Mya is back to do damage.
The beautiful and talented songstress, songwriter, producer, dancer, designer, actress and entrepreneur released Damage, her newest song in a catalog of classics. Mya gives us sultry vocals and dance moves that reminds us why she continues to hold weight after 20 years in the game.
No one makes it 20 years in the music industry without learning a thing or two. This business savvy entrepreneur opened up about music, owning her own record label and the importance of family.
When did you learn you could sing?
I was really young, maybe 4. I always knew I had an ear for music. I could hear it and sing it from an early age.
What inspired you to sing?
My dad is also a musician. My mom knew I could sing; she kept me involved in so many activities to make sure I tapped into my creative side. When I was at school, people would always ask me to sing. It gave me the confidence I needed but I was scared to tell my dad.
He was a travelling musician and I was scared he either wouldn’t take me seriously or he would be against it. Eventually I gathered the courage to tell him I wanted to sing. By the time I was a teenager, my dad didn’t know I could sing, I kept it from him. One day, I gathered the courage to show him. When he heard me, he knew I had the talent and he believed in me. That gave me all the confidence I needed.
What was it like releasing music for the first time?
I didn’t release anything until I was 18. Since my dad is a musician, he understood a lot about the business. My parents insisted that I enjoy my childhood and focus on the things I needed to do at that age. They made me wait until I was 18 and I’m appreciative that they looked out for me that way.
You aren’t signed to a major label, what happened?
My album was accidentally released in Japan when I was signed. At that point, I had two options. I could spend years in court and sue or I could break free and start my own label. I didn’t want to be entangled in the legal process so I stepped out on my own and started Planet 9, my own record label. I’ve been on my own label about 10 years.
Having your own record label must be hard. It seems like there is a lot that goes into that.
Yes but it is worth it. I do everything. Contracts, arrangements, production, writing, choreography, and everything in between. It is a lot of work but I pour a lot into my company and because I am not signed to a major label, I get to keep a lot more money from what I earn from sales.
None. I went from a singer to a business woman and I am proud of everything that I’ve accomplished. It’s been a journey but that journey has made me who I am.
What is your superpower?
Being a woman. There is so much strength you get from being a woman. No matter what I endure, it makes me stronger. I can go toe to toe with anyone and know that I am just as strong and just as savvy as the next person. I put in work and countless hours to get where I am and I’ve learned being a woman isn’t a weakness in this industry, it has been my greatest superpower.
What’s one thing every new artist should know?
The world is yours but you have to study the industry inside and out of the booth. There are so many moving parts and if you don’t learn to control them early, you will get lost. Don’t be in a rush to put out a single or an album. Be intimate with your craft and who you are in order to put yourself in the best position business wise.
The evolution of Mya has been exciting to watch. Outside of music, Mya has appeared in several movies such as In Too Deep, Chicago and Havana Nights. She has also endorsed several brands like Coca- Cola, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap and Iceberg.
Don’t forget to check out Damage, Mya’s first single from her new album TKO (The Knock Out) and don’t forget to follow her on Instagram: @myaplanet9
This R and B success story shows us that being a woman is a superpower and you really can have it all, when you put in the work.