes me happy was napping. I had a good nap, I had a good meal. Food always makes me happy. (People start greeting Vonzell in the background)
Lady in the background: (to Vonzell) I never told you, you’re so beautiful in the show. I saw it when the crew came. I love it. It’s such a beautiful show and you are beautiful.
Vonzell: Thank you! (Lady in the background leaves.)
Lulu: I’m keeping all of that in. Just so you know, people think she’s beautiful.
Vonzell: What was the question?
Lulu: What makes you happy today? The food.
Vonzell: The food, the nap… I’m getting ready to go call my father. That’s going to make me really happy. I’m really close to my family. And I called him yesterday and left him a message, and I got up today and he had emailed me and said please call me back, anytime, doesn’t matter, put it on my credit card if you need to. I have the best parents, the best family. I love them so much. If I could put them in suitcases…
Lulu: You would have so many more forty-inch duffle bags. You’d have to give up the green screen maybe, I think.
Vonzell: I would do it.
Lulu: So for the next few months you’ll be on the Breakaway, and then what are you doing after that? Do you know yet?
Vonzell: After that, I don’t know. I want to tour with my music. Do some small dates around California, Vegas, Phoenix, and then see where that goes and branch out. I’m also finishing a lot of things I started years ago that I said, I have to get them done. A series of one-woman shows. And I want to try putting them up here before I leave.
Lulu: That’s brilliant. That’s what a ship contract is great for. Because you have time to develop things and you have people to develop it with. You’re such an inspiration.
Lulu: Yeah, because you hustle!
Vonzell: And you are too. The other day, — I have a MIDI keyboard in my room — and I was pretending to be you, because I wish I could play the piano. I’m going to at least learn one song this year on the piano.
Lulu: Yeah, you can do that.
Vonzell: There’s no reason why not.
Lulu: You can do anything.
Vonzell: You can do anything. (To microphone) And you can do anything. (Laughter)
Lulu: I am so happy that you did this with me.
Vonzell: Oh my goodness, I’m so happy we had time.
Lulu: And you’re going to go get ready for your show, and anybody who’s sailing on the Breakaway will see her in the next few months, and if not, possibly on tour around the West coast. And on the Instagram. And on YouTube.
Vonzell: @VonzellSolomon, that’s my handle.
Lulu: I love you.
Vonzell: I love you, Lulu! I can’t wait to do the follow-up so we can see how far I am in all my projects.
Lulu: I can’t wait.