7 Things I learned at 7: An Interview With Grammy-Winning Artist Mýa

7 Things I Learned at 7 is a recurring interview column from the HONOLULU Magazine fashion team. This month, meet Mýa.
Photo: Courtesy of Mýa


This month, R&B/hip-hop artist and actress Mýa visited the island, so we snagged the chance to sit with her as she shared choice tidbits about her new EP series, a rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and an encounter with a 6-foot shark.


Why the visit to the 50th State?

I was initially in Hawai‘i for some filming. But my management and staff at The Modern Honolulu coordinated a weekend around the latest series of projects I’ve released, which I was very excited about. It started with a meet-and-greet at The MH’s The Study, followed by an EP series release party and a live performance at the Addiction Nightclub that included classic hits and a new fan favorite, “Space,” from my latest EP. On Saturday, I spent the entire day with the winners and runners-up of my “Break Spring with Mýa” online contest. We (all first timers) enjoyed a shark encounter tour in Hale‘iwa, a poolside lunch, spa treatments at The Modern Spa followed by a complimentary dinner at Morimoto Restaurant, where I had an amazing tofu cheesecake, since I’m currently practicing veganism. On Sunday, I had my own Mýa time and visited the beach and took an aerial helicopter tour of the island before heading to the airport.


Best memory from the trip?

I did overcome my fear of deep, dark waters and sharks by setting up the tour in Hale‘iwa. I wanted to challenge myself and, being with my fans, I knew I couldn’t back out. Now I have a greater appreciation for sharks and their surroundings.


Although that was an amazing experience, I would say my favorite memory I’ll take back with me was meeting so many wonderful people and taking in the beautiful sights in a relaxing setting.


What inspires your music?

People, places, the human experience, the series of emotions (high, low and limbo) we experience and the curiosity of the universe. 


First musical memory?

Playing a keyboard with my mom on the bed at 2 years old. It was “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”


You started at such a young age. How has the music industry changed over the years?

I’ve seen a huge shift in technology—this might trip you out a little. When I first started recording demos, it was in my dad’s friend’s basement studio, the equipment was horrible, but I produced my very first album on a cassette tape. By the second album, there was no cassette, just CD. By the next album, there was still CD, but it was a risk to put anything physical out there because there was a shift to MP3s, and Napster was born. Now, online, there are so many digital outlets—Spotify, Beats, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon—it’s endless. So, your music is widely available and it reaches audiences all over the world. But, on the flip side, I do think people still like to have a physical copy of the music.


Favorite karaoke song?

Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam’s “Head to Toe.”


When will you come back to the Islands? 

Hopefully for the second annual HONOLULU Fashion Week this year!


Read More Stories by Stacey Makiya