The 90s R&B teen scene was already well occupied by the Brandys and Monicas of the world by the time then-18-year-old Mya came into play. Sporting a soft soprano and street savvy dance moves, fans were introduced to what looked like Aaliyah’s distant R&B cousin. However, time would prove Ms. Harrison to be more than a spinoff.
With her debut single boldly professing ‘It’s All About Me’ with fellow diva-in-training Sisqo, Mya blasted onto charts with a slew of R&B top 10 hits. Then after her 2000 sophomore smash ‘Fear Of Flying’ soared up charts and yielded her signature #1 hit ‘Case of the Ex’, the ‘Movin’ On’ songbird was quickly moving into becoming a formidable force across multiple genre tallies – still following Aaliyah’s archetype of harmonizing with hip hop hitmakers (see: Jay Z, Jadakiss). But, it would be her enlistment on 2001’s remake of ‘Lady Marmalade’ featuring then-rising Pop starlets Christina Aguilera, Pink and Rap queen Lil’ Kim that cemented the R&B star’s view on the Pop telescope.
And while the song’s tenure on charts did raise ‘Mya awareness’ in other arenas, it ushered in a dilemma as well. Could she follow-up the joint effort with her own solo success? The subsequent ‘Mizzaundastood’ and ‘Stripped’ eras of Pink and Christina‘s respective careers may have lifted them to new heights, but Mya’s ‘MoodRing’ failed to strike a similar chord with fans. Its respectable chart entry and ‘My Love Is Like Whoa’ intro set it on the ground running initially, but just a few weeks later it had ‘fallen’ off charts faster than its second single – struggling to secure Gold status.
After a brief hiatus, the songstress returned with the Lil’ Wayne-assisted ‘Lock U Down’ from her fourth album ‘Liberation’ – which freely fell into obscurity. This Japan-only release, followed by other albums of similar suiting, all indicated that Mya had lost her footing on US Pop charts.
So what’s the problem? Her sheer talent has kept her in mention with today’s top Urban divas, while movie and talent show appearances have, to some degree, kept her ‘celebrity’ alive. But what we want to know is: were her previous chart shortcomings marketing mishaps or musical missteps?
You weigh in. Product vs. promotion: Have we seen the best of the ‘Best of Me’ songstress? Or will the right product and/or promotion bring Mya back?