Singer Mya has had remarkable success as a Grammy-winning artist. She talks about how being vegan has contributed
Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Lil Kim are just some of the famous names global superstar Mya has worked alongside. The singer, who released smash hit Lady Marmalade among a host of other numbers, has enjoyed a rare success with a career spanning decades. With a clutch of awards to her name-including a Grammy-her work has been admired worldwide.
Following record releases with major labels (one of which is Interscope) the star decided to become an independent artist-buying herself the freedom to release her own music without constraints. And many critics and fans would argue these independent releases showcase Mya’s finest work.
The journey to independent artist was not the only one Mya started. She says: “At the beginning of my independent recording artist journey eight years ago, I made the commitment to become my own disciplinarian and start my journey of self-conditioning, strength and trust. Every new year I’d set a new challenge that I had to complete to prove myself to me. Most of my friends thought I was insane.
“From pescetarianism, to celibacy, no alcohol, vegetarianism, 10 day fastings every quarter, to running a marathon, to combining 3 challenges at once. After a very toxic relationship, I decided I needed to go further, go harder by stepping into new territory to get the me that I’d lost back and be an even better me, which is what brought me to veganism. It literally changed my life in every positive way.”
And her new lifestyle has benefited the singer enormously-she no longer suffers from anaemia, her skin is clear, and she able to maintain a healthy body weight with less effort. “I also save much more money, because I don’t purchase as many unnecessary items,” she says. “Spiritually, I feel more calm, at peace, better aligned with myself and divine order, knowing that I am not contributing to another living being’s pain and suffering.”
Like many vegans Mya finds the lifestyle itself easy but says learning the truth about animal agriculture was difficult. “I began feeling anger and shame toward my old self, my parents, upbringing, ex-stylists for being either oblivious or careless to the atrocities and all of the things I’d once consumed that involved torture and death,” she says. “Now, that I see the world through a different set of lenses, and my heart operates from a different place, the pain is very intense, but so is the fight. I’m constantly in a spiritual battle with the ways of humanity, it’s greed and disregard for life itself. To be honest, it’s been extremely difficult to digest the ugly truth and even more difficult to eat with non-vegan associates, friends and family.”
She has some helpful advice for those considering a vegan lifestyle, saying: “I think we can often set ourselves up for failure if we either try to go cold turkey, don’t do the proper research or have access to a guide or cheerleader. So, I’d first recommend doing some research on veganism, following vegan social media pages, watching documentaries (Forks Over Knives, Veducated, Conspiracy, Earthlings) to name a few, for awareness and truth behind factory farming, animal cruelty, destruction to human health and planet earth.
“Motivation usually starts and continues from purpose and passion. If discipline is not your forte, then I’d recommend starting with just a day or two of veganism every week, then graduate to three/four days, then eventually a week until it becomes habitual into monthly practice and hopefully a lifetime commitment. Make any challenge fun, by implementing games, taking classes, attending festivals, documenting with pictures, engaging others on your progress even through social media, and reward yourself for every progression made.”
And while this commitment to veganism is a hugely important part of her life, the songstress is currently busy with lots of projects. “Outside of the daily independent admin work, rehearsals, fittings, travel and touring, my current focus is being my best self mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually so that I might be a better example to others and hopefully assist first hand in making the world a better place to live,” she says.
“I believe any return begins with the investment in being a great person first. Sure, there will be bad days, ups, downs, but positive perspective, positive action, positive energy, knowing your value and working toward being your best self leads to a longer, more fulfilling life and resilience to continue. With that foundation, one can become a magnet, personally or professionally, which leads to attracting people of similar interests and passions, which then leads to a team and community, which can assist in endurance and longevity.”
While Mya generally keeps her future plans under wraps she has some exciting plant-based projects lined up that she’s willing to share. “I ultimately want to head in the direction of developing vegan/cruelty free alternatives in every lane,” she says. “This includes fashion to fast food, drive thrus, home decor and furniture, car interiors, pet food, beauty and health, to cooking shows, if not an entire network.
“I’m also now inspired to step into a lobbyist position to begin implementing organic, vegan meals into school lunch options, in airline travel, airports, wherever its presence lacks. I am a big dreamer and in time, I have become a big doer. I’ve started small by developing an organic, vegan wine and vegan chocolates available on my website myamya.com inside the shop. Accessibility and availability is a key component in prompting others to make lifestyle adjustments. I’ve also learned that if something does not exist, create it, especially if our hearts, health and future depend on it. I hope to exchange ideas with a vegan community of power and influence in order to begin the discussion and hopefully begin the journey on bringing them to life with others.”
Despite the acclaim, fame, and success, Mya remains humble. She says; “I’d like to personally send a big thank you to all of those who have been a source of knowledge, inspiration, encouragement and positivity during this journey of enlightenment. Though we live in a world full of negative things, just through veganism, I’ve been shown how many loving, caring, pure hearts still exist and that there is still hope to making this world a better place, which is everything! I am truly grateful.”