“I was just sick of it for some time,” musician Kaya Jones told LifeZette of her recent decision to publicly “out” herself as a conservative in Hollywood’s increasing climate of political fear.
Formerly a member of The Pussycat Dolls and now a solo EDM artist, Jones said it was seeing her friend Joy Villa sporting her now-famous “Make America Great Again” dress at this year’s Grammy Awards that gave her the courage to be more open about her own beliefs.
“I had no idea how many of us there were out there,” she said of conservatives in the creative community. She added that each have likely felt “imprisoned” in their own way due to today’s divisive — and sometimes suppressive — pop culture.
After seeing Villa announce her support of President Donald Trump to the world, Jones walked up to her on the red carpet and told her she was “brave.” Though the two had been friends, they hadn’t previously discussed whom they had voted for in November. Villa told Jones that day, “We don’t need to hide anymore, Kaya.”
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Since then, Jones has announced her support for Trump through an Instagram photo. She’s also spoken at a Trump rally and been vocal about her conservative leanings.
“I liked that he wasn’t part of the Establishment,” said Jones of her vote and support for the president. “He wasn’t trying to push a narrative.”
Though she works in an industry not typically known for being friendly to those who publicly back right-leaning movements, Jones revealed that her outspokenness has been almost universally positive for her.
“It’s actually been 90 percent of the most amazing feedback,” she said, saying fans have thanked her for speaking up and giving them more courage to be open about their beliefs.
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It’s the kind of positivity that seems to be a rare thing in pop culture today — as many celebrities regularly insult fans who voted differently from them and seem to be more interested in building cultural barriers than uniting people in a polarized society.
“We can’t find a common ground,” said Jones of the growing political divide today. “It’s very scary to know and to hear some of the people [celebrities] and what they are saying. I know some of these artists personally beyond just their stance in the world. Some of the things that have been said are so cruel, and so mean, and so hurtful. It’s bullying.”
Jones cited the treatment of the Trump family, including rapper Bow Wow’s recent comments about “pimping out” first lady Melania Trump; rapper Snoop Dogg’s pretense about shooting a parody version of the president in a music video; and singer Madonna’s comments in January at the Women’s March that she’s thought “an awful lot” about blowing up the White House.
“People need to hold these people accountable,” said Jones of the divisive and inflammatory celebs.
“We have a responsibility as artists,” she also said. “There were a lot of artists in our past that are legendary that got behind a cause, that got behind a truth, and they tried to unite the public. Because as artists, it’s not just about being well-spoken and singing pop songs, it’s actually also about inspiring and talking for those who can’t.”
Jones said many artists today are speaking from a place disconnected from the problems of most Americans. “How can anyone in Beverly Hills ever understand what’s happening in Chicago?”
Jones’ latest endeavor as an artist is the release of her rendition of the national anthem. “All the proceeds from now until even after I die, as long as there’s music up for sale, will always go to charity. This year we decided to go with the 14th Hour Foundation as well as Gary Sinise’s foundation.” Both of these are veteran charities.
Jones continued, “The real moment you become a real artist is when you can connect on a human level across the board and touch people in a real way. And if you don’t say anything real and you just say hurtful things or uneducated guesses, you’re never going to connect with people.”