Nicole and Michael Zavala on ‘Cartel Crew’

Nicole Zavala


New reality series Cartel Crew will take a deep dive into the lives of eight children descended from the cartel life as they grow up and explore the effects of their legacy. Set against a backdrop of Miami, Fla., the cast aims to make a name for themselves outside of the drug scene, but find that escaping the shadows of the past is easier said than done. The 10-episode series starts Monday, January 7 at 9/8c.

Although the show will be led by Michael Blanco, the youngest son of the “Cocaine Godmother” Griselda Blanco who left the drug life after 33 years following his mother’s assassination, Nicole and Michael Zavala will likely snag lots of screentime. Here’s what you need to know about the Zavala twins.

Other Members of the Crew Question Twins Nicole and Michael’s Connection to the Cartel

Nicole and Michael Zavala were lucky enough to never lose a loved one to prison or murder. In fact, the twins have only heard rumors of their families’ involvement in cartel business. Knowing this, other members of the crew question whether or not the brother-sister duo even have a real tie to the cartel lifestyle. But make no mistake, the Zavala twins grew up enjoying all the lush benefits of being surrounded by cartel riches.

Many of the show’s other cast members don’t believe the twins’ authenticity, especially those who’ve suffered devasting losses that stem directly from the cartel ways. Both Kat “Tatu Baby” Flores and Blanco have both had parents killed because of their cartel connections. Having dealt with many hardships, it may take this cartel crew a while before they accept the privileged Zavalas as some of their own.

Michael Zavala Has His Own Interior Design Company

In addition to his legacy and role in the VH1 series, Zavala is also an interior designer who founded his own company, Zavala Concepts, in 2015. According to his site, Zavala has worked in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, government, corporate, hospitality, educational, and residential. He’s been involved in all aspects of the design and construction process, from programming to construction administration.

His side hustle continues in music and film. The designer has a hand in an upcoming short film called Love Abduction and the first song to its soundtrack, “Stay True.”

Nicole, on the other hand, calls herself an entrepreneur and business owner of the Nicole Zavala Collection, and has been promoting the show across her social media accounts.

The Show’s Trailer Recounts the Crew’s Tragedies and the ‘Temptations Everywhere’ That Try to Pull Them Back In

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been affiliated with that lifestyle, but the demons just don’t disappear,” said crew member Carlos “Loz” Oliveros in the show’s trailer.

Nicole Zavala, on the other hand, doesn’t hide her ignorance of her family’s affiliations.

“I know my dad was some type of cartel figure, but that’s none of my business so I don’t ask no questions,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t really go through a struggle.”

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