Mýa (album)

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Mýa
Mýa.jpg
Studio album by Mýa
Released April 21, 1998 (1998-04-21)
(see release history)
Recorded 1997–1998
Silent Sound Studios
(Atlanta, Georgia)
Genre
Length 57:24
Label Interscope
Producer
Mýa chronology
Mýa
(1998)
Fear of Flying
(2000)
Singles from Mýa
  1. "It's All About Me"
    Released: February 14, 1998
  2. "Movin' On"
    Released: July 14, 1998
  3. "My First Night with You"
    Released: April 13, 1999

Mýa is the self-titled eponymous debut album by American recording artist Mýa. It was released on April 21, 1998 by Interscope Records. Recording of the album was overseen by University Records CEO Haaq Islam after he signed the singer when she was 15. Mýa was composed of the contemporary genres with songs that were a mix of soft hip hop, pop soul and contemporary mid-to-late 1990s R&B. Production was primarily handled by Darryl "Day" Pearson with additional contributions from Daryl Simmons, Alex "Cat" Cantrall and Nokio the N-Tity. Guest features include 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".

Upon release, Mýa received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented Mýa's vocals and songwriting abilities, as well as the album's well-crafted appeal. Within the next six months, Mýa became a commercial success. Although initially sales were sluggish, the album was able to reached the upper-half of the US Billboard 200 and awarded a certified platinum plaque by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling over 1.4 million copies in the United States. In the midst of the album's success, Harrison earned several accolades, including a NAACP Image Award nomination and two Soul Train Music Award nominations.

Background[edit]

As a child, Harrison was an accomplished, gifted dancer who had trained with Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, and the Dance Theater of Harlem. As a teen, she 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 serious about a musical career; they began to shop around the demo tapes, eventually 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 and composition[edit]

In 1996, the president and CEO of University Music Haaq Islam signed Mýa, when she was 16-years old. 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 said that her album speaks mostly to men and that many of the songs offer variety of "messages". Harrison 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 said, 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 featured 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 said, 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 added 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]

The president and CEO of University Music 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]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
Billboard (favorable)[4]
Vibe (favorable)[5]

Media reception for Mýa was generally positive. In his review for online music guide service AllMusic, editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album a "thoroughly promising debut" that compromises "a fine set of songs that manage to sound universal and strangely confessional." He rated the album four out of five stars, noting that Mýa "is a smooth, sultry collection of well-crafted contemporary urban soul that is actually richer than the average urban record the late '90s."[3]

Billboard magazine journalist Paul Verna found that Mýa "scored on her debut album by addressing issues of concern to women without spewing cuss words." He compared the material to R&B band Destiny's Child and complimented Mýa's songwriting skills, ranking "It's All About Me", "Whatcha Say," "Bye Bye," "My First Night With You," "Movin' On", and "We're Gonna Make Ya Dance" among the album's noteworthy tracks.[4] Ayana B. Byrd, writing for Vibe magazine, expressed that on Mýa the "Washington, D.C. native always sings with a voice that is clear, strong, and assured." She called the album a "heartfelt [...] sparkling debut" that combined "round-the-way girl sass with an artist's sensibility."[5]

Commercial performance[edit]

Mýa debuted at number seventy-seven on the Billboard 200 album chart on May 9, 1998.[6] The album eventually 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 weeks of September 5, 1998 and July 14, 1998, respectively.[6] During the holiday season, Mýa experienced its biggest single-week of sales, scanning 64,858 units.[6] Within a few months, Mýa was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on October 1, 1998 and remained on Billboard 200 album chart for 53 non-consecutive weeks. It became one of the best selling albums of 1998, selling 1,100,000 copies.[7] As of May 2003, Mýa has sold over 1.4 million copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen Soundscan.[8]

Singles[edit]

Mýa's debut album produced three singles. Lead single "It's All About Me", a duet with singer Sisqó, peaked at number six on Billboard Hot 100 and number two on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, marking Mýa's first top ten entry as a solo artist. It was later certified gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A moderate international success, it peaked in the top twenty of the New Zealand and the top forty in Canadian Singles Charts. A remix version of "Movin' On", featuring additional vocals from rapper Silkk the Shocker" was released as the album's second single. It reached number 11 on the New Zealand Singles Chart and peaked at number thirty-four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number four on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album's third and final single, a cover of Deborah Cox's 1995 song "My First Night with You" peaked at number twenty-eight equally on Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "What Cha Say"
  • Mýa Harrison
  • Darryl "DAY" Pearson
Pearson 3:55
2. "Movin' On"
Pearson 4:29
3. "Baby It's Yours"
  • Alex Cantrall
  • Myron Davis
Cantrall 4:29
4. "Keep On Lovin' Me"
Pearson 3:46
5. "It's All About Me" (featuring Sisqó)
  • Pearson
  • Andrews
Pearson 4:26
6. "If You Died I Wouldn't Cry Cause You Never Loved Me Anyway" Nokio the N-Tity 5:02
7. "We're Gonna Make Ya Dance"
  • Harrison
  • Pearson
  • Ruffin
  • Pearson
  • Nokio the N-Tity
4:23
8. "If You Were Mine"
  • Cantrall
  • Davis
Cantrall 4:17
9. "Bye Bye" (featuring Missy Elliott)
Pearson 4:05
10. "Anytime You Want Me"
  • Cantrall
  • Joey Priolo
  • Carl Carr
  • Cantrall
  • Joey P.
3:40
11. "Don't Be Afraid"
  • Cantrall
  • Priolo
  • Cantrall
  • Joey P.
4:46
12. "My First Night with You" Daryl Simmons 5:38
13. "Movin' On (Remix)" (featuring Silkk the Shocker)
  • Pearson
  • A. Haqq Islam
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[15] April 21, 1998 Cassette, CD Universal Music Group
United States[16] Fontana Records, Interscope Records
Germany[17] April 28, 1998 Interscope Records
Japan[18] June 24, 1998 Universal Music Japan
United Kingdom[19] 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 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Mya - Mya". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  4. ^ a b Verna, Paul (1998-04-25). "Reviews & Previews: R&B". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Mya — Mya". Vibe. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  6. ^ a b c Mayfield, Geoff (2000-05-12). "Between the Bullets". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1998". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 111 (5): 75. January 30, 1999. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith. "Ask Billboard: Missing Mya". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  9. ^ "Mya – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Mya. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  10. ^ "Mya – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Mya. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  11. ^ "1998 Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  12. ^ "1998 Top R&B Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  13. ^ "1999 Top 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Mýa – Mýa". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  15. ^ "Mya: Mya: Amazon.ca: Music". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  16. ^ "Amazon.com: Mya: Mya: Music: Reviews, Prices & more". Amazon. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  17. ^ "MYA - MYA - CD - musicline.de". Musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  18. ^ "UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL". universal-music.co.jp. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  19. ^ "Mya: Mya: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 

External links[edit]