It’s been over 18 years since Mya Harrison hit the big time, signing a lucrative recording contract with Interscope Records (who back then, had a strict policy of only signing rock and rap artists). Since then, she’s sold 7 million records worldwide, racked up a mountain of various accolades including a Grammy Award, which she shares with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim and Pink for the 2001 classic Lady Marmalade, starred in one of the highest grossing movies of all time, Chicago and more recently, releasing her latest studio album Smooth Jones. So what happened when Sam Maffia caught up with Mya? We discussed everything from British men, to recording with TLC‘s Left Eye and her always loyal fanbase. Dig in…
Hello Mya! First of all thank you for featuring on SamMaffiaOnline.com. How’s your day been so far?
Of course. Thank you. Wonderful and yours?
I’m awesome thanks! You’ve had such an incredible amount of success year after year from such a young age, how have you remained so grounded?
My upbringing and being clear on my intentions which is to connect with, serve & elevate people.
So I’ve been checking your Instagram! With almost 500,000 followers, do you feel pressure to post certain things or look a certain way?
Nope. Most of my posts are without make-up, which I prefer.
What do you think would have been different for you, had you started your career with social media?
I’d probably have learned video production before learning sound engineering if that had been the case.
What are the main differences between Mya the superstar we see on stage, the magazines and the music videos and Mya the woman from Washington D.C?
Not much of a difference. What you see is what you get. I am all of the things I project on & off stage. From vulnerable and insecure, to fierce, fabulous, confident. Now I don’t walk around in full make up or wardrobe every day, but when I feel like it, I just might. No alter egos. Just nicknames for everything that is really just me. (laughs)
Moving on, we need to talk Smoove Jones. It’s already had such a great response from fans and critics, what were your main goals and objectives when writing and recording the project?
It was really simple assembling from an pre existing archive of music I’d recorded over the past 1 – 3 years. What I wanted was to make people feel good, make sure all songs were of positive higher vibrations and capture elements of musicality and elements from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. The music that made me fall in love with music in the first place.
One of my favourite songs from the album is Spoil Me! On the track you sing “Boy I gotta have it all. I’m not a diva either, All I’m askin’ is you give me what I need, at any and all cost. Fulfil my every need, then watch me take it all off, Take you to Dubai, You buy me the finer things…” Is that a typical conversation you would have with a guy on the first date?
These are not the conversations I have with a guy on the first date. But once he has passed a certain amount of tests to get close enough to me, to even treat me or fulfil me in any type of way…. he’ll understand that if he can bring it correctly, then he can expect to get spoiled in return and in abundance.
Whilst Spoil Me is aggressive, one track that stood out to me was One Man Woman. “Boy I know that you’ve been hurt before, I can see your pain. I know that she gave you a broken heart…” Was the song inspired by a previous relationship?
Yes it was. In the dating phase, I’d often be accused of so much that I was not guilty of because his previous significant other cheated on him and he carried that pain & directed it all toward me. I found myself in a position that men are usually in dealing with a female that had been hurt, closed, resistant or accusational. Men get hurt too and that’s what inspired me to write it.
Okay, so you do know fan’s will be expecting a Smoove Jones tour, firstly will you be visiting us in the UK, am I invited and if so can we expect some of the fan favourites like Case Of The EX, My Love Is Like Wo and Ghetto Superstar?
Yes. Dates are on myamya.com. I will always perform classics and new material anywhere I go. And hopefully in the summer, I will reach the UK.
So this is random but when I was 10, I had bought Fear Of Flying on CD, I loved Case Of The Ex (still one of my top ten tracks ever!) but I would literally play Taking Me Over on repeat. How was it working with Left Eye?
Wow! Left Eye was a joy. So full of life every time I met her. We were unfortunately not in the studio at the same time for the collaboration.
We also have to talk about Lady Marmalade! How important was it for you to feature on that song? And how were you approached?
My record label Interscope was in charge of the soundtrack, so I was pitched to get on the song, which was a major moment in my career. Working with all of the ladies was extra special for me.
