For two years, Jeff Popick has been managing the USA Freedom Kids (a.k.a the Freedom Girls), a girl group featuring his own daughter that gained national attention following a robotic, jingoistic performance at a recent Donald Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida.
“I love my daughter, I love spending time with my daughter, I love my country, I love patriotic music,” Popick tells the Washington Post, adding that any vitriol he’s gotten from the show is worth it because “most people who set out on this crazy journey would have folded. I considered it a win-win no matter what.”
Since the video of the USA Freedom kids singing “Freedom’s Call”—a rewritten version of George M. Cohan’s WWI propaganda song “Over There”—went viral, the group has been referred to as everything from Hitler Youth to, in the words of this author, “a nightmare collection of human cartoons.” But to Popick, a former stunt driver and current (self titled) “serial entrepreneur,” any criticism the performance received “just shows this country needs more of what we’re doing. It was somebody maybe smarter than me who said a child shall lead them.”
In many ways, USA Freedom Kids is just another one of Popick’s business ventures. The Washington Post’s Justin Wm. Moyer describes the groups inception, writing:
Asked about the birth of USA Freedom Kids, Popick said the group coalesced over the past two years, and the current lineup started performing in earnest about six months ago. Building up momentum wasn’t easy.
“When you’re dealing with kids, there are all kinds of issues,” he said. “There are family issues. Parents have agendas. There’s soccer, and on and on and on. This really required a meaningful commitment … We went through several girls.”
The USA Freedom Kids team, according to Popick, includes the three performers; two girls who, like Brian Wilson, are “really strictly in the studio”; five dancers; and “vocal coaches, music producers, music engineers and choreographers.” And though Popick won’t say how much the girls are paid for their appearances, he stresses that they “are compensated.”
Popick identifies as a Trump supporter, but it seems more likely that he’s a “whichever Republican candidate would let the Freedom Kids perform first” supporter. According to what he told the Post, he had reached out to several other candidates, but Trump’s campaign was the only one to respond.
“With some candidates, I could not even get on first base. The Trump campaign stepped up,” he says, adding: “It confirmed that he knows what he’s doing. You can absolutely take that as an endorsement.”
He also hopes you’ll see more of the USA Freedom Kids: “We’ve got lots of things going on,” says Popick. “And it’s all great for the country.”
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Image via USA Freedom Kids.