by Emma Galloway
In honor of its 25th anniversary, Grammy-winner Mya released the deluxe version of her self-titled debut album and reflected on her years and growth as an artist at a press conference with Universal Music Group’s creative solutions team, 1824.
Ever since the release of her debut album, Mya has continued to invest in her craft by using joy and gratitude in her day to day life. With the enthusiasm that she brings, Mya has earned double platinum status on her album and even has her own independent record label, Planet 9.
“Just being so young and maintaining my composure through uncertainty. … I am very proud of the slow journey and taking my time and considering family,” said Mya in response to what she is most proud of about her debut album. “There was so much going on in my personal life, but I love music and I held onto the joy and the core of music for my entire career.”
Mya started her career when she was around 18 years old. On her debut album, Mya set up features with well known artists such as Missy Elliot and Dru Hill. Since then, she has set herself as a mentor for many women in R&B, and is far from done with her career.
Being in the industry at a young age has taught Mya many life lessons that she continues to use everyday. She noted that she was very busy at that age, but still held on to her faith as well as returned to her joy while the world was watching her grow as an artist.
“Advice to my 20-year-old self would be no pain no gain, but if it is not joyful then it is not worth it,” said Mya. “Put in the work and embrace the grind. … Gratitude is key as well.”
Even after 25 years, Gen Z artists are paying homage to the Y2K sound that was once Mya’s.
“Everything is cyclical, so seeing 90s music or 2000s music being sampled or revamped and all of these cool creative concepts and new platforms being birthed as well as owned by young people is inspirational, and I think my generation can learn a lot stepping outside of ego,” said Mya. She noted that the lens of a young person is welcome to honor the time, and that it is “absolutely cool and honorable” to bring that nostalgia back.
Mya is paying tribute to the 20-year-old who released this debut album 25 years ago by releasing this deluxe album with more nostalgia from the early 2000s. Mya (Deluxe) is available on all streaming platforms now.
PHOTOS PROVIDED COURTESY OF 1824 MUSIC GROUP