Pink previously mentioned in an interview with VH1 that whilst planning the recording of Lady Marmalade, Christina Aguilera showed up with label executive Ron Fair, who said “What’s the high part? What’s the most singing part, Christina’s going to take that part!” So who was the biggest diva? Christina or Pink?
There was no divaism when we worked together in the studio, rehearsal studios or live performances. Everyone did their part, Missy Elliott and Rockwilder on the production, Ron Fair on the executive production. We all basically got together, handled our parts as established, professional artists and just had a ball. Cat fight free – boring huh? (laughs).
If Lady Marmalade wasn’t recorded in 2001 but instead, was recorded in 2016, who would you choose as the other three girls to join you on the track? (p.s. You can’t choose Lil’ Kim, Pink or Christina Aguilera)
RuPaul, Amanda Lepore, Ultra Nate, Big Freeda, Kaitlyn Jenner
Let’s talk acting! You’ve appeared in Chicago, one of the highest grossing films ever! You’ve also acted in 12 other films as well as appearances on Sister Sister, NCIS and more. What else can we expect from Mya acting wise?
Expect nothing until that paperwork is signed & that check is cut. That’s when I’ll make any announcement.
You also appeared as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, what are your thoughts on Reality TV and could we expect a Mya reality TV show anytime soon?
I think it can be awesome or detrimental. I’m open to everything. But all factors have to make sense and work to benefit me in the long run as well. So just stayed tuned.
You have a massive loyal fan base, why do you think they have continued to follow you for as long as they have?
Not really a question for me to answer, but I’m humble and carefree and when give the opportunity, I bring it.
You’ve done so much charity work over the years and really used your platform to do good for those less fortunate. You recently partnered with the Human Rights Campaign for their #LoveConquersHate campaign and currently serve as a celebrity ambassador for Africare addressing health, economic development, women’s empowerment & youth engagement. Do you feel like there is a lot more other artist can do to help make a difference?
Of course we can all do more to help others in need. There’s so much work to do in just attempting to save this planet alone. And we all play a part.
A lot of my readers are gay guys, what are your thought’s on gay marriage?
I think love is love and it comes in many different forms. What, who, how, when & where we love, what makes us happy is an individual or couples prerogative and right. I believe in equality for every human being and marriage is a human right. The necessity for survival and happiness is love, and if one chooses a partner they want to wake up to, make personal, financial, decisions with, spend the rest of their time on earth with… I’m all for it, regardless of the gender.
For the rest of the interview, I’m gonna ask you some hot shot questions, they don’t require much attention, just quick, sharp, honest answers. Hope you’re ready!
1- Which artist alive today would you most like to see comeback?
The Pistol Annies female country group
2- Would you rather be the worst player on the best team or the best player on the worst team?
Best player. I can always transfer.
3- Sam Maffia is all about Urban Pop Female’s, name your favourite urban pop female.
4- You have to erase one of these track’s from your discography: Case Of The Ex, Mess Up My Hair or My Love Is Like…Wo?
Mess Up My Hair – it was never a music video.
5- Most embarrassing moment whilst performing on stage?
My pants split right down the crack of my ass
6- Why do we dream?
To act out unconscious desires in a safe or unreal setting.
7- The last gift you received from a fan?
An Alex & Alex Libra bracelet
8- What was the last text you sent?
Thumbs up emoji.
9- Your favourite character in Orange Is The New Black?
10- Your favourite Britney Spears track?
11- Favourite British word?
12- Describe your fan’s in one word:
13- Shout out your favourite Twitter account:
14- Favourite Vegan dish?
15- Your phone starts ringing and Interscope Records are on the other end, begging you to sign again as they love Smoove Jones, what do you say to them?
Come to the show.
16- Have you ever dated a British guy?
Nope. But I know 2 and they are fine!
17- Any guilty pleasures?
18- Complete the sentence; 2016 will be the year that Mya enjoys the ride and takes a month or 2 to travel & write abroad.