Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
Emii is hitting the scene with her first song "Magic," which has become a huge YouTube sensation. Her follow-up single "Mr. Romeo" features Snoop Dogg and is tearing up the charts. ChicagoPride.com spoke with the new popstar backstage at Roscoe's Tavern, where she recently performed.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Emii. How is Chicago treating you?
E: (Emii) It is my favorite city. Every time I come here I love it.
JN: You are from Ohio?
E: Yes, from Youngstown.
JN: Is it a small town?
E: Yes, well small compared to Chicago or New York. I consider it a small town. I lived in various parts of Youngstown and it was kind of the boonies.
JN: Did you study singing?
E: I have been singing since I came out of the womb pretty much. Parents told me a story that when I was a toddler they took me to Disneyland. For Captain EO at the end of the show to a holographic Michael Jackson I outstretched my arms and screamed, "I love you!" I think that had something to do with it too.
JN: Are you a Michael Jackson fan?
E: Yeah, I am definitely.
JN: How was it working with Snoop Dogg?
E: It was awesome. It's almost self-explanatory. He has no ego. He doesn't need to have one. He's Snoop. Everybody got a contact high that day. That's inevitable. He was more intimating than the panthers in the video to me.
JN: What was it like working with panthers?
E: My friend wanted to visit me on the set but because he had a cast on his leg he was not allowed. He was considered an "easy meal." They had brought in two cages with two different panthers to piss one off to make it roar. Once it roars they put it away for a bit. I thought they were way bigger than they are. Who knew that Snoop was bigger than a panther?
JN: So you were able to hang out with Snoop later?
E: He hung out for an hour after the video shoot. During the shoot they had to have me on an apple box because Snoop is like 20 feet tall! I don't know how tall he really is but he's huge. I was wearing giant heels and he was still so much taller than me that they had to put me on a box. Every time I got down off the box he would offer his hand to make sure I got down okay. I don't want to hurt his reputation as a badass because I know he is but he's still a gentleman.
JN: I heard you are big Marvel Comics fan.
E: Oh, hell yes!
JN: Do you go to the comic cons?
E: Do you know what this is?
E: I will enlighten you. It's actually a Han Solo belt.
JN: It has a holster.
E: Nobody knows what the hell it is but I don't care it's cool. I went to the Marvel headquarters in New York and we hit it off right away. We wanted to do something for comic con this year. Several weeks ago my manager called me and told me that I have a show in Lebanon that is during comic con. I couldn't do both. I was disappointed but I will dress up in Lebanon! We will show our geekdom there and see if they care or not.
JN: Did you see the superhero movies this summer?
E: Yes, Thor and the X-men I loved.
JN: They got it right. I learned how to read on comics.
E: I did too, on Wolverine, the X-men, the whole nine yards. I have crates of comics at home. I used to work in a comic book store.
JN: Which chain?
E: Collector's Universe in New York City. I am a proud Marvel fan. My fashion inspirations are video games and sci-fi because that is what I am into. This jacket is very Assassins Creed.
JN: So more music coming out?
E: I have a lot of new songs. It is definitely a challenge because I am figuring out what the next single will be released. It is going to happen quick because I have all these tour dates and heading out. As soon as we are back in LA I have to make a music video. It will be good.
JN: You are traveling a lot with this tour?
E: Lebanon next week for their NRJ Tour. It will be awesome. Flo Rida and Iyaz will be there. I posted a video for it on my website.
JN: What is your website?
E: It is http://emii.net. It is easy breezy and links everybody to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. No one wants to remember all the addresses anyway.