Music Best Fits Mya's 'Mood'

Today's artist has to be multifaceted. From films to fashion, many artists are branching out into various avenues of entertainment. Among those reaping the rewards of multi-tasking is Mya.

Today's artist has to be multifaceted. From films to fashion, many artists are branching out into various avenues of entertainment. Among those reaping the rewards of multi-tasking is Mya.

Since the singer's 2000 album "Fear of Flying," she has earned a Grammy for her contribution to "Lady Marmalade" from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack and appeared in the Oscar-winning film "Chicago." Mya also served as a pitch woman for Coca-Cola.

But with the upcoming release of "Moodring," the Washington, D.C., native returns to what she calls the best fit: music. "This has been the biggest gap between projects," Mya says. "Not knowing when my album would come, working with someone like [A&M Records president] Ron Fair and the transition from moving from an independent label to Interscope sort of left us in limbo."

It also presented opportunities like her role in "Chicago," which, she says, "took a little bit of time away from the album."

Due July 22, the new set is her A&M debut. Mya's two prior sets, "Fear of Flying" and her self-titled debut, were released via then-Interscope-distributed imprint University Music. The new album's lead single, "My Love Is Like ... Wo," is No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Back then, I wasn't so confident in saying, 'My a** is like wo,' " Mya says of the 2-year-old song. "I was coming out of doing a program with young girls that talked about self-esteem and body image."

But, she adds, "I realized that I really couldn't worry about what people think of me. I'm at that point in my life now where I can say, 'My ass is like wo.' I wasn't even considering the song to be on the album at that time, but I later fought for it to be the single."

For Mya, who executive-produced "Moodring" with Fair, fighting for her single was only one example of the creative control she had on the set. "I took control," Mya says. "It wasn't about being a stubborn artist. It was just something that I started on my own by calling up people and gathering musicians together."

In fact, she fronted funding for the album at the beginning of the studio process, "to create a playground for Mya," she says. "There were no expectations, because people didn't even know I was working on an album."

Fair agrees: "Over the last couple of years, she has really matured. A lot of this growth was on a human level, and she applies it to her work. Once I realized that her ideas were coming from a real place of talent and vision, [she] really began to drive the bus."