She sings, acts, dances and models. It’s clear that Kaya Jones can do it all. Her career catapulted to stardom in 2003 when she hit the music scene with The Pussycat Dolls. After three successful years with PCD, Kaya left the group to pursue a solo career. Over the years, she’s worked on various projects, including the smash hit “Take It Off” with Regi, the top DJ in Belgium. I recently got candid with Kaya and we dished about her debut in Mexico, how much Spanish she knows and why she’s so passionate about the gay community.
Do you speak Spanish?
I definitely don’t know any Spanish other than a few words—un poquito. [laughs] My grandfather is Costa Rican/ Nicara-guan/Panamanian. My mother is Jamaican, so our fathers’ descent is pretty mixed up. My father is Apache. He’s Native American, so I’m 40 percent Native American, which a lot of people don’t know.
You’re very passionate about the gay community.
My first boyfriend and actually best friend, when I was 12 years old, was gay. We said we were boyfriend and girlfriend, but he had his boyfriend too. I saw him going through his pain, and in my family, I saw my cousin that had to come out and witnessed his struggle to tell family and friends. It’s important to stand up for them. Being gay, a lesbian or transgender is not something you wake up and say, “Hey, today I want to be ostracized and not understood by the world.” It’s not a choice. God loves all of his children and he doesn’t make mistakes.
You performed earlier this year at White Party. How much fun was that?
I really have to say thank you to Chi Chi LaRue, because she’s a dear friend and also a huge Kaya supporter. She graciously talked to Jeffrey Sanker and asked if I could perform at the White Party. Jeffrey saw the show and asked if I’d be willing to do a second show at the pool party the next day. It was pretty amazing that Chi Chi kind of took the forefront to allow me to perform twice during that weekend, which is huge.
Many know you from your time with Pussycat Dolls. What was that experience like?
It was definitely something where I learned personally and professionally who I was. It was awesome. The reason why I’m even on the phone with you now is because I had that opportunity. I do believe that when being an artist, you need to really be truthful with your craft. It started to not be fun. When something stops being fun, no matter what the form, you should stop doing it. I knew that I had to leave because their formula had changed from what we initially thought we were going to be.