From The Vault salutes the criminally underrated Mya this week; our pick is her colorful tune ‘Free.’
In late 2000, following the success of ‘Case Of The Ex’, the singer seized the moment to re-release her sophomore album ‘Fear Of Flying’ with two new tracks. ‘Free’ comprised half of the double helping and was serviced as the album’s third single. It was also part of the soundtrack for Jamie Foxx’s ‘Bait’ movie.
Upon its arrival, the track drew many comparisons to Janet Jackson’s early work; understandable as it was produced by Jackson’s partners in rhyme Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
Sadly, it never lit up the charts like Janet’s early hits. Nor was it in reaching distance of ‘Case’s success. Instead, the funky cut had to settle for a #42 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 and #52 on the Hip-Hop/R&B tally.
Internationally it fared better, reaching #11 on the UK Singles Charts and the 4th position in Australia.
The ever dynamic Dave Meyers was tapped to direct the song’s video resulting in a vivaciously glossy affair.
Mya is seen transporting through different eras, which is accentuated by the fashion displayed but also the dynamite dancing throughout the visual. Special salute to the “locking” segment; the artist and her dancers went all the way off.
Nothing irks us more than witnessing artists with the “full-package” struggle to garner recognition from record labels or radio executives. Though not a powerhouse vocalist, Mya is a more than capable singer, a skilled and versatile dancer, and a passionate performer. To this day we still ask ourselves when and where did it go wrong. Sure, she’s achieved commendable success on the indie circuit, but the reality is that her talent almost demands to be seen by the largest audience.
Anyway, we’ll keep hoping for a chart resurgence of some sort for this incredible act. She’s way overdue for another hit.
Mya, we’re ready when you are!