20 years ago the music industry welcomed a new leading lady in the R&B scene: Mýa Marie Harrison, known simply as Mýa. Just turning 18 years old, she dropped her first single ‘It’s All About Me’ in 1998 featuring white-haired 90s rap poster-child Sisqo, and charted at number 6 in the Billboard Charts. Her sweet singing voice in combination with fly looks and sexy dance moves put her on the map as a rising star in urban radio. Whether she danced wildly in the desert in ‘Case of the Ex’ (#2 on Billboard) or showed off step-dancing moves in Missy Elliott-produced ‘My Love Is Like…Wo!’ Mýa was making a stand on her own. Especially her collabs in soundtrack singles made her a rising star – with Blackstreet, Ma$e, and Blinky Blink in ‘Take Me There’ (Rugrats Movie), singing the hook in world number one single ‘Ghetto Supastar’ (feat. Pras Michel and ODB, for movie ‘Bulworth‘) and last, but definitely not least, one of the leading ladies in burlesque outfits singing the cover version of Patti LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’ for ‘Moulin Rouge!‘, another number one in collab with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, and P!nk. Her music merged in her acting roles in films, like in ‘Chicago’, or ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’, and lend her voice for video game ‘James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing‘ – playing Bond-girl and agent Mýa Starling, with co-stars Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Heidi Klum, Willem Dafoe, and Shannon Elizabeth, while signing the theme song of the game too.
Her first two studio albums, self-titled ‘Mýa’, ‘Fear Of Flying’, were certified platinum, and her third one ‘Moodring’ received gold-status. Her much delayed fourth album ‘Liberation’, however, was accidentally released by her then-label Universal Motown in Japan earlier than planned. According to Mýa, they ‘didn’t get the memo’ that the release date was changed, as Japan is almost a day ahead in time. As a result, the album leaked everywhere and was shelved. Thinking of what to do next, her lawyer advised her to either go to court or take an independent route, and she eventually chose the latter. Coincidentally, a Japan record label offered Mýa a one-territory deal, as they loved her record that got ‘leaked’, and released the Japan-only album ‘Sugar & Spice’ in 2008, a year later. Marking the start of her independent journey, Mýa learned solely how to produce, engineer, and owning her own masters from that point on. Several mixtapes and three follow-up records followed, including Grammy-nominated ‘Smoove Jones’ (2016), and the latest ‘T.K.O. (The Knock Out)’ which is a celebration of her being 20 years in the music business. After releasing 5 singles out of ‘T.K.O.’, including the smooth and sexy ‘Ready For Whatever’, Mýa changed up her traditional R&B sounds with her latest single and video ‘G.M.O. (Got My Own)’, featuring rapper Tink, flavored with West Coast hip-hop and trap.
Mýa dancing in front of a Lamborghini in music video ‘G.M.O.’
Rapper Tink, on the other hand, made history as an independent artist as well – getting praise for her ‘Winter’s Diary’ four-part mixtape collection. Although at some point approached by Timbaland and his label Mosley Music Group, a much delayed and never materialized ‘Think Tink’ record that supposed to be her debut at Timbaland’s label, made her realize she was better off independent having control over her own music and therefore left Mosley Music Group.
The new single ‘G.M.O.’ is definitely a bossy standpoint for independent ladies Mýa and Tink, who celebrate their own leadership in the lyric content as well as in the video. Written by Mýa, Trinity Home aka Tink, and Lamar “MyGuyMars” Edwards, and produced by the latter in collab with Resource, the song’s street style message is that a woman has her own G’s: “Don’t need money/got my own/I got bags/bags to blow”.
The video is reminiscent of an old-school iPod advertisement. Fancy clothes and nice sports cars, with Mýa on flashy colorful clothes with rollerskates on. Jean jackets and hood attitude, in a mix of black and white and flashy colors. The white background and street-related old school hip-hop clothes remind of 2000-video’s like Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, and ‘Soldier’ by Destiny’s Child. Dope and stylish. Street but still classy. Fulfilled by own control, as no one can judge their ways.
Going independent and owning own masters has definitely started a new trend. Many artists followed, like TLC, Nelly Furtado, or Ashanti. The musical platform changed – devoted fans and some good tracks, that’s all that’s needed for success. It may do not always get the chance to make it to the Billboard charts, but keeps longevity in the business. On a 2015 interview with MadameNoire, Mýa even shared the monetary benefits: “I made more money as an independent entity and artist than I ever have in my lifetime being a major artist, selling millions of albums, charting, and [being on] number one […] You keep 100% of your money as an independent artist. [As a major artist] You might make 7 cents to 14 cents if you’re lucky per album, after recruitment.”
The video for ‘G.M.O. (Got My Own)’ was directed by Mýa and Dana Rice, and produced by Planet 9 (Mýa’s own label) & Dana Rice Productions, and exclusively premiered on BET on September 3rd, 2018. While not included on her ‘T.K.O.’ album, ‘G.M.O.’ presents a new fresh Mýa sound. The single is out everywhere in all digital music platforms.
You can watch the music video here:
Most currently, Mýa stars as lead actress in drama series ‘5th Ward’ on UMC. Mýa also launched a vegan red wine called ‘Planet 9’ and can be purchased online: http://www.myamya.com/products/planet-9-fine-wine-by-mya/
For other Mýa releases, go to myamya.com