by MK Scott -
SGN A&E Writer
If you thought that the Cuff Pride Party with Berlin and Vicci Martinez was great, Club Silverstone in Tacoma has something special planned for their annual Pride Party on Saturday, July 8th. Hosted by The Lady Bunny, the headliner there will be R&B singer and actress, Mya. It was 15 years ago when she collaborated with Missy Elliot and was one of the foursome in the iconic Lady Marmalade remake for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, which was followed by her cameo in the Oscar-winning Chicago as cellmate Mona. I had a chance to chat with by phone last week (June 22).
MK: Hey, Mya, Happy Pride. I heard that you are performing at Club Silverstone in honor of Tacoma Pride on July 8th. What do you like most about Pride?
Mya: Oh, wow. Pride is just a festivity that goes on and on and on to the break of dawn, but it's all about coming together celebrating our differences and being proud of who you are as individuals as well as a community. And there's nothing like it. You know, out of all the festivities and events that I've done worldwide Pride is something that I would crawl to every year, there's no judgment. The energy is positive, the energy is uplifting, always colorful and great. It's always a ball for me to be at it as a performer and as a person.
MK: Now, what do you have planned for your performance?
Mya: [Chuckle] Anything goes. Whenever I perform at a pride party, my goodness, anything goes. You know, I have a template and a sketch, but it never goes as planned because, you know, I like to involve, or engage, the audience. So, you know, we can do anything from a dance contest, to a birthday celebration. Anything, however, whenever, wherever, but I will obviously be doing my classic hits.
MK: Hey, also, when I was doing my research - you are one of the top 100 performers of the 2000's thanks to your collaboration with Christina, Pink, Lil' Kim and Misty in the iconic Lady Marmalade. What was that experience like?
Mya: Working with the ladies on Lady Marmalade was the ultimate experience, you know. Everyone was already an established artist, everyone is different as individuals, and performance artists, and the things that were brought to the table was different. So you have four females coming together and there's all kinds of rumors about fighting, (which I witnessed none of), the energy was amazing. I love her so. Everyone was so sweet. And then we actually performed together live as well as received awards together. That was an amazing accomplishment. And meeting Patti LaBelle, who was one of the originators of the song with Rockwilder was also the ultimate experience, my goodness. So it was great. It was so great to be a part of, and it always is a party with those shows.
MK: I actually remember seeing that performance. I think it was on the Grammys where you guys actually did perform together.
Mya: Yes. That was the Grammys. The Awards. That was so exciting.
MK: Wow! All right. And then, also, in one word, describe each of your collaborators, like in one word how would you describe Lil Kim?
Mya: Lil Kim is [chuckle] a powerhouse performer. She is just this sweet little person with a small voice that's so darling. In person it's completely opposite of the personality that people know publicly. [Chuckle] I think I actually met Pink when we were both 16 and we recorded with the same people in Philadelphia. And so Pink is a very tough girl, but once again she has this tough outer shell, but she is also just this sweet girl, so playful. Christina, just a powerhouse performer. Just like with this little body with this amazing voice and quite a big personality behind the scenes. So I don't know if you want me to describe me, but I'm pretty chill and laid back. Missy was really fun. She produced the song. Missy is also so playful, we're all like little girls, and I guess because we were around other girls at the time. But we could let our inner powers out, but Missy is also a sweet girl. It was just amazing to be a part of this because everyone was just so nice and friendly, and then once we get onstage we turn into other people. [Chuckle]
MK: [Chuckle] Now, who was the biggest diva working together?
Mya: The biggest diva? Well, the biggest diva was actually a guy [laugh] that worked on the song, like a &Executive Producer, Ron Fair.
MK: Oh? [Laugh]
Mya: [Laugh] Yes. And he knows I'm talking about him. Blond hair. You know, we worked together probably about 14, 15 years, but wow, so I call him the male in this situation, he was the biggest diva, because everybody just came in and handled their business, because we're used to doing it. But, you know, producers can get very finicky about their work and Particular-ism. There was no diva-ism between the females that were there.
MK: And this was followed by a cameo in Chicago, the movie, in the equally iconic cell-block tango. Do you want to, do you have the drive to be able to continue with doing movies and maybe even Broadway?
Mya: Absolutely. You know, musicals are actually the ultimate experience and quite my favorite thing to do because it includes acting, and dancing, presentation, all kinds of things, even on the production side, wardrobe and fashion, and period key things, minding their shit really. But all of that coming together to make a project is something that I've always dreamed of. And Broadway was the very first thing I ever wanted to do as a child. And so that's what I was going to do. So, absolutely! And you can be 60 years old on Broadway, you can be 80 years old on Broadway, and still be a fabulous diva. And that's definitely something in my future and something I've always dreamed of.
MK: Now, I've got one serious question for you. For Pride season under the current administration, how should we cope? What should the message be?
Mya: The message is to embrace each other. We are all individuals. You know, I don't care what religion, background, genre of music, sexual preference, your age, your sex, your size, whatever you are, or wherever you come, live it as an individual and own it, be at peace with it, do not run from it. Because the more you run from the truth the more miserable you'll be. We're not all supposed to be the same. We're not all supposed to look the same. But we are all supposed to be respectful of each other, whether we agree with the choices that we make for our own personal lives, or as a community. And I think having conversations and & the political front, you know, war. Yes, it's about respecting an individual for their personal decisions, having conversations so that we understand each other, and focusing on the similarities, and the human need, which is love. And love comes in all forms. And to understand each other, or not, but at least respect and accept the fact that we are all individuals is the platform and the starting point of functionality in a world full of craziness, in a world full of judgment and hate. No one is perfect. Everyone's defining man. So define it for yourself, proceed and live life to the fullest, and do what makes you happy and vibrate high. And don't be ashamed of it, living the truth of your life. That's what's ultimately going to give you the most fulfilling life. And that's what I believe in. And that applies to all people in their personal decisions, and keeping it friendly, keeping it love, and keeping it positive, regardless of whether you agree or not with someone else's life. Really, mind your business.
MK: All right. One last question, which I call my burning question, which is the one I really want to know about. Who would your dream duet partner be? Or, if you had the chance to be able to work with a bunch of performers again, like you did with Lady Marmalade, who would that be?
Mya: Oh, my god. Let's see. I worked with Amanda Lepore, which has been awesome.
MK: Love her!
Mya: On songwriting, I would love to work with India Ari, and Lauren Hill on something acoustic. Yes. I also would love to work with Miranda Lambert, or any of the Pistol Annie's group members (Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley). And even that performance would be amazing! If Prince was still here I would've loved to have worked with him. An amazing musician, an entertainer! Hmm. There's so many. So many people that I want to work with. Hmm & and RuPaul. Yeah. On a Queen remix...
MK: Awesome! All right, well, that's all the questions I have. Thank you so much. I appreciate you chatting with me. I apologize with the Internet issues and so forth. So we are hoping to - we can't wait to see you, when you come out for Tacoma Pride!
Mya: I am so excited about Tacoma Pride! The block party is going to be off the chain! I hope to meet you.
Come and see Mya along with Shea Couleé, star of 'RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9,' who will be bringing her own fierce twist on drag performance! Famous Miami DJ, DJ Kidd Madonny, will be spinning tracks between performances! The Lady Bunny will be your pilot and Master of Ceremonies for this year's action packed show!
Presale tickets available for $20. Beat the lines and save some money! $25 at the door. NOTE: Only tickets purchased from Club Silverstone guarantee entry.
Hear more of this interview on MK's podcast; podomatic.com/podcasts/itsfab
MK Scott is a Seattle-based arts blogger. Check out his blog at outviewonline.com.
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