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Youth Joining the Music Industry… Let Mya Take You There.

The music industry is wide and increasing daily. It is now the year 2000 and teenagers with creative talents as well as those with a love for music will try to "get in where they fit in", as they have been trying to do for decades. There is a perpetual amount of youth interested and eagerly wanting to join the industry. One may turn on the television to the Black Entertainment Television network and happen to see a music video. Usually a young artist's video will be playing, such as Sammy, Aaliyah, Destiny's Child, and other well-known young artists. What does the person watching the music video think of? Is it, "I can sing. I should have my own video?" Or do they think fame, fortune, and glamour? It could range from the above thoughts on to just wanting to be able to meet celebrities. Those reasons for wanting to join the industry are reasonable, but there is more to it because the business is serious. Any person in the music business from singing, dancing, to writing and producing is capable of letting people know.

There is one young artist who never thought she would get a record deal. She would sing in her school's gospel choir, and had interests in singing in her church choir and local talent showcases. 20-year-old, Washington, DC native, Mya Harrison was never anticipative with a career in music. She knew she wanted to sing at the age four and told her parents she could sing at 14 years old. That is how her singing career began.

When Mya was four years old she started to take dance classes and stopped when she was nine because at the time she didn't like it. She learned Tap, Jazz and Ballet, which is helpful today. Rnation asked Mya what she admired the most out of singing and dancing. She said, "I like both. I incorporate both into the show. Both of them bring about self-expression. I wouldn't give either one up." Young people today might be under the impression in order to get a record deal you have to reside in Los Angeles or New York City. Mya clears that assumption.

Being a young female from Washington, DC, she was sought in her own living room. "This guy who had his own independent label which was located in Washington, DC. He had acts such as Pure Soul and Dru Hill. He had the time that major labels don't have. He came to my house and auditioned me in my own living room. There needs to be more of that today." It is a well-known fact that talent is worldwide. Mya is one of the fortunate people who had someone with the time to find her talent.

At the age of 18, Mya's debut album Mya was released. Three singles from her album were on the charts for top 10 singles, Movin On featuring Silkk the Shocker, It's All About Me, featuring Sisqo and My First Night With You. During the same time, Mya could have been found on the Rug rat's soundtrack with Harlem World, Take me There. She also featured in the "Bullworth" soundtrack with Ol' Dirty Bastard and Pras in Ghetto Superstar. Mya's enchanting like voice drove all of her fans to check out her new album, "Fear of Flying."

"Fear of Flying", Mya's sophomore album was released on April 25. It reflects now on a mature level she reached. To Rnation she explains the difference between her first album and the second album, which went Gold. "I didn't have any vocal training when I first started, and my second album I'm doing correct breathing and my vocal skills are so much better. Before I was just all natural." Mya did more writing this time around and had a say in everything that went, as far as photographers, videos, and producers. The producers that are featured are Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean, Robin Thicke & Projay and others. The producers are around to help the artist make an exceptional album. Mya distinguishes the difference. "The songs on this album are open for interpretation. They are not word for word given to the public."

Creating an album, especially one that goes Gold is work. It is the work of an artist; and that is exactly what Mya is. In the music industry there is competition. Artists in the music industry look for numbers. Since everyone wants to get paid, of course competition will be involved. Mya likes competition. There are other young female vocalists that have albums released and Mya is well aware. "I like competition; that's a drive. I'm really competitive. But overall, I think Mya is Mya and anybody else are themselves. And I think they have a lot to bring to the table. As artists we're very creative and can branch out into other things. Sometimes people get twisted and they (the public) don't accept that, because they think we should be classified in only one thing. I think artists out there are really talented."

Young people as well as older people who are interested in the music industry should be aware there are many struggles and challenges in the industry. Mya's challenges in the business are pleasing everyone. She feels she cannot please everyone. And since she can please everyone, she should at least be able to please herself. Knowing she has one of the hottest hits released, "Best of Me", and it is getting plenty of play on the radio and in Hip Hop clubs, makes her feel confident. She cares about making her listeners happy as they are tuning into the radio or dancing in the club. She is not worried about making Platinum hits because album sells are unpredictable. " I want to be the ultimate performer. I want to be a complete performer in entertainment and in music. I want to learn to play instruments, act, sing, teach, dance and learn for the rest of my life. But my heart is on stage. I never thought about Billboards and didn't know what it was when I wanted to do this. I'd be happy if I was performing in a night club touching people other than making #1 Billboard." Mya recognizes money is fine, because it allows people to have a comfortable lifestyle. "I like to be comfortable and comfortable in my art form." Mya commented that she didn't need to have 20 carats on her wrist to feel good about herself. That is admirable to many people, especially young people interested in being a performer in the entertainment business.

Youth trying to enter the music industry are capable of having Mya as a role model, because of her care for the music and not all for the wealth. Mya gave Rnation her encouraging words to young people interested in entering the music industry. "All dreams are possible and there are a lot of sources out there to find out about the business, such as the Internet, library; and there are actually groups that will talk to you. There are Record labels where you can send tapes, demos and go through that whole process; but it does not happen over night. I think God has a plan for everybody."


Washington, D.C native Mya, signed to Interscope Records

The public can find more information about Mya online at

This article contributed by Angie Griffin of