Sugar & Spice (Mýa album)

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Sugar & Spice
Sugar & Spice.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 3, 2008
RecordedSeptember —November 2008
Mýa chronology
Sugar & Spice
Mya and Friends Presents... Best of Both Worlds
Singles from Sugar & Spice
  1. "Paradise"
    Released: October 31, 2008

Sugar & Spice is the fifth studio album by American singer Mýa. It was released by Manhattan Recordings exclusively in Japan on December 3, 2008.[1] The album was produced through Mýa's own independent label imprint Planet 9 following her departure from Universal Motown amid the leakage of her previous album Liberation on the Japanese music market.[1] Instead of spending a year and "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in court suing her record label, Motown/Universal, she opted out of her contract.[2] From there, Japan asked her to record more albums exclusively for the Japanese market because Japan loved Liberation.[3]

Recorded between the months of September and November 2008 at Mýa's own recording studio, production was primary handled by a variety of low—profile producers; enlisting the help of Arkatech Beatz, Riddim Fingaz, The Smith Bros, and Duke Williams among others.[4] Harrison, took full creative control co-writing the entire album with producer Christopher Moore and served as executive producer. Guest features included rappers Tre, Faith Boogie, and dancehall musician Sean Paul. In her own words, Mýa described the album as "a compilation with all positive energy and song content."[5]

The album spawned just one single, the riddim—inspired "Paradise", which was released on October 31, 2008.[6] Sugar & Spice debuted at number fifty-three on Japan's Oricon Albums Chart.


Prior to Mýa recording and releasing her first independent album overseas, she released three successful studio albums in the United States; 1998's Mýa, 2000's Fear of Flying and 2003's Moodring. Back in 1998, Mýa released her debut self-titled album, which peaked at No. 13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Fear of Flying (2000) fared even better at No. 7, with the single "Case of the Ex" reaching No. 2 on the Hot 100. In 2001, she took home a Grammy for "Lady Marmalade", her massive No. 1 single with P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Missy Elliott. A role in the hit film Chicago and other acting opportunities followed. After she released Moodring in 2003, with the exception of a popular stint on Dancing with the Stars in 2009 (she finished second), it seemed as if Mýa had left the entertainment industry.[3]

In 2004, after the Moodring album, she ended up in a year-long litigation with management. In late 2005, Harrison made a transition within the Universal system from Interscope to Universal Motown. In 2007 her fourth studio album Liberation was accidentally released in Japan when the release date changed. At the time, she was with Motown/Universal and her lawyer advised that she not waste time and money taking the issue to court, so Harrison decided to go independent instead. The Liberation album became so popular in Japan that Manhattan Recordings approached her about doing business with them. Harrison then released her first independent project, Sugar & Spice, a year after her split with Motown in Japan in 2008.[7]

Planet 9[edit]

In 2008, Harrison created her own label imprint Planet 9. Since parting ways with Universal Motown, Harrison has released four independently self-funded, self-executive produced projects; 2008's Sugar & Spice, 2009's Sugar & Spice: The Perfect Edition, 2010's Beauty & the Streets Vol. 1 and 2011's K.I.S.S. In 2009, Harrison spoke with Rolling Out magazine, elaborating more on her hiatus from music and decision to go independent:

"I've never stopped doing music. I've created a label called Planet 9 and I released an album in Japan. I invested in my own studio and it cut the recording cost down 95 percent. I have my own in-house producers and they are not as expensive as an established producer. The return is greater and now I own my masters. I see six dollars per album sold versus 10 cents. You may not sell as many units because you don't put as much money in promotions, but the returns are better."[8]

Later in the interview, Harrison voiced her opinion on the major difference between major record labels and independent labels, saying with "Major labels have a system that you have to go through. The people in power dictate how things should sound and where the money is spent. But when you become your own boss, you check every line item and you have to be cautious."[8]

Conception and production[edit]

Production on Sugar & Spice was handled by a variety of less-known producers. Harrison started producing the album in September 08'. The album's lead single "Paradise" was produced by Riddim Fingaz, a native of Jamaica who has produced and worked with a lot of reggae stars such as Ky-Mani Marley, Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder. "Almost Naked" was produced by Young Yonny, a young producer who lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Yonny previously worked a lot producing for rappers Lil' Wayne and Trina, but also produces R&B music. Harrison and Yonny worked together two years ago on other various project prior to Harrison's fifth studio album Sugar & Spice. Singer-songwriter Stevie Hoang, a producer in the UK was asked to contribute two songs to the album ("Sold on Your Love", "One for You").

