Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Feature

MYA: Sitting pretty

Mya @bluesandsoul.com
Mya @bluesandsoul.com

Perhaps mistakenly one might think that the beautiful singer / songwriter / twice B&S cover artist, Mya, has been quiet of late, but that is so far from the truth. Mya, like a few other female artists of the 90’s, absolutely owned that rather astounding musically productive period of time and she has gone on to become a; philanthropist, trainer, manager, actress and all-round media mogul.

2000’s “Case Of The Ex”, with its lyrical bias toward female empowerment, taken from her second album also in 2000, “Fear Of Flying”, which firmly emblazoned her name onto that musical period. While that rather huge jam sealed her name, it was her debut single, 1998’s “It’s All About Me “, co-written and featuring Dru Hill’s Sisqo, from her eponymous album, that was the foundation of her subsequent success.

Evidently acknowledging the single’s importance, she released her latest independent project “Smoove Jones” to mark the 18th year since that debut, this year in February. Featuring a throwback to the 90s with two tantalising tracks; “Team You” and “Hold On” - “Smoove Jones” is her 12th project in her near two-decade career.

Yours truly got some time to chat with the rather lovely Mya.

“This current release is my 12th overall project release, but apart from being a musical artist creating, rehearsing, touring…my life consists of philanthropy, classes, training, running my own management company (Hue Entertainment), an independent record label (Planet 9) and a non-profit organisation.”

How important has that been in your musical career?

“Having my own label has been nothing short of amazing! Though very time consuming and challenging. The knowledge, freedom and ownership have been truly empowering; mentally, financially, emotionally, physically, even spiritually.  I’ve travelled the world, executive produced and released 8 independent projects in these last 8 independent years.  It’s so much more than I could have ever imagined and it keeps me hungry, passionate and alive - there is never a dull moment.”

Looking back on your career thus far, have you reached the levels that you dreamed of and indeed, where do you want to get to?

“Looking back, I feel as if I’m just beginning…I love learning new things, but I ultimately want to be a protector and life coach to those that need guidance because they have lost their way, or they are in search of how to navigate through their life and career.”

So “Smoove Jones” banging slow-jams, explain the genesis of this project and who is this man Jones!?

“Smoove Jones is actually me. That smooth, pimp character from in the 70’s that was usually identified as a ‘man’.  A mysterious, intriguing, charmer with slick, laid back, but classy appeal that is aware of self.  Smoove Jones is also the title of a radio show that reflects how my station were to sound, highlighting feel-good music from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s.”

The writers behind the album are some heavy hitters, explain your choices…

“Over the course of 18 years, I’ve been able to establish some really great relationships and synergy with producers, musicians and writers. The writers I collaborated with happened organically, by just going into the studio and vibing.”
 
The PR states, you wanted to “celebrate” your debut single, “It's All About Me” - a pivotal single of course, but why did you want to celebrate that anniversary?

“The fact that music is my first love and that after almost two decades the love has grown every year…I’m truly thankful for that and want to always show my appreciation to those who keep me motivated and inspired. So when I acknowledge the day I stepped into unknown territory, I’m truly celebrating the fans, the team players, the beautiful people, places, experiences and reflecting on the strength and willpower it has taken to choose the road less travelled.  I’m really proud of myself and just grateful for so many things.”
 
I have heard some killer tracks off “Smoove Jones”, they kind of transported me to the 90’s, a brill era for RnB / soul - what for you, made the 90's such a great era?

“Yes - “One Man Woman”, “Team You” certainly have 90’s vibes.  In addition to the 70’s, the 90’s was a period full of RnB songs that reached and touched the depths of my soul.  In the 90’s it was never uncool to be vulnerable, express emotions, love as a man or a woman.  It was a period deeply connected to my teen years, when I had a crush and experienced my first kiss. There’s something special and comforting about those types of compositions, that are definitely lacking more so in mainstream music and I wanted to bring it back as the fans have requested.”

What's the promo plan for the project?

“My plan is for people to sonically enjoy it to the fullest at their own leisure.  I’m currently in rehearsals with a live band for the 1st part of the “Smoove Jones” Tour.  Performance is the icing on the cake.”

Lastly, what would you add that has not been asked?


Thanks for all of the love and support ladies & gentlemen - many blessings and amazing experiences!

The album “Smoove Jones” is available through all digital outlets and at myamya.com/shop
Words Semper Azeez-Harris

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