Despite Kaya Jones leaving Pussycat Dolls (PCD) a few years ago, I was still expecting to meet a Doll diva. She arrives 30 minutes late (pretty tame by most popstar standards), but as I clap eyes on her my expectations appear to have been met. Black, thigh-high boots hold up the 5ft 11in woman who also keeps her sunnies on indoors (the trademark of a true celebrity). Fortunately, by the end of our dinner, my perception has changed. She has me in hysterics over her impressions of her Jamaican mother and left me with the view of a woman who is ambitious, creative and very generous.
So Kaya, why the glasses? I’m so tired! I’ve had about three hours sleep in 72 hours.
You’ve been to Beirut, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Do you have a fave? Beirut was great, Abu Dhabi was very grand and Dubai is the one place I actually wanted to see, but I don’t get to!
Is it what you expected? The first time I came to this region, I performed for the troops in Iraq. It was a very different version to this Middle East.
Do you have a release date yet on your first solo album? Probably next year now.
The girl in Hollywood Doll video looks a lot like Nicole Sherzinger; did you really try to get a lookalike? Not at all.
You didn’t choose her subconsciously? You know, people like to think there is this big deep story about it, but the big, deep story with the Dolls will come out when we’re all, like, [pauses to think of a suitably older age] 40.
Is there really a big, deep story to the Dolls? [Pauses] I’m sure there is.
If you could have your time again, would you still join PCD? Definitely. To be 18 years old and to be performing with Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Tom Jones was amazing.
But was there a moment when you realised you didn’t want to be a PCD anymore? As an artist I take a lot of pride and integrity in what I do and that process wasn’t really needed in PCD anymore. I yearned to be more involved.
Did you ever feel sidelined at all? Uhm, I don’t think I ever felt sidelined, but it was hard. Some of the girls who have since left are saying ‘oh, it was the worst experience of my life’. Then don’t stay there for six years if you didn’t enjoy it! Like, why did you stay?
Do you keep in touch with any of the girls from PCD? We keep in contact through other people.
The Dolls were known for their sexy image, do you feel any pressure to maintain that? You do feel the pressure, but I have a great trainer now as I want to get rid of a little extra weight I’ve gained recently. [We then tuck into tuna and salmon sashimi and juicy strips of steak – the diet starts tomorrow.]