Harrison said she chose to cover Diana King's "Shy Guy" because it was a favorite childhood song. Another track, "Music Be the Music" incorporates '80s dance music. In interview when asked why she chose to put a song like this on the album, Harrison replied, "because I like to dance and I like to party." Cry No More, a ballad is about a man having to endure suffering while he's away from his significant other. Among Mýa's favorites songs on the album; the mid-tempo track "Ego Trippin'" a song about women who rarely apologize in certain situations and the up-tempo dance number "Back to Disco". Through this album, Harrison said, "listeners should get a feel for various feelings; further more saying I just want to empathize with others with my experiences. We all are different, each day will have a lot experiences." "In the words of Tteiu, Sugar & Spice means to have a wonderful life. This album is a little sugar, a little spice, it's two side of Mýa."[9]

Release and promotion[edit]

On the day Sugar & Spice was released in Japan, Harrison visited HMV Store at Takagi Building in Shibuya, Tokyo for a live performance and an autograph signing. Two days after, she made a stop at Fever in Ageha Shibuya, Tokyo to hold an album release party for Sugar & Spice.

Track listing[edit]

Sugar & SpiceStandard edition
1."Must Be the Music"
  • Mýa Harrison
  • Christopher Moore
Jimmy "Klev" Juarez4:55
  • Harrison
  • Moore
Riddim Fingaz3:24
3."Sold on Your Love"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
Stevie Hoang5:55
4."One for You"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
5."Almost Naked"
  • Nia Myricks
  • Pamela Shipp
6."Cry No More"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
D. Botts4:23
7."Ego Trippin'"The Smith Brothers4:06
8."Let's Go to War" (introducing Faith Boogie)
  • Harrison
  • Moore
  • Faith Waldron
  • Yonny
  • Harrison
9."All in Your Mind"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
Leroy "Mr. Lee" Williams3:02
10."Shy Guy"
  • KO Tha Trakaholik
  • Duke Williams
11."Money Can't Buy My Love"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
Michael Duque4:50
12."Back to Disco (70's Disco)"
  • Harrison
  • Moore
Mike "Trauma" D.4:28


  • Business & Legal Affair – Tamayu Takayama
  • Creative coordination – Sherman Harrison
  • Executive producer – Mýa Harrison
  • Management – Hue Entertainment
Visuals and imagery
Technical and production


Chart(2008) Peak
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[10] 53

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Edition Label
Japan December 3, 2008[11][12] Digital download, CD Standard Manhattan Recordings, Planet 9
August 5, 2009[13] The Perfect Edition


  1. ^ a b Bass, Andrew (2007-08-15). "Interview: Mya, R&B Sensation". Associated Content. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  2. ^ Nero, Mark Edward (2007-01-01). "2007 R&B Music Preview". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  3. ^ a b "Mya Talks 'K.I.S.S.' Deluxe Album, New 'Catty' Single, & Trina Collabo". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  4. ^ "More Hot Records! Arkatech Beatz Working With MYA!". Official Arkatech Beatz website. 2009-03-25. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
  5. ^ "Mýa: More Than A Songstress". W.A.N.T.S. Lifestyle. Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  6. ^ "Paradise - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ "Mya Interview with 4EightMedia". Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  8. ^ a b "Mya's Last Dance?". Rolling Out. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  9. ^ "Maia, "What is that girl in need of sugar and spice"". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-07-03.
  10. ^ シュガー&スパイス -パーフェクト・エディション- [Sugar & Spice The Perfect Edition/Mya] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Sugar & Spice". iTunes. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  12. ^ "Sugar & Spice". HMV Japan. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  13. ^ "Sugar & Spice (The Perfect Edition)". HMV Japan. Retrieved 2012-01-09.

External links[edit]