Ex-Pussycat Dolls member Kaya Jones: It was no longer fun

Gail Chai
Singapore Showbiz

She may have been in one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, but barely two years was all she could take.

Kaya Jones, one of the original founding members of English-American group The Pussycat Dolls (PCD), said she quit because it was no longer fun.

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore in a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, where she is currently based,  she said, "When everyone is not on the same page it affects the group so that I think was the worst part and I decided to leave. It was not because I wanted to be solo and I didn't want to be in a group anymore, I left because it stopped being enjoyable, it stopped being fun. "

Started originally as a burlesque dance troupe in 1995, The Pussycat Dolls eventually morphed into recording artistes when Nicole Scherzinger joined as lead singer in 2003. That same year, vocalists Melody Thornton and Jones were recruited to the group and along with Robin Antin, Carmit Bachar, Cyia Batten, Kaey Campbell, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, and Jessica Sutta, they would go on to dominate music charts all over the world.

Jones left Pussycat Dolls in 2004 after recording songs for their debut album, shortly before the group exploded on the world stage with their raunchy debut single, "Don't Cha" in 2005.

Over the years in the late 2000s, their string of world-wide hits such as "Stickwitu", "Buttons", "When I Grow Up" and "Jai Ho" eventually helped them sell over 15 million albums and 37 million singles.

Along the way however, reports of in-fighting among the band and the dominance of Scherzinger emerged. A continual revolving door saw members drop out and be replaced by new girls.

Though the band still exists,  none of the original founding members are left, and arguably their biggest draw, Scherzinger has moved on to a successful solo career.

NO REGRETS

Despite her short time in the band just before the cusp of their big break, Jones says she has no regrets leaving so early.

"I'm not going to pretend that I'm ok. I don't want to be a false artiste; I want to be very truthful to my fans," said Jones, 27, who now has her own successful solo music career.

"Performing has always been so amazing for me so if it's not a happy place then I don't want to be in it," said the singer.

So were all the rumours about Scherzinger, who is currently dating F1 hotshot driver Lewis Hamilton, hogging the headlines true?

"My creativity was stifled and I could not be as involved in writing songs or be part of the creative aspect as much as I wanted to", said Jones, who added that Scherzinger was not the only one to be blamed for friction within the band.

Of all her former band mates, Jones said she only keeps in touch with fellow ex-member, Melody Thornton. Ironically, she confessed the friendship between them is even better than when they were touring as a group.

So what does Jones remember of her time with PCD?

"I loved Singapore! It's clean, has amazing shopping and really nice people. I only spent two days there but the chicken rice is great," said Jones of PCD's trip to the Lion City in 2004 for the MTV Asia Awards.

THE HOLLYWOOD DOLL — GOING SOLO

Since leaving PCD, Jones -- who started singing, modeling and dancing at the tender age of 2 -- has successfully carved out a path in Hollywood on her own, making her own music.

Her first single, "Hollywood Doll" was released in 2009 to a great response, with over 500,000 plays on YouTube. Her next single "Take It Off" with DJ Regi also did well, hitting number 8 in the UK, number 4 in Poland and number 1 in Belgium.

The last few years have been spent preparing for the launch of her debut album, 'Confessions of A Hollywood Doll'. Featuring 16 electro-pop tracks that sound not unlike PCD's brand of upbeat music, it will drop on 28 August, the same day as her birthday.

"For my debut album, I decided to include songs that I've done a few years back after Hollywood Doll, like 'Waiting for Saturday', another single I did in Europe," she said.

On her new moniker as the "Hollywood Doll", Jones said it's something she would like her fans to associate her with.

"It is like a brand and that's why I decided to name my album 'Confessions of A Hollywood Doll' too, I'm an ex-Pussycat Doll turned Hollywood Doll!"

WORLD DOMINATION

In 2011, Jones became the youngest female in history to officially start her own record label, HueMan Race Records Inc. Not content with that, Jones is also planning to launch her own clothing line under the label, "Hollywood Doll".

Keen to help future artistes eventually own their own work, the aspiring businesswoman said juggling a music career, being a fashion designer and managing a  label is hard work.

"I didn't prepare myself for how hard it was going to be but I made up my mind, decided on something and know I have to go through with it," said Jones, who is also a passionate supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"At the end of the day I still love it and won't change a thing because I get to help music artistes."