Eric: I just want to say that I am honored to have you take time out of your schedule to answer a few questions for me today.
Mya: My pleasure.
Eric: For the fans who’ve been missing you, why the hiatus from the U.S music scene?
Mya: In 2004, after the Moodring album, I ended up in a year long litigation with management. In late 2005, I made a transition within the Universal system from Interscope to Motown. In 2007 my 4th album “Liberation” was accidentally released in Japan when the release date changed. At the time I was with Motown/Universal and my lawyer advised that I don’t waste time & money taking the issue to court, so I decided to go independent instead. Japan loved the “Liberation” album so much, that a company by the named Manhattan Records located there approached me about doing business with them. I released my first independent project titled “Sugar & Spice: a year later after my split with Motown in Japan in 2008, The Perfect Edition double disc set in 2009 also in Japan, my first mixtape Beauty & the Streets Vol 1 stateside in 2010. In April 2011, I released the 4th independent compilation “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Sexy & Simple). And this December, I released the US Deluxe version of K.I.S.S. via iTunes. So while it appears I’ve just stopped or have been on some hiatus, I’m very much releasing a musical project every year, either internationally because that’s where the free opportunity & support has been, or stateside under the radar until I find the right situation that will provide the proper support.
New Album K.I.S.S (Deluxe) Available on iTunes
Eric: The digital release of your album K.I.S.S is now available for U.S fans, already hitting Number 1 on the charts in Japan. What was the creative process behind this album?
Mya: The creative process was a combination of including songs that I’ve had in my archive for years in addition to traveling across the U.S.& Jamaica to work with different producers & artists. I chose the songs that best worked together sonically & arranged the tracklisting of the album accordingly.
Eric: Now I have to admit “Mess up my hair” is one of my favorite tracks from for obvious reasons lol, but which song is your personal favorite?
Mya: It’s hard to decide which is my one favorite. So how I break it down is like this. My favorite sexy slow jam is “Can I” by Snatch & Grab. My favorite substance record is “Evolve” produced by Lee Major. My favorite uptempo record is “Mess Up My Hair” produced by Young Yonny.
Eric: How hard was it choosing which tracks would make the album?
Mya: It wasn’t hard at all. I have so much material to choose from. I practically live in the studio, and when I travel, I’m usually equipped with a portable studio. I can say that it helps to have listening parties at my studio among friends & even among fans on twitter to see what resonates, makes them dance, cry, laugh, etc. It’s important for all of my albums to have a balance of many elements.
Eric: Chuck Harmony said you’re very humble, professional and fun to work with. How was it working with him and Harmony house on K.I.S.S?
Mya: That’s great to hear. Chuck is a very laid back, humble, super talented musician/producer. His studio is dope, has great energy & a comfortable working environment. Working on K.I.S.S. with him was a cool experience. Not many know, that there are 2 versions of the song K.I.S.S. One which we created from scratch & another that exists on the album that was musically already done before I walked into the studio. I hope to share it one day, but Chuck’s tracks can also be expensive (giggles).
Eric: Some might not be aware that you started your own label. How did you settle on the name Planet 9?
Mya: I’ve always been fascinated by space & time, the orbit of planets & the fact they have their own paths, years & moons. I’ve always felt I’m at my best when I do things in my own time, not on others’ time. Being that the 9th planet in our solar system would have the longest year as it possesses the largest & longest orbit around the sun, I tend to feel I comfortable living & creating there before beaming myself back to earth. It’s an inner spiritual place I often go, when things on earth get chaotic & confusing. It’ s also the name of my studio where space, time & budget are no longer factors.
Eric: What made you decide to branch out on your own and How does it feel to be your own boss?
Mya: I’ve never had an ounce of quitter trait in me, so I think circumstance & passion just naturally propelled me to find a different way, learn as I go, apply & execute to the best of my ability. I just love music, creating it & have the desire to share it that much that learning skills like sound engineering & self management at times has been essential to my happiness. Being the BOSS is very time consuming, but things are done the way you desire them, ultimately reflecting what you want to project to the world. And I love & respect the art & business much more because of it.
Eric: What are your hopes for the state side release of this K.I.S.S? Do you plan on shooting any videos for the album? If so, I’d just like to throw my suggestion out there for “Mess up my hair” lol.
Mya: I just wanted to make it available to my fans. K.I.S.S. is a great body of work, but it’s just an appetizer. I plan on making the orders for physical copies available via amazon.com & autographed copies via myamya.com. I’ve now been propelled to begin manufacturing & physically distributing my own physical copies via online store at myamya.com as well. The fans still want to touch & feel, read the credits, look at pictures, etc. which I think is pretty cool considering the digital age we live in today.
Eric: Our online Mag four8media.com was designed to give more exposure to unsigned and indie artist. What advice would you give to the aspiring singers and artist trying to reach the goals that you have achieved in your career?
Mya: There’s not a standard piece of advice that I’d give. I initially started out with an independent/major deal. But this day & age unsigned, indie artists can utilize the internet to their advantage with viral videos, music, do direct deals with Soundcloud, Tunecore, iTunes, etc to get their music distributed. In addition to perfecting the craft, standing out, I’d recommend that aspiring artists create their own websites & get connected with social media, attend as many industry events as possible. I’d definitely recommend building & assembling a team (musicians, photographer, videographers, producers, managers, etc) that can grow with you & help you project your movement. But keep in mind, it takes money to make money, so save your money, because it’s necessary to invest in yourself.
Eric: So what’s next for You now that the album is out? Can we expect any tours to come?
Mya: I’m already working on the next album. K.I.S.S. was more of a gift to my fans before Xmas. But I may shoot a video or 2, after doing some further research with the fans & DJ’s as to what song they want to visually see brought to life. Touring… My life is a tour. All dates are on myamya.com under the events section.
Eric: Is there anyone you would like to shout out to?
Mya: Of course I’d like to give a shout out to all of the supporters from the producers, team members & fans that keep me inspired & motivated. The DJ’s & radio personalities that have shown me so much love over the years. Respect & appreciation!
Eric: Mya, once again I want to thank you for this opportunity. I wish you much much more continued success and I’m diggin’ the album. I encourage everyone to cop it. Much love, Always a fan.
Mya: Thanks so much for having me & asking some pretty cool questions.
(Photos curtesy of myamya.com)