[INTERVIEW] Mýa Discusses Her Latest Independent Project “Smoove Jones”, Love and Lifestyle
Find out what singer-songwriter & actress Mýa has to say about her most recent independent project, Smoove Jones, the topic of love, mentoring the youth & more in this exclusive interview!
DP: How does it feel now that “Smoove Jones” is out & a lot of major press & media outlets gave their response from hearing the project? Do you agree with some of the feedback given?
Mýa: Feels great to know that I can actually follow my heart, my gut and that the product is received well. I’m very pleased with the response/feedback, grateful for an 18 year long journey and it being just the beginning for me.
DP: I understand you have been performing a lot of your new album. What has the “Smoove Jones” touring experience been like this time around for you?
Mýa: It’s been awesome. I enjoy the rehearsals, preparation to performing and being free as a bird on stage in addition to the up close and personal moments with fans. Truly rewarding being in your element. And performing with a live band feels like I am home with family.
DP: Can you give us an idea of what Mya & Planet 9’s vision is moving into summer 2016?
Mýa: I have received several submissions for Planet 9 positions, so over the past few months, I’ve been narrowing down. By the summer, I’ll begin offering actual internship positions for qualified fans, where I train them firsthand on the admin and logistical side. Those who have what it takes, become a part of the label’s staff and get promoted to a paid position.
DP: Can you tell us why you choose to release “Smoove Jones” as a digital boutique project only & not an official LP release with physical copies? Is it due to the ever changing climate & effects of social media on the music industry?
Mýa: Because I am an independent entity with no major backing, that is why I chose to release Smoove Jones as just a EP. It’s short, sweet and vibey, created on a small budget, but no where near the level of an actual classic Mya album. I look at a classic Mya album as an eclectic masterpiece aligned with the proper support so that expectation is met in every aspect of the project – creative, marketing, promotional, retail, etc. Smoove Jones is awesome, but I casually assembled by pulling from the archives of unreleased material. Physical CD copies are actually available exclusively on myamya.com/shop along with a 17 month calendar, organic, vegan Planet9 Fine Wine and vegan chocolates.
DP: Are you open to mentoring young women and/or signing young female artists?
Mýa: I’ve been mentoring young women since 1998 and continue to do so publicly and privately. That is one of my life passions – to connect with the souls of troubled individuals and help them navigate properly in an everchanging, critical, judgmental world. Female artists are extremely expensive investments, so absolutely, when the time is right and my foundation is completely laid.
DP: Can you tell us more about the Veg Pledge with Try Veg & whats your involvement with this endeavor/organization?
Mýa: Try Veg company reached out to me via social media @Compassion_Over_Killing and simply asked if I was interested in being involved. I did some research, my heart supported the movement, so I moved forward with it by engaging others to take the #VegPledge which is a 7 day challenge of cruelty free eating. It’s awesome having some of my friends and social media followers participate.
DP: What inspired you to start TMATF (The Mya Arts & Tech Foundation) and what skills and strategies do you feel the youth will gain from this organization?
Mýa: Growing up in any area that is not supported properly can have it’s challenges and negative effects on youth, from lack of community centers, arts programs, a committed, solid education system and access in general. The lack of a properly supported community can lead to neglect, boredom, which can often to lead to costly decisions that can directly affect a child’s future. The foundation’s mission has always been to provide a source for children that do not necessarily have the finances or access to after school activities, summer programs, etc and provide that free of charge with strong focus on keeping them busy and engaged through technology and arts education. It’s been proven that the arts contribute to brain power, focus, discipline, self esteem, independent thinking, social development, balance and leadership that carry over into a child’s education and long term development. Preparation for the world, through unique, fun, engaging courses.
DP: What’s the best love advice you’ve ever gotten?
Mýa: Define love wisely. Positive perspective can help you navigate safely.
Place the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then assist others i.e. “Love yourself first, so that you might have enough to give to others.”