THZ EXCLUSIVE: A Conversation with Chilli

Photo Credit: Calvin Evans Photography/THZ Photo Library

Photo Credit: Calvin Evans Photography/THZ Photo Library

“Don’t go chasing waterfalls.”

Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard the 1994 song, “Waterfalls,” by TLC before, and you probably love it. Here at The Hot Zone, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Rozonda Thomas, AKA “Chilli” from the tough and talented music group. Chilli just wrapped up her epic tour with Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. We talked about her latest shows and so much more. Let’s take a look.

THZ: What can we expect from one of your latest performances?

Chilli: A combination of things, I think. First, it’s a party. Definitely a party. Signature TLC dance moves, high energy, we really interact with the crowd. So, yeah, it’s like a party. That’s how TLC shows are.

THZ: Awesome! So, out of everything you’ve ever done, what’s your favorite project?

C: Really, it’s just recording. I love everything that has to do with music. I think TV is a lot of fun. I have to say when it comes to television, probably the TLC movie because we were allowed to tell our own stories. That was pretty major.

THZ: We’ve talked about how you’ve done work on TV and movies before. Would you do it again?

C: I’m certainly open to it. I enjoy television, and I really enjoy producing. I would like to get a little bit more behind the scenes producing shows and stuff like that. You can have creative control.

THZ: As a writer, I can almost imagine that it might be more fun to be in music because you have more of an opportunity to be yourself.

C: Yeah, it’s true. But you’re true to yourself and hoping that people will like it. People will always have something to say, good, bad.

THZ: How do you deal with criticism when that happens?

C: I don’t think anybody likes it, but I don’t tolerate a serious lie. But if it’s something that somebody doesn’t like the way I do my hair or the clothes I have on, I don’t care!

THZ: So, you are from Atlanta, Georgia…

C: I live in Atlanta.

[Chilli is from Georgia, but not Atlanta itself.  It’s where she calls home now.]

THZ: So, you’re from around Atlanta, and for all the tourists out there, what’s your favorite place to eat?

C: I love R. Thomas. It’s always been my go-to. The food is very consistently good. And I love Umi. That’s a new sushi restaurant. It’s the best sushi restaurant in town. It’s so fresh and oh my gosh, it’s so good!

THZ: So, most people know and love you from TLC. What’s your favorite memory of being in the group?

C: Probably just how silly we are. The tour that we just finished with New Kids on the Block, we’re pranksters, we pranked Donnie [Wahlberg]. There’s this part of their show where they go underneath to change clothes, and they’re down to their underwear. We’re hiding inside the dressing room and we have these scary, clown masks. By the time they got down to their underwear, we smashed the curtain down. And it was so funny! We just scared the crap out of them.

THZ: That sounds like a girl’s dream, to prank New Kids on the Block.

C: It was hilarious. That’s the kind of stuff we do.

THZ: You know, it’s kind of interesting that we bring up the Wahlbergs because Mark is in my next question. Have you ever seen The Other Guys, with him and Will Ferrell?

C: Oh, yeah. Definitely. I’ve seen it a few times.

THZ: Yeah, so you know that Michael Keaton’s character makes countless references to your songs.

C: Four songs! The first time I saw it, I was like, “What?” It was so funny. I couldn’t believe it. It was such a nice surprise.

Keep your eyes peeled for Chilli! And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter, @officialchilli.

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