9AM (PT) of Sunday, October 12th. I have a conference call with Ms. Mila J and everything flows on time. After being passed to the rising urban star by a deep-voiced person from his management team, I receive an energetic “Hello!". It's time to commence my 10-minute interview with Mila J.
The 30-year-old L.A native will release tomorrow, October 14th, her debut EP "M.I.L.A" ("Made in Los Angeles") via Motown Records. The latest single from the 5-song EP is the DJ Mustard-produced “My Main" - whose music video you simply cannot miss. Although the EP is the main focus, I was lucky enough to get answers from Mila J on other topics. 9:03 AM…. "Shall we commence?”, I politely say.
Prince… “I grew up listening to him!”
“I’m still in shock”, responds Mila J when I ask her about her thoughts on Prince sampling her song "Blinded" on his latest single “U Know”. “I actually put that song out like two years, and he just randomly sampled it,”, she said in a disbelief tone. “A friend called me and said that Prince had used one of my songs on his new single, and I was like; "Where is it!?".
I told Mila J it was almost like Prince wanted to return her the favour. She appeared in Prince’s music video for “Diamonds and Pearls” back in 1991. Mila J was 7. “It was very cool”, she said of shooting Prince’s video before shouting out loud; “I grew up listening to him!". “To work on that video was, you know, so cool because as a kid I would play his music, and to have been part of that video was just awesome, man”.
Past vs. Future: “I have discovered myself”
“Well, basically I'm more in control. I know who I am now”, was Mila J’s answer to my question about how different the Mila J from a few years ago to the one I’m talking over the phone right now is. “When I came out the first time, I was actually working in girl groups. So, you know when you're in a group, it's more about everyone,”…”and eventually I had to learn the tough way how to come out on my own”.
"How do you feel being just you now?”, I ask. “Well, it's all on you now,”…”I’m more hands on, I had to figure out on my own what my EP would sound like and people will get to know the real me this time”. “I can definitely say I have discovered myself."
The EP. Why the title of “M.I.L.A”?
Mila J’s debut LP title stands for “Made in Los Angeles”, so I definitely had to ask her about her thoughts on her city, and why she decided to call the EP that. “Well, it’s definitely the place to be if you're in music”, Mila J quickly answered with no hesitation. “And I wanted to go with that title because I wanted to represent for…from where I’m from”. “Many people think this artist or that artist is from L.A but they're not,"..."A lot of artists who live in Los Angeles aren’t really from around here,"...”I want to let people know I am from here, and I'm very proud of that fact”.
“My Main”: “This girl that I came here with, dat my main”
The new Mila J single is “My Main” and this was of course one of the must-talk points of the interview. “My Main” is an urban-sounding anthem for all true girlfriends, and I threw a sort of harsh question at Mila…"Do you think your closest girlfriends will stick with you in the good and the bad as you get more famous? Is your friendship for life?".
“Oh yeah, it’s for life. We’ve known each other for so long. Actually with one of them...we actually lived together, so we are really close. It's always love.”
Have you see the video for “My Main”? No!? What are you waiting for!? Click here, you can thank me later. “Tell me about the super hot video for your new single... how did you come up with the treatment?", I asked.
Mila J: “Myself, the director, and the choreographer, we had a brain-storm session, and came up with the “Coyote Ugly” theme”. “I didn’t really want a typical music video...I wanted to incorporate some acting and dancing, and the "Coyote Ugly" theme was just perfect. And I'm happy everyone immediately got the concept".
And Iggy Azalea???
A few blogs assured that Iggy Azalea would be on “My Main". But in the end it was Ty Dolla $ign the collaborator on the song, "Why was Iggy removed?", many editors asked. So I asked Mila J about it:
“Someone printed that. But no. She was never on or supposed to be on the song”.
Motown Records: My Home
Mila J is signed to the legendary Motown Records and she's happy to be able to call the label her home. “I do. I’m very happy here. I'm an R&B artist, and Motown is a legendary R&B label. I admire the legacy it’s brought, and I’m just so excited to be part of the Motown movement”.
The Next EP Single Is....
“My Main” is the present but what will be the future? Does Mila J already know what the follow-up single will be? Does she have a favourite from the EP songs that we haven’t heard yet?. “It’s hard to pick a favourite. And as for my next single….I’d like to see people's reaction when my EP comes out, but if I had to pick one right now, I’ll go with “Champion". It’s a very cool record I did with B.o.B".
Full-length album soon?
Looking more into the future…we don’t know yet if the EP will be a huge success or not, but whatever the result is, Mila J already knows what she wants. I asked her if the EP will be followed by a full-length album. “Yes. A full-length album is definitely in the plans. My EP comes out on Tuesday, and we’re looking to release an album…I’d say…early next year”.
Trey Songz and Mila J
Difficult question to ask. Unfortunately I didn't get an answer to the question you all have in mind, but at least Mila J answered candidly about the collaboration she recorded with R&B crooner Trey Songz called “Disrespectful” from his album “Trigga”, and how exactly the two got connected. “I’ve known Trey for a long time. He called one day and told me he had a spot available for a duet in a new record and that it was perfect for a girl. He thought I was a good fit. So we did it.”
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