The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Mýa Anymore

Mýa Harrison, the American singer whose been referred to eponymously since the late-'90s, swept the music world with hits such as "It's All About Me," featuring Dru Hill and "Lady Marmalade," alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Pink. Following her musical success, Mya transitioned into the role of an actress and starred in the 2002 film Chicago and 2004's Shall We Dance?

She appeared to be on the path to becoming a global, multi-faceted superstar, but then she seemed to suddenly vanish. Even after snagging a Grammy nomination in 2017, Mýa is flying way under the radar, but that may be exactly where she wants to be. Here's the real reason you don't hear from this R&B star anymore.

She ditched her record label

A legal dispute with a record label reportedly changed the course of Mýa's music career. According to an interview with The Culture, the release date of her fourth album, Liberation, was adjusted numerous times and then accidentally released early in some markets. 

Instead of suing her label for money connected to the inadvertent release of her album, Mýa opted to go independent, eventually launching her own label called Planet 9 in 2008 and forging ahead on her own terms.

She's a hustler

While speaking with The Culture, Mýa explained that it may look like she's disappeared off the face of the Earth simply because she's so busy. 

"I'm always hustling," she said. "Hustling does not always have media coverage. Hustling to me is traveling the world and getting paid and doing shows. That's how I fund my projects, and all those other things that I am interested in like philanthropy and my foundation and teaching children."

Mýa said she also makes a point not to "publicize everything," but she does make occasional television appearances, such as her 2009 stint on Dancing with the Stars.

"I live a pretty low-key life, but I'm very behind-the-scenes," she said. "My time is pretty consumed with handling all of the logistics and the admin and the paperwork."

Is she stuck in the past?

Let's face it, we're in the digital era, and even old-school artists are embracing modern ways of promoting and distributing music. Although many of her singles and albums are available for streaming on various platforms, Mýa is still a fan of — shall we say — more antiquated forms of selling her sound. 

On her official website, fans can purchase Smoove Jones in the form of a CD (that's a compact disc for those who are unaware). But do you think she's embarrassed by this outdated hardware? Not a chance! She spoke to The Frisky and gushed about receiving a "ton of boxes" of CDs to autograph for all of her adoring fans. How quaint.

She's comfortable being a loner

On Valentine's Day 2014, Mýa released an EP titled With Love. At the time, she didn't have a special someone in her life to spend the romantic day with, and it didn't bother her one bit.

In an interview with Ebony, the singer said she spent the day "online with my fans and with my dog, Bear, and I had a wonderful time." She added, "It's taken a long time for me to evolve into the woman I am today. And I don't mind being with just me."

Being alone is totally cool, but most celebs realize that venturing out into the public eye and interacting with fans and the media in real life is a major component of cultivating a career in the entertainment industry. We can't help but wonder if we'd hear more from Mýa if she didn't enjoy her solitude so much.

She's avoiding tabloid drama

Early in her career, Mýa collaborated with some big names in the industry, including Sisqó of Dru Hill, Silkk the Shocker, and Jay-Z. Every time she recorded with an eligible bachelor, the tabloids were quick to circulate rumors about her love life. 

"People thought I had kids with Sisqó!" she told Ebony. "It was insane. And now, with social media and blogs, it's even crazier. And so much of it is completely made up — it's about ratings and numbers and pure entertainment. If I do a collaboration with someone — anyone! — there's a rumor that I had something going on with them."

Since removing herself from the spotlight, rumors about her love life have died down, and it looks Mýa is working hard to preserve that privacy. In 2016, she told The Frisky that she's a strong believer in soul mates, but when asked if she was in love, she simply answered: "I am."

It looks like Mýa may be comfortable remaining MIA with her mystery beau.

She released new music overseas

Mýa has reportedly managed to maintain a presence overseas, releasing two albums internationally through her own label. "I've traveled more parts of the world in my independent years than I did as a major artist," she told The Culture

According to Ebony, 2008's Sugar & Spice and 2011's K.I.S.S. (Keep it Sexy & Simple) garnered mediocre sales, but Mýa has remained nonplussed. "I believe all things fall into place exactly when they're supposed to. My job is to do my best work," she said. "And I do that every single day."

She's a philanthropist

When she's not in front of the cameras or performing on stage, Mýa dedicates her time to various charities. 

Speaking to Singersroom in 2010, she proudly rattled off a list of non-profit organizations she's devoted time to, including the North Shore Animal League America and Africare. She told The Source that she's also served as a spokesperson for the Secret to Self Esteem and launched TMATF: The Mýa Arts & Tech Foundation, which aims to provide educational opportunities in arts and technology to disadvantaged youth. 

With so many charities on her to-do list, no wonder she's always so busy!

She's in her 'own space'

Some stars crave attention and notoriety, but not Mýa. She told Rolling Out that she doesn't "pay attention to definitions or titles or try to fit within them." What exactly does that mean?

Well, after launching her Planet 9 label, Mýa apparently made a conscious decision to immerse herself inside her own little world. "I create my own space (Planet 9), live in that world, dream in that world and just do me, in hopes to share higher vibrations with others," she told the magazine.

Being inside of her self-made bubble also means that anything that threatens Mýa's positive state of mind isn't on her radar, even if it's a project that could boost her celebrity profile. "I'm a spirit always open to entertaining everything," she told The Source, "but if it's based on bad energy, you might not see me involved in it. After I see all details, facts, business and budget, I make my decisions."

Being picky about which gigs she accepts clearly works for Mýa, but it also sets limitations on her presence within the entertainment industry.

She's her own boss

Most music artists have a team of people who help guide them and handle the business side of their careers. This leaves more time for the artists to connect with fans, give interviews, promote their music, and deliver amazing performances. Mýa has chosen to do things very differently. She's essentially a one-woman show.

"I engineer myself in the studio, draft contracts, handle 99.9 percent of my paperwork and fully fund myself 100 percent," she told The Source. "I'm also my own manager," she told The Culture. "I see everything that comes in, and if it works for Mýa financially, and it benefits Mýa and the brand and other people that are around me, and [it's] lucrative, then I get to have the say. I get to see everything that comes through and make a determination."

Considering she's wearing all the hats, Mýa probably has very little time to prance around in the spotlight. She's too busy being her own boss behind the scenes.

She doesn't promote her own albums

Promotion is a huge part of what can make or break an artist's career. Without the right push into the right markets, an amazing project can get buried and never receive the recognition it deserves. This seems to have been the case with Mýa's K.I.S.S. album.

The album was originally released only in Japan and then re-released in the United States and Canada, reported Billboard. However, Mýa opted to not shoot music videos or do much promotion for the project. "K.I.S.S. is just a boutique album that I'm offering fans under the radar," she said. "If they want it, it's accessible now ... This is just more of an appetizer. I've already started on what people will be looking forward to."

What people were "looking forward to" was her follow-up to K.I.S.S., the critically acclaimed Smoove Jones, which earned a Grammy nod in 2017. Clearly, that nomination means Mýa is still a force to be reckoned with, but her unorthodox approach to being a celebrity and her elusive nature mean that if you want more Mýa in your life, you'll probably have to be the one that seeks her out.