Mya has some explaining to do. For starters, shes been out of commission for three years. For most artists, that would be career suicide or close to it. Her last album, 2003s Moodring, was certified gold, but failed to garnish any further interest other than its lead single My Love Is Like Wo.
What has worked for Mya are her larger-than-life appearances. Singles such as Lady Marmalade alongside the likes of Christina Aguilera proves she has what it takes to be an R&B popstar, and her brief stint in Chicago didnt go unnoticed either. However, it is her off-screen and off-record antics that have really kept her fan base interested. A Wendy Williams radio appearance with sexual revelations made most 20-something men want to sleep with an R&B chick like Mya, and her King Magazine cover became the focal point of their wet dreams.
The climate has changed as of late, and R&B chicks are stepping their game up. Its no surprise that Mya has switched record labels and moved back home to focus on her music. We sat down for an intimate talk with the sexy singer to talk about her new album Liberation, her love life, and did someone say beef with 50 Cent?
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: What have you been up to?
Mya: Well, it has been three years. I was touring for about year and half. I moved back home to Washington from California. When I got back, I started up a band and a cast of dancers. I also started a foundation called the Mya Arts Foundation where I work with kids from 5 to 13 years old. Im in my second year of that ambition. Im with Universal / Motown now and the first album is set to drop October / November this year.
AHHA: Why did you move to Motown from Interscope?
Mya: I am still on Universal, so its a change within the system. Interscope was becoming more of a rap / rock label. I was pretty much the only R&B artist there for years. I felt it was necessary to find a comfortable zone where people understand my music and its not as saturated. Interscope was a wonderful label; just not for me.
AHHA: Doesnt that become like family considering you were there since 1998?
Mya: No, it doesnt. You do develop relationships with people that you work with, so there is a connection. But it isnt family, its business.
AHHA: Is acting still a priority for you?
Mya: Yes! I am living in Washington, but Im always in L.A. for auditions, classes, or meetings. So we knock out a couple of birds with one stone when I go out there. I just did a film called Metrosexual and its an independent film. And theres another one called Step. There are about four step movies out right now! Mine is called Step- not step up, step dance, step down - just Step! There is a film that is about to be taped called Cover. Its about HIV among African-American women. That will probably be the deepest film Ive done so far.
AHHA: So whats this we hear that youve got beef with 50 Cent?
Mya: I dont have any beef with 50. If he has beef with me, he needs to come say it to my face.
AHHA: Do you want to explain what happened?
Mya: He said something on a diss record to Game to get Game mad, because Game said he had dreams of doing an R&B chick.
AHHA: Which you were in the video for
Mya: Yeah, I was in that video. I did not do any guest appearances for 50 Cents video. I was a label mate on Interscope for years. I think its more of a diss to The Game but he says something, in the song, speaking of things like he [50 Cent] has been with me, which I really wish he would say to my face, with a Bible in his hand, because he knows hes wrong. And thats all I have to say about that. I dont have beef with anybody but I took it as a compliment. I guess he dreams too.
AHHA: Do you feel disrespected that he lied like that?
Mya: Yeah I do. If it had been true, then that would have been different. Then I would have to deal with it. But the fact that I know in my heart its not true; I dont appreciate that.
AHHA: Some people gave you slack on your last album for being too sexy. Did you feel that and did you make any adjustments to this album?
Mya: No, I didnt feel any flack from the last album. I felt as if people felt like I left them hanging for completion. I was in a situation with my record label that it was more single-orientated rather than movement-orientated. I felt, not as if I got flack, but that I got some feedback of confusion and lack of completion with my project.
AHHA: The last time we spoke to you, you were dealing with some issues with your boyfriend. You were in the middle of a break up.
Mya: Who told you that?! [Laughs]
AHHA: Are you single now? Have you dealt with all those issues?
Mya: Yes, I have. And weve actually spoken since then. I was the one who reached out and said, You know, you did wrong. Im not here to be the number one chick in your life, Im here as your friend regardless. But you need to go ahead and play the field because Im a committed woman when Im in a relationship and this is what Im bringing to the table. I dont appreciate cheaters. So either hes going to be with me, all the way, or nothing at all. So [I told him to] go ahead and have his fun - I just cant be your girlfriend. He understands that.
AHHA: What were the life lessons you learnt from that relationship?
Mya: Im not going to be a crazy woman all over again trying to figure out what my man is doing. At the end of the day, its about how he makes me feel as a woman. And if I feel anything less than that, and what I feel like I deserve, then weve got problems. I dont have time to be sweating and playing FBI, which I tend to do, because I do get insecure in those relationships. But life is about so much more and I really dont have time for weak dudes.
Nobody likes to get played. I dont like getting played. But I know in my relationships, Im a faithful woman and I operate under monogamy. If a man cant handle that, and thats the understanding that we have, then Im not going to bash you for it- just go have your fun. Im not a part of it.
AHHA: Is that what the album Liberation is about?
Mya: No, thats not even what the album is about. The album is about me and how I deal with myself and my insecurities. Its where Ive been in other relationships, psychotic woman, and all kinds of stuff. But making peace at the end of the day being liberated. Its a lot more in the aggressive with the Hip-Hop undertone and less string arrangements. Lyrically, its just real. Eight-five percent of my album is personal - it comes from Mya.