It’s a JoJo summit!
Two of the most famous women named JoJo, JoJo Siwa, 17, and the singer JoJo, 29, finally got together for an interview their fans have always dreamed of. The pop stars wore masks and sat a safe distance apart during the video interview at the Variety office, where they opened up about everything from their shared first name to what it’s like to shoot to fame at such a young age.
JoJo, whose full name is Joanna Noëlle Levesque, was 13 when her debut single “Leave (Get Out)” hit No. 1 2004. Siwa, whose name is a shortened version of Joelle Joanie, has been in the public eye since she was 9 years old, appearing on “Dance Moms” and then building a massive following on YouTube and a music career.
“I always had the plan: when I’m young I’m going to go as JoJo; when I’m middle-aged I’m going to go as Joelle; and then when I’m a grandma I’m going to go as Joanie,” Siwa, said. “Now I’m like, ‘Well, kid, you’re stuck with JoJo.’ Which is not a bad name. It works for both of us!”
The pair also discussed how fans have mistaken their concerts for the wrong JoJo.
“I became super-aware when people would show up to my concerts wearing a bow, and be in for a very wild surprise when they realized that they got me and not the colorful, sweet JoJo Siwa,” JoJo said. “I’m nice but a little wild.”
Siwa added, “I remember somebody tweeted something, like, ‘I bought my wife tickets for a JoJo concert, only to find out it’s a JoJo Siwa concert. And we have to go and there’s going to be nine-year-old screaming little girls, but whatever, we’re going to make the most of it.'”
The elder JoJo said her first single, about a break-up, was “so grown” and that she was singing about things that were “way older than what I should have been singing about.” She said she admires Siwa, who has songs such as “Boomerang” and “Kid in a Candy Store,” for staying true to singing songs she can relate to at her age.
“I never got the sense that you were doing something you didn’t want to do. I love that you’re not in a hurry to grow up, or to assume those adult responsibilities, or whatever,” JoJo said. “You already have your responsibilities on you, but there really is no rush.”
While Siwa said she Googles herself “all the time” and reads “all the articles” (hi, JoJo!), she said the one fear she has had to overcome is other teenagers.
“After I was the top meme in October, with people criticizing my hairline and saying I’m a giant toddler, I went to Knott’s Scary Farm, and people were being awful. All these teenagers were, like, ‘JoJo Siwa, F– you! Go home,'” she said. “All night long people were shouting things at me. So I just thought teenagers don’t like me. And I am one! But I didn’t have any teenage friends, and I do now.”