Mýa (album)

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Mýa
Studio album by Mýa
Released April 21, 1998 (1998-04-21)
(see release history)
Recorded 1997–1998
Silent Sound Studios
(Atlanta, Georgia)
Genre R&B, soul, urban, hip hop
Length 57:24
Label Interscope
Producer Darryl "Day" Pearson, Daryl Simmons, Nokio the N-Tity
Mýa chronology
Mýa
(1998)
Fear of Flying
(2000)
Alternative cover
European cover
Singles from Mýa
  1. "It's All About Me"
    Released: February 14, 1998
  2. "My First Night with You"
    Released: April 13, 1999
  3. "Movin' On"
    Released: July 14, 1998

Mýa is the eponymous debut studio album by American recording artist Mýa. It was her first studio album for then-record label Interscope Records released April 21, 1998. Harrison was signed by Haaq Islam after a living room audition at the age of 16 to Interscope Records. Once signed she began the process of recording her self-titled studio album and recorded the album between the time period of 1997–98 at Silent Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia and at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California.

Production was primarily handled by Darryl "Day" Pearson with additional contributions from Daryl Simmons and Nokio the N-Tity. During the process of making the album, Harrison co-wrote five of the twelve tracks featured on the album; a pivotal role she would continue to play in her career. Prior to recording the album, Harrison had no vocal training and often would record her ad-libs on the spot in the studio. Guest features included Dru Hill front man Sisqó, No Limit rapper Silkk the Shocker, and Virginia native Missy Elliott.

The album spawned three hit singles; two Top 5 Hot R&B Singles "It's All About Me" featuring Sisqó, "Movin' On" featuring No Limit rapper Silkk the Shocker and the Diane Warren/Babyface-penned ballad "My First Night with You".

Mýa debuted at number seventy-seven on Billboard 200 album chart on May 9, 1998 and later peaked at number twenty-nine on September 5, 1998. With the help of its three singles, it spent 53 non-consecutive weeks on Billboard 200 album chart and earned a platinum certification from Recording Industry Association of America within the next six months on October 1, 1998. The album received critical acclaim from music critics and earned Harrison several accolades, including a NAACP Image Award nomination and two Soul Train Music Award nominations.

Background[edit]

Harrison is an accomplished dancer who has trained with Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, and the Dance Theater of Harlem. She also held a dancing gig on BET's Teen Summit. At the age of 15, Mýa shifted her focus to music and although she was best known as a dancer, she was also musically inclined, learning how to sing and play the violin as a child. When her father—a professional musician—learned that his daughter could sing and was serious about a musical career; they begin to shop around the demo tapes, earning the attention of University Music Entertainment president/CEO Haaq Islam. Impressed with Harrison's audition, he signed her to Interscope Records.[1][2]

Recording & Compositions[edit]

Babyface (pictured) contributed and composed My First Night With You.

University Music president/CEO Haaq Islam signed Mýa in 1996 when she was 16. Islam called Mýa his Diana Ross saying "She has a vocal ability that can be heard in a room full of singers; her flow is tantamount to a rapper." Mýa and Interscope spent the next two years working on her debut album, hiring an impressive list of collaborators, including Darryl Pearson, Babyface, Diane Warren, Raphael Brown, Wyclef Jean, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, and Sisqó and Noko from Dru Hill.[1] Mýa says that her album speaks mostly to men and that many of the songs offer variety of "messages". Harrison who co-wrote many of the songs on the album, including "If You Died I Wouldn't Cry Cause You Never Loved Me Anyway", where she puts a voice to the gut-wrenching pain some woman feel at the end of a relationship. In the song, Harrison sings of wanting a man to "die" because "he never loved her anyway." She says the song is about saying things in anger, but being able to learn from mistakes. Another ballad, "My First Night with You", is about a non-sexual experience with a man, written by Babyface and produced by Daryl Simmons. Harrison said "Simmons allowed her to do her own thing and put her own spin on the song". "Bye Bye", which features Missy Elliott was written by Harrison and Daryl Pearson. Other songs included on the album were the dance-oriented "We're Goin Make Ya Dance and "What Cha Say", a song Harrison wrote all by herself.[2]

Islam says Mýa's songwriting is consistent with the label's philosophy. "We want artistry and strong songs with good messages that appeal to the heart, soul and imagination". Revealing, Mýa's album takes us to another level; my label always want to present something positive and edgy, to reflect young people today. Harrison adds that the album is "lady-like" and done in a "tasteful" way, leaving some things to the imagination; rather than trying to sound vulgar or explicit.[2]

Release and promotion[edit]

University Music president/CEO Haaq Islam held a press release for Harrison’s self-titled debut studio album with Billboard magazine. At the time of the press release University Music revealed and shared details regarding Harrison’s project and University Music's marketing strategy plans. During the press conference, University Music announced Mýa's album and single U.S. release dates. Although at press time, Harrison’s debut album was slated for a May 5 release date, it was later changed to April 21. However, an international release date for the album was not set. Mýa's first single "It's All About Me" featuring Sisqó was solicited to radio March 3 and released commercially March 10. The videoclip for "It's All About Me" was serviced to BET and The Box on February 10. It was serviced to MTV at a later date.[2]

Marketing[edit]

