JoJo Siwa Needs To Get A Grip

JoJo Siwa Needs To Get A Grip

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Let’s talk about rising pop star JoJo Siwa and the “gay pop” genre she’s apparently looking to reinvent.

In a recent Billboard interview, the “Dance Moms” alum shared that when she first signed a deal with Columbia Records, she’d told executives that she wanted to make a “new genre” called gay pop. In her words, it would be like K-pop, but gay pop.

“It’s the songs like ‘Applause’ by Lady Gaga. It’s the ‘On My Own’ [by] Miley Cyrus,” the former child star explained. “It’s that world of music, where it’s not necessarily ‘pop.’”

The backlash was swift. Two people in particular, legendary gay pop duo Tegan and Sara, silently roasted Siwa in a TikTok video posted Sunday.

People on X also chimed in to express their thoughts on Siwa’s comments.

Siwa, who is only 20 years old, is known for her various antics. She became famous by singing kids music and plastering her face on merch — as well as the car that she drives around Los Angeles. She’s been rebranding herself and embracing her queer identity with her new music, but the “gay pop” comment was totally out of line.

As much as I love that Gen Zers add their own spin to things, let’s not erase what those before you have done — and gay pop is obviously nothing new. Needless to say, rising pop stars may want to have a slice of humble pie and acknowledge the work of musical pioneers instead of claiming to create a new genre that’s existed for decades.

Siwa’s comments were a rookie mistake — who among us didn’t say outlandish things when we were young? — but hopefully she’ll learn. She did, at least, walk back her remarks in a TMZ video.

“I think I just want to make it more clear that gay pop is a genre,” she explained. “I definitely am not the inventor of gay pop, for sure not. But I do want to be a piece of making it bigger than it already is. I want to bring more attention to it.”

There are more than a few pop experts in the queer community who have been successful in carving out their own lane. Look at Vincint: This queer pop star finished as a finalist on “The Four,” a reality music competition series. Their single “Be Me” became the anthem for the fifth season of “Queer Eye,” and they collaborated with Tegan and Sara for their single “Getaway.” Vincint came in with a vision and created their own lane.

Or look at Adam Lambert, who caused a ton of commotion with his infamous kiss at the American Music Awards in 2009. Pretty iconic. Lambert has even gone on to work with some of the biggest names in music, forming a group with the legendary band Queen called Queen + Adam Lambert.

Janelle Monáe is also an innovator who can teach today’s pop stars how to find their lane and niche. Monáe is a one-of-a-kind talent who’s putting their truest self in their body of work — have you seen their video for “Lipstick Lover”? Monáe came in and did some A/B testing throughout their career, which is the best thing an artist can do: experiment. Monáe understands who has come before them while continuously reinventing their sound.

As Siwa rebrands and kicks off her adult music career, her critics and fans have not been held back, especially after the release of her song and music video “Karma.” (Some fans even think the tune might have originally been meant for Cyrus.)

In the cheeky music video, Siwa gives us Kiss-inspired looks and odd cartwheels while singing to her love interest during the dance breaks. And social media users have shared their opinions on it.

A few people said that the track has been on repeat since its release, with one user saying, “somebody sedate me.”

Another user said that Siwa “ate” in the music video, applauding her performance.

Others have critiqued the video, commenting on the cartwheel and a beach scene showing Siwa grinding on a dancer in the sand.

Perhaps we can chalk this up to her youth — and I bet, especially in the past few days, she’s learned some big lessons already.

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