Ahead of her east coast shows next week, we check back in with Mýa to see how she’s anticipating returning to Australia and reconnecting with fans.
First off, the reason we’re talking. You’re coming out on a nostalgia tour with Blackstreet and 112. That oughta be fun!
Absolutely! I’ll be coming to Australia at the end of November and I’m very excited! All the shows are on my website, myamya.com. For my part of these shows, I’m going to be taking requests from the fans online beforehand. You’re going to get the classics, but I have a lot of new projects and there’ll be some teasers of some brand new stuff as well.
Do you have fond memories of Australia?
I can’t count how many times I’ve been to Australia, it’s a lot. And I have very fond memories. I was at the Gold Coast last year and got a chance to enjoy those beautiful waters. That was probably one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had of Australia. Usually I’m all work when I’m there, but last year the Gold Coast slowed me down. I got to see kangaroos for the first time!
Can you tell the unknowing Australian people about how your label Planet 9 came to life and where it’s gone from there?
Planet 9 was formed in 2008 and I released my very first independent project eight years ago. It was called Sugar and Spice. Since then, I’ve released seven more projects and I’m working on a ninth. It’s been a really really rewarding thing for me to be able to work the business aspect. Handling all of the contracts and negotiations and seeing all the behind the scenes work that pertains to the music business has been wonderful. Before I went independent obviously I didn’t know much about the business end, but now I’m very hands on behind the scenes.
Planet 9 is a boutique label. I’ve not signed any other artists yet because I’ve been working so hard on all of my projects, but it does encompass the whole process and it’s been great to learn.
Who has been your favorite artist to collaborate with over the years? You’ve certainly worked with a few!
Well you know I’ve actually done a lot of collaborations with artists but never spent any time in the studio with them. Technology is very advanced these days! But the ladies of “Lady Marmalade”: Lil Kim, Pink, Christina, Missy Elliot, we were all there. We actually rehearsed together, performed together, recorded together. So that was probably the ultimate experience I’ve had with other artists that I’ve performed with. On the production side, I’d have to say Wyclef was probably my favourite because we did a lot of the second album together on production and songwriting.
So are we going to hear a version of “Lady Marmalade” in your upcoming Australian shows?
You’re no stranger to the screen either! Any acting projects coming up that Australians should look out for?
First off, I’ll give a little plug to my latest recording project which is called Smooth Jones. It’s my eighth independent project and you can find it on iTunes and all other major digital outlets! On the movie side, there’s a film called Lazarus that I filmed this year that’ll be coming out in 2017, so be on the lookout for that.
You’re an advocate for many causes outside of the entertainment industry. Is there one you’d like to highlight for the Australian public?
I recently became the face of the organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), because I’m a vegan. So that’s been amazing, they’re wonderful to work with. PETA represents and advocates for animal rights. They promote healthy lifestyles through veganism as well as informing the public about the alternatives regarding fashion and cruelty free products.
I know you’ve also been an advocate for breast cancer, that’s still something that close to your heart?
Yes, it is. My mother is now a two time cancer survivor. I’ve taken it upon myself to lead the healthiest life I can. I make sure to decompress as often as I can. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to breast cancer, as well as what you eat. And anything I can do on raising awareness or prevention of this is my thing. It’s affecting people younger and younger each year worldwide.
My publication is not particularly political, but the whole world’s attention is on the race to the White House at the moment. Dare I ask how you’re feeling about it?
Well I’m not actually in America at the moment, I’m out of country visiting family! But hey, may the best woman or man win. I’ve already voted absentee. It has become quite entertaining watching the debates, if somewhat offensive. Let’s just say I’m really concerned for how the country is going to be led for the betterment of humanity, because that’s what it’s supposed to be about. But you wonder when you hear certain comments that are not ‘for the people’. So I’m very concerned but I can only hope for the best.
Mýa hits stages with Blackstreet and 112 in Melbourne and NSW next week; catch them in Melbourne at Trak Lounge Bar (November 16th), and the Enmore Theatre (November 23rd) and at Panthers in Sydney (November 24th). Head to www.arenaent.com.au for more information.