From the beginning, University/Interscope used Harrison's connection to label mates Dru Hill as a promotional tool. To create a buzz for Mýa, University Music coupled her with Dru Hill in video and television appearances as an outlet to create a fan base for her. In addition to video and television appearances, Harrison was featured on Puff Daddy's tour which also included Dru Hill. To continue to create an ongoing buzz for herself, she opened the Boyz II Men tour from April 26 to July 26. As a marketing plan, University Music announced and created a grass-roots campaign that hit high schools. The label distributed newsletters about Mýa hitting more than 25,000 high schools nationally. University also set up a Mýa 900 number which was advertised on posters and fliers. Callers could hear samples of Mýa's music and hear the latest on her activities. On the press front, Harrison covered Right On! and Teen People magazines. In late April, Harrison appeared and performed "It's All About Me" on VIBE. Lastly, she was featured on Interscope's worldwide website, where she had her own page.[2]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Mýa debuted at number seventy-seven on the Billboard 200 album chart on May 9, 1998. The album later peaked at number twenty-nine on the Billboard 200 album chart and Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart at number thirteen during the week of September 5, 1998 and July 14, 1998 due to consistent sales. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA on October 1, 1998 and remained on Billboard 200 album chart for 53 non-consecutive weeks. Mýa has sold over 1.4 million copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen Soundscan.[3] The album was the 87th best-selling album of 1998 and the following year the 200th best-selling album. Outside the United States, the album failed to chart internationally.

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Billboard (favorable)[5]
The Boston Herald 1.5/5 stars link
Vibe (favorable) link

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called Mýa "a smooth, sultry collection of well-crafted contemporary urban soul that is actually richer than the average urban record the late '90s", citing "part of its success lies with the teenage Mýa, who has a voice that is at once innocent and knowing and many of the songs on the record are loosely about a teenager becoming a woman, which is a subject Mýa can convincingly sell, but overall it's a thoroughly promising debut."[4]

Young artist Mýa scores on her debut album by addressing issues of concern to women without spewing cuss words. Boosted by the strong presence of Sisqo of the group Dru Hill, the artist's first single, "It's All About Me" though reminiscent of Destiny's Child's "No, No, No" is a catchy, infectious tune that carries a lot of weight. What's also positive about Mýa is that her songwriting skills are being displayed early in her career. Other noteworthy tracks include "Whatcha Say," "Bye Bye," "My First Night With You," "Movin' On", and "We're Gonna Make Ya Dance."[5]

Singles[edit]

  • The first single from the album "It's All About Me", peaked at number six on Billboard Hot 100 and number two on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was a commercial success due to heavy rotation video airplay on MTV and became Mýa's first top ten hit (solo). It was a moderate success internationally, peaking in the top twenty in New Zealand and top forty in Canada.
  • The second single "My First Night with You" peaked at number twenty-eight on Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-eight on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was a moderate success and became Mýa's third top forty hit (solo).
  • The third and final single "Movin' On" peaked at number thirty-four on Billboard Hot 100 and number four on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was a moderate success and became Mýa's second top forty hit (solo). It was a moderate success internationally, peaking in the top twenty in New Zealand.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "What Cha Say"   Mýa Harrison, Darryl "DAY" Pearson Darryl "DAY" Pearson 3:55
2. "Movin' On"   Harrison, Pearson, Mark Andrews Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:29
3. "Baby It's Yours"   Alex "CAT" Cantrall, Myron Davis Alex "CAT" Cantrall 4:29
4. "Keep On Lovin' Me"   Pearson, Andrews, Larry "Jazz" Anthony, N.Neka Darryl "DAY" Pearson 3:46
5. "It's All About Me" (featuring Sisqó) Pearson, Andrews Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:26
6. "If You Died I Wouldn't Cry Cause You Never Loved Me Anyway"   James "Woody" Green, R.Brown, Tamir Ruffin Nokio the N-Tity 5:02
7. "We're Gonna Make Ya Dance"   Harrison, Pearson, Ruffin Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:23
8. "If You Were Mine"   Cantrall, Davis Alex "CAT" Cantrall 4:17
9. "Bye Bye" (featuring Missy Elliott) Harrison, Pearson, Melissa Elliott Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:05
10. "Anytime You Want Me"   Cantrall, Joey Priolo, Carl Carr Alex "CAT" Cantrall 3:40
11. "Don't Be Afraid"   Cantrall, Priolo Alex "CAT" Cantrall 4:46
12. "My First Night with You"   Kenneth Edmonds, Diane Warren Daryl Simmons 5:38
13. "Movin' On (Remix)" (featuring Silkk the Shocker) Harrison, Pearson, Andrews, Vyshonn Miller Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:30

Charts and certifications[edit]

Tour[edit]

Main article: Lilith Fair

Nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Result
1999 Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist Nominated
Best R&B/Soul Album - Female Nominated
Lady of Soul Best R&B/Soul Song Of The Year, Movin' On Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding New Artist Nominated

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Canada[11] April 21, 1998 Cassette, CD Universal Music Group
United States[12] Fontana Records, Interscope Records
Germany[13] April 28, 1998 Interscope Records
Japan[14] June 24, 1998 Universal Music Japan
United Kingdom[15] September 14, 2000 Polydor Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mýa's Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "'Messages' Mark Mya's Debut". EBSCO Publishing. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  3. ^ a b "MISSING MYA". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Mya - Mya". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  5. ^ a b "R&b: Mya". AllBusiness. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  6. ^ a b "Mya > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  7. ^ "1998 Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  8. ^ "1998 Top R&B Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  9. ^ "1999 Top 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Mýa – Mýa". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  11. ^ "Mya: Mya: Amazon.ca: Music". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  12. ^ "Amazon.com: Mya: Mya: Music: Reviews, Prices & more". Amazon. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  13. ^ "MYA - MYA - CD - musicline.de". Musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  14. ^ "UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL". universal-music.co.jp. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Mya: Mya: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 

External links[edit]