“Karma” by JoJo Siwa: bop or flop?

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Students reacting to Jojo Siwas's new music video. Some were shocked to see this type of video from their favorite artist growing up. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Key)

On Friday, April 5, 2024, Jojo Siwa broke the internet by releasing her new song and music video “Karma”. 

Siwa rose to fame when she joined the Lifetime reality show Dance Moms in 2014. She made a name for herself with her loud personality and big colorful bows, and this persona has followed her ever since. 

Now she is making a switch to more mature music, but some people are not too keen on the way she is going about this shift. 

According to an Instagram poll, 81 percent of Leesville students thought the song was a major flop, but what was so bad about it that it made students dislike it so much?

Lyrics 

The first point of criticism comes from the lyrics of her song “Karma”. The song is supposed to be about her coming back from her childhood era, and becoming a grown adult. 

But it looks like this did not go as planned because everyone seems to be bashing the lyrics due to their corny nature. 

Addy Griffin, sophomore, said, “It creeps me out, and I never want to listen to it again.”

An anonymous sophomore, said, “I was not mentally prepared to see or listen to that atrocity and I’m going to go bleach my brain now.”

Music video  

The music video features Siwa dancing to her new song on a dark island in the middle of the ocean. She and her backup dancers are dress in revealing black body suits covered in rhinestones as they dance in the water. 

The choreography in the video–created by Richy Jackson a famous choreographer and creative director–has been a point of ridicule since the dance went viral on social media. Many people stitching the video into memes react to the choreography, and recreating it. Some of the choreography has been described as weirdly explicit and in other parts silly. 

Madeline Carpenter, sophomore and dancer at LRHS, said, “I think the choreography was very uncharacteristic of a music video… and the choreography needed to be more music video-like and less like a Tik Tok dance.”

Carpenter also went on to say that the explicit choreography was unnecessary. She said, “Especially for Jojo Siwa who just came out of being a child star and still has her bows sold to kids at Walmart.”

Persona Switch 

Many fans feel that she is trying too hard to change her brand, and it has come across as cringy. 

Scarlett Cain, senior, said, “I disliked it. It was too dramatic, and she needs to calm down.” Cain went on to say the way she has acted in recent interviews gives her secondhand embarrassment. 

Siwa told Billboard, “No one in my generation has ever made this extreme of a switch, and I am the first in the generation”

Many people have found this comment to be cocky, primarily because it is not completely true. 

Ashley Stanziale, sophomore, said, “She is not even the first to do it, people like Taylor Swift went from country to pop, and Milly Cyrus went from Disney star to pop singer. They also did it way better than Jojo.”

Chloe Cragg, sophomore, said, “I think it’s her trying to be someone but she actually is not. Almost every artist had a big turning point in her career… she is trying to make her career something it is not and it’s cringe.” 

People have also pointed out that her main audience is kids because that is the brand she has formulated for the past ten years. She is a role model for so many of them and they didn’t just disappear because she released a mature song.  For her to change her persona into something that is in no way family friendly so quickly is unfair to her young fans. 

It seems as though the persona shift is not exactly working as most Leesville students still see her as a child star painfully trying to make it on the big stage. 

Is Siwa making a huge mistake in her career? Should she stick to the bows and glitter or will this actually be one of the biggest transformations in our generation?

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