karma chameleon

JoJo Siwa says Lady Gaga and, er, Michael Jackson, beat her at pioneering “gay pop”

JoJo Siwa made headlines this week after a comment about inventing “gay pop”. She’s now trying to clarify exactly what she meant.,

In an interview with Billboard earlier in the week, Siwa, 20, talked about discussions with her record label about rebranding her image and the new phase of her recording career. Siwa understandably wanted to move away from the cutesie, kid-friendly image of her teens.

“I said, ‘I want to start a new genre of music,’” Siwa explained. “They said, ‘What do you mean?’ and I said, ‘Well, it’s called gay pop.’”

@billboard @JoJo Siwa says she is “so excited to bring this version of pop music back” with her new song #Karma 🎵 Watch her #BillboardNews interview at Billboard.com. #jojosiwa #rebrand #popmusic #interview #newera ♬ original sound – billboard

She said she saw “gay pop” like K-pop (the genre of pop music heralded from South Korea), and pointed to songs such as “Applause” by Lady Gaga for inspiration.

Siwa’s comments prompted a backlash. Many felt she was painting herself as the first gay pop singer, which is obviously not the case. It even prompted a response from lesbian twins Tegan and Sara.

@teganandsara #stitch with @billboard ♬ original sound – Tegan and Sara

“I’m definitely not the inventor of ‘gay pop’”

Yesterday, TMZ caught up with Siwa outside her studio in Los Angeles. It asked her to clarify her comments about gay pop.

@tmz #JoJoSiwa ♬ original sound – TMZ

She said she had not meant to snub the “many” icons that had come before her.

“Madonna, Lady Gaga, even Michael Jackson… there are so many people who have made gay pop,” said Siwa. “I think I just want to make it more clear that ‘gay pop’ is a genre,” she continued.

“You have pop, you have rock, you have country. And you have gay pop.

“If I said to somebody name a ‘gay pop’ artist, they’d said, ‘What’s gay pop?’ But if I said to somebody name a rock artist, you would say, Kiss, AC:DC, you know what I’m saying?”

The interviewer says most people might say Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury or Elton John if asked about “gay pop”.

“OK, that’s valid,” concedes Siwa, “Because I would, too.”

“I’m definitely not the inventor of ‘gay pop’, for sure not, but I do want to be a piece in making it bigger than it already is. I want to bring more attention to it. I’m not the creator. I’m not the President. But I might be the CEO or CMO – Chief Marketing Officer,” she added, laughing.

We guess Siwa sees “gay pop” as banging pop tracks from queer artists. Or anthemic, club-friendly pop hits from, well, anyone. We’re not exactly sure of what she considers the difference between ‘pop’ and ‘gay pop’.

Anyway, Siwa’s first single from her new era, “Karma” was released last Friday. The video duly went viral. It finds her cavorting around with a female lover on a desert island and cheating on a girlfriend. It’s definitely pop and certainly gay.

As we revealed yesterday, it now appears the song may have previously been written as a track for Miley Cyrus a few years ago. We’ll find out early next week if it’s made the Billboard Hot 100.

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