From The Vault: Mya – ‘Free’

Published: Sunday 18th Sep 2016 by Joe

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!

Your thoughts?

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  1. Cisco September 18, 2016

    So underrated!!! Has the whole package!!!!

    • Smoove Jones September 18, 2016

      So damn talented. ?

  2. 227 September 18, 2016

    Love Mya; I’m not a fan of her independent projects, but I love her Fear of Flying and Moodring album–I still listen to them regularly.

  3. Weezy Tha Goat/ Zayn is ? September 18, 2016

    Mya’s career should have been bigger ? And Mark looks like a foot ?

    • Wash yo mouth pls September 18, 2016


    • Annalise September 18, 2016

      I’m CRINE!!!! C’MON WEEZY!! Drag a tonne????????

  4. Smoove Jones September 18, 2016

    Love Free. It’s one of my favorites by her.

  5. Pat September 18, 2016

    Omg u would love to see her on a major stage w a big budget….she would eat it!!!!

  6. Yep September 18, 2016

    Love Mya

  7. Annalise September 18, 2016

    The OG Tinashe, but unlike Tin, Mya was actually successful and had a #1 ?. Mya was R&B queen for a short time but her music still bangs!!! My favourite bops from her are Ghetto Superstar, Girl Dem Sugar, It’s All About Me, Free and Love like Wo.

    • Smoove Jones September 18, 2016

      Mya>>>>>Tinashe PERIOD

      • Annalise September 18, 2016

        C’MON Preacher!!!! NoNeckShé will always be mya’s lessor, but she does have some good bops too. Her recent music is trash tho! Po’thang! ?

  8. lolhart September 18, 2016

    The problem with Mya was her material. She never really developed her own sound the way Aaliyah and Brandy did.

    • Smoove Jones September 19, 2016

      Her material was solid and just fine. It was more so management and the team she had around her.

  9. ka September 18, 2016

    That’s my jam in high school!

  10. RihYonce September 18, 2016

    Mya was one of my favs . That girl is so underrated I wish she was able to stick around longer but I still jam to her classics

  11. Nowqd Reddish trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremixi September 18, 2016

    Nice song

  12. Del September 19, 2016

    She is beautiful and talented. I still bump Case of the Ex and Fallen.

  13. ~The Arcade~ September 19, 2016

    Thanks TJG for this… Mya is undeniably underrated

  14. Mr. CEE September 19, 2016

    I LOVE Mya! When I tell y’all “Lock You Down” is still one of my faves and that video…

  15. justme September 19, 2016

    Mya needs a great collaboration song to put her back on top. Maybe if someone recreates ghetto superstar and have her sing the hook. Or she just needs a good pop song something similar to case of the ex. That would at least give her some kind of push

  16. PlushPusha September 19, 2016

    So I guess no one has checked out all 8 of her dope ass independent, self funded, self owned, self executive produced independent projects. her label leaked her 4th album so she said bye and has been doing it herself on tour everywhere around the world ever since. Her vocals slay live too. Her IG page is @myaplanet9

    • Smoove Jones September 19, 2016

      I have them all. They’re great. Mya slays.

  17. TRAVON M AUSTIN September 19, 2016

    I will always love her Janet dance tribute. Aaliyah was presenting and P!nk could dance her b*** off and Usher killed it! I can only assume how great those times were having all those legends in one room. I was only 8 years old.

  18. Junior in Jamaica September 20, 2016

    Mya has been my favourite since she came out.

    SO sad what happened with the label.

    She has the entire package. Supporting her Indie stuff but really want to see her major again. She deserves it.

    Who remembers when she was ROBBED on “Dancing With the Stars”?

    She has had some bad luck too…like when she was to star in Broadway and broke her ankle training for the role…

    I respect her a lot and have met her twice and autograph/photo etc. I love that she STAYS working with my local Jamaican acts. I think she more than any other female in the game has done it the most.

    Still rooting for her!

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