We are in a strange political climate these days. Conventional news media attack nearly every move President Trump makes and seem to want to make him look as bad as possible. Many people who otherwise demand “tolerance” have been preaching nothing but intolerance for anyone who doesn’t share their worldview, going as far as physically attacking Trump supporters. In short, it has been sort of dangerous to publicly support Trump, because you might get criticized.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Hollywood, where liberals rule the roost and you can find the next anti-Trump message on any page of the Hollywood Reporter or your favorite celebrity Twitter account. A few celebrities, however, have shown the courage to speak out in support of our President and are seeing the benefits of going against the grain. For example, previously little-known singer Joy Villa (who is a woman of color and a Scientologist, aka quite diverse) made a splash and gained extensive media coverage by wearing her “Make America Great Again” dress at the 2017 Grammys.
Another celebrity who is not shy about her support for President Trump is Kaya Jones (originally Chrystal Neria), former member of chart-busting The Pussycat Dolls.
We got the chance to ask Kaya a few questions about her views on Trump, the backlash, and what she is working on. But first, a brief history.
She began her career in show business as a classically trained violinist, who at age 13 signed with R. Kelly on a development deal. This culminated in a stint with the Pussycat Dolls, followed by a solo career in which she has worked with Britney Spears, Mick Jagger, D12, R. Kelly, Dada Life, Eminem, Katy Perry according to her bio.
Singles she has released include “Hollywood Doll” and “Take It Off,” and she has also released four albums and EPs: ‘Confessions of a Hollywood Doll’, ‘Kaya’, ‘Rise Of The Phoenix,’ & her current album ‘The Chrystal Neria Album,’ with an EDM sound. She is also a DJ, performing with acts such as Calvin Harris and the Backstreet Boys in Las Vegas recently.
Kaya runs a record label called HueMan Race Records, which “was created to change the way artists are treated, create fair compensation percentages, and was designed to give artists more creative freedom.”
Now onto our Q & A!
Hi Kaya, nice to e-meet you! Tell our teen readers a little about your history to get them up to speed.
I’m Kaya Jones. I’m an EDM recording artist, formerly with world famous Pussycat Dolls. I DJ as well. I write and produce all of my own music. I own a clothing line, Hollywood Doll and a record label called Hueman Race Records. That’s just a little bit about me.
You’ve recently gone public with your support for President Donald Trump, a rare thing in Hollywood. What do you like about what he is doing so far?
His focus on jobs for Americans is pretty amazing thus far.
What do you wish he did better at?
Nothing. I have full confidence in our President.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about him?
That he is a racist or sexist.
You mentioned on Instagram that Joy Villa gave you the courage to wear a Trump shirt, which you previously never wore for fear of being attacked. Can you elaborate on why you felt fearful?
When I would post things on my social media and talk to friends about the candidates, I was never able to finish my thoughts because all of my friends shut me down or dismissed me so I stopped talking about him. And then I posted the night that he won the election, and was brutally attacked for my statement, “The country has spoken” so it was clear to me that my statement had backlash, nevermind a T-Shirt.
Has anyone criticized you or insulted you for being a Trump supporter? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes. I’ve received death threats. But more than 90% of my feedback is incredibly positive. The letters and emails I’ve received saying, “I’m age 13, 14, (or) 12 LGBT conservative, thank you for talking for me” has encouraged me to continue to talk about it.
You went from being homeless at one point, to being a successful recording artist and businesswoman. What has helped you overcome your challenges most?
God, first and foremost. I put my full trust and my faith in him. And I keep my eye on my dreams and I never let go of my dreams, no matter what. If you let it go, there is always someone better, prettier, more talented, and if you get scared, you’ll lose your moment. You have to jump for it. If the door to your dreams won’t open, kick it down!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Bad smells!! I hate something that smells bad. It has to smell yummy! Or it has to smell amazing. Smell is a BIG pet peeve.
Who has had the biggest impact on your life, and why?
My dog Kimba. He was my first dog as an adult, being alone and independent and my first real responsibility of taking care of something that is only 7 lbs. He is my best friend and he’s made me a better person.
What’s been the weirdest or funniest thing to happen to you in show biz so far?
MTV Asia Awards: My pants splitting in the first 30 seconds of the act on stage and having to hold my pants up (making sure no one could see anything!) while performing for the next 2.5 minutes.
What’s your proudest achievement?
I’ll let you know in a year, I’m currently working on it.
Tell me about your entrepreneurial endeavors, such as Hollywood Doll and your record label.
Hollywood Doll is a brand for young girls that is full of fashion, accessories, and candy! We’ve now expanded to adults, male and female. And we have a shop in Hollywood. Hueman Race Records is my baby and we are now launching Hueman Race Productions because we are now building shows as well as signing artists. And both websites are coming soon so please stay tuned and check them out.
If you could go back in time and give your teenage self just ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Love yourself way more than you do. Love yourself and take your time. Slow down. Enjoy this time. You’re a kid for a second and an adult forever.
If you could redo ONE embarrassing thing in your life so far, what would it be? : )
When I was 13 and signed my first record deal with R Kelly. For the audition I sang, “I Will Survive” and “Amazing Grace” and he asked me to sing, “Bills” by Destiny’s Child and I butchered it and the audition was over! I jumped up and said, “I can sing Celine Dion!” and I sang Celine and got the job! If I could do it over again, I would have just jumped straight to singing Celine and saved myself some heartache.
What are you working on next?
Currently working on a new album. Focusing on a DJ World Tour with DJ Brynn Taylor and creating an EDM show in Vegas.
Can you please send a selfie of whatever it is you are doing now?