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Kim Zolciak is a single mom raising 11-year-old Brielle and 6-year-old Ariana in Duluth, Georgia. She has her sights squarely set on fame in the music business as a country singer, and is working with Grammy-winning producer Dallas Austin. Her first single, “Tight Rope,” will be released later this year.

ESSENCE.COM: You’re the only White woman in the group. Did you ever feel weird about that?
Never. I have a lot of African-American friends, which is funny because I grew up in Connecticut and I didn’t have any Black friends. I would have to say that more than half of my friends are African-American, so I don’t feel out of place at all.

ESSENCE.COM: Why did you sign up for the show?
Sheer insanity! No, I love the challenge, and of course, I liked the attention. I was doing my country album, so I figured this could help me with that.

ESSENCE.COM: Was it strange having the cameras follow you and your kids?
At first it was really exciting and then it got to be rather exhausting. You know, the first couple of days you’re conscious of them and then you forget they are there. So you find yourself saying, ‘Oh crap! I can’t believe I said that.’ It was totally different from what I expected and my kids were very well behaved. In fact, I want a camera back in the house right now because they were much better behaved with it.

ESSENCE.COM: You’re in a relationship with a well-to-do man we know only as “Big Poppa.” How is that going?
We’ve been together for almost three years. It’s amazing; he’s a king and pretty incredible. I know a lot of people will be like, ‘God, why does she call him Big Poppa?’ But, I’ve never called him by his name.

ESSENCE.COM: Will we ever find out who he is?
We’ll have to see if there is a second season. He’ll remain Big Poppa until then.

ESSENCE.COM: Does he ever say, “Now, you know you don’t need…?”
He knows I hate to hear the word `no.’ He’s incredibly supportive emotionally, as well as, of course, financially. He’s pretty giving but it’s not about all that, honey, because if he lost it all today and was working at McDonald’s, I would still be with him.

ESSENCE.COM: What have you learned about yourself since doing this project?
I learned how much passion I have for music—and the camera. As tired as I get sometimes, I still kept going. I’ve also learned to develop a thicker skin. I’ve had to get tough pretty quickly.

ESSENCE.COM: How is your show going to be different from the other “Housewives” shows?
Besides the fact that our show has southern hospitality, we’re also a diverse cast. Their shows were based around money, big houses and shopping. I think our show will supersede that. We’re all finding a way to chase our dream and give back to the community. I think our show will also give people hope. Everyone will be able to relate one way or the other to one of us. I didn’t think it was possible for me, but I hope I can touch a lot of single moms and show them you can accomplish your dreams as well.