An Exclusive Interview with R & B Artist
Myshel Myshel made her debut as a singer at the age of seven. Today she has emerged as a multi-dimensional artist, having penned dozens of insightful songs designed to move the listener. “Music is a beautiful gift that must be used wisely”, reveals the Kentucky native. “It’s too powerful for it not to express something meaningful and honestly speak something beautiful”. A life filled with culture, her travels abroad with her missionary father and Ghanaian mother who proudly cheered her on as she graced the stage singing in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Venezuela, Johannesburg and Ghana. “The things I saw, the people I met and the lessons I learned have shaped my perspective and deeply impacted my creativity as a singer/songwriter and lover of music. “ She has won several crowns and used the titles to inspire women to look beyond the surface and see the radiant queen inside themselves. She served as Miss Tennessee State U and Miss National Black Hall of fame, Myshel does countless motivational speaking engagements to help inspire. In 2003 Myshel beat out over 2000 hopefuls to win the Atlantis Music Conference songwriting competition. She later worked with Kelly Price, and toured as a background singer for R&B singer Tamia and American Idol’s Mandisa Hundley, Toby Mac and Don Moen. In 2009 Myshel was recognized by Billboard as “one to watch”. Myshel is truly a beautiful woman and amazing talent. Thank you for taking the time to speak with Authors & Artists Magazine.
I'm not only surviving...I'm becoming ..I'm strong, relentless, focused, anointed, creative, learning from my mistakes, forgiving of myself and others, loving harder than you could ever imagine! - Myshel AAM: How did you get your start in music? Myshel: I was introduced to a producer after literally praying for God to open doors and bring the people I needed to do what was setting my heart ablaze! Music!! From there I began to meet more and more people. A band was formed, I started doing live shows, and working in the studio. I won a song writing contest, beating out 2000 hopefuls. The media heard about it and things began to pick up speed from there.
AAM: Did you always know you wanted to sing? Myshel: Well, yes and no. Growing up, it was my dream to be a singer, but after telling adults that that’s what I wanted to be. I usually got a frown and a concerned look like…””awwh sweetheart…you need to have a “realistic goal” lol…even from some of my family. So I started trying to find a more acceptable and, at the time I thought….attainable goal. I decided I wanted to be a teacher. That answer got me better nods.” AAM: You went to Tennessee State University. What was your major and what were your plans? Myshel: I went to TSU and majored in Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies with hopes of teaching at a university level. I love History, Politics and the study of religion. I find it all fascinating? AAM: While you were there, you won Miss TSU. How did that come about? Myshel: I ran for the title of Miss Tennessee State University during my last year. Anyone who is familiar with TSU knows…that’s a Big Deal on campus and I had to work hard with my campaign, platform, pageant presentations…etc., find the money and dedicated team to help make that a reality. Once you win the title of an HBCU queen, you automatically qualify for the national competition among other Campus queens from all over the country. I won that title in the same year and had to learn how to balance my time between both crowns, and trying to graduate…it was a difficult challenge, but I am more than grateful for the opportunity. I learned so much about God, people, friends, enemies and myself. The experience was priceless! AAM: TSU has turned out quite a few notable alumni – Oprah Winfrey, NFL’er Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Athlete Wilma Rudolph – and now you! What do you find is the correlation between you and previous alumni regarding success?
Faith is a mandatory requirement for all Dreamers. without it, my dreams will remain.....JUST dreams. through this journey... I've learned something wonderful...Leap and the net will appear.
Myshel: They DIDN’T give up….as I told you earlier….as a young girl… I was
direction the track and it the song...I
intimidated by the responses I received by others concerning my dreams….well, Thank God I got over it! Shortly after graduating, I realized that I did not want to wrestle with regret years from now, so I made the decision to GO AFTER MY DREAM….with no fear. If I fail, then I would have peace in knowing that I tried. AAM: You’re married to Michael Wilkins. How do you navigate career and marriage successfully? Myshel: I