It’s not uncommon for exposure at the Grammy Awards to propel an otherwise lesser-known artist into the public eye. Such seems to be the case for Joy Villa (who?). This morning I looked at the iTunes charts to see what I should listen to and noted that Joy was at the top of the album chart. I scurried over to Spotify only to find that Joy had an EP in 2014, a couple singles from the past year or two, and that was about it.
Maybe she was one of those performers who looked unfamiliar to 48-year old me during the Grammy’s- entirely possible. I dove into the EP, “I Make the Static.” Though a mere five songs, the album packs a lot of sound into it, and I’ve been playing it on repeat for a couple hours now. I particularly like “Beautiful.”
My interest piqued, I took the extreme measure of Googling “Joy Villa Grammys” to discover that she in fact did not perform at the award show but did wear a “Make America Great Again” dress. The following morning, her (couple years old) EP skyrocketed to the top of the charts. In case there is any confusion about what message she was trying to convey, the train displayed a glittery “TRUMP”:
Her Instagram contained the following message:
My whole artistic platform is about LOVE! I couldn't be where I am today without the love and tenderness of those beautiful supporters and friends around me. Thank you I hope you enjoy tonight's @grammysawards2017 and remember to forget your problems and focus on your future! You are infinite and beautiful and no one can stop you but you. So go out and celebrate yourself as a winner no matter what, together with those you adore!
That message was met with commenters accusing her of trying to grab 15 minutes of fame. Well, it worked as she's now on hour 36 or so, although I’m not sure the IG caption matches the message associated with the dress text. If she was truly aiming to spread a message of love in these divisive times, would she really do that by unabashedly
supporting promoting the individual at the core of that divisiveness? At music’s most public night, no less?
I really like Joy’s EP, but now I’m annoyed. Her message feels disingenuous, and I feel slightly duped. If she’s a Trump supporter, fine- everyone is entitled to their opinion, but don’t wear this particular message (actually campaign slogan) as one of love.
And now the real quandary: should I stop listening to Joy’s EP because I’m annoyed with her means of reaching my Spotify app? Well, I'll chalk it up to the fact that I’ve now listened to it about a dozen times and I'm getting tired of it, but she’s suddenly less endearing to me than she was 30 minutes ago. Bye, Joy. I’d have more respect for you if your message of love was less political or if you weren’t afraid to be more straightforward about your politics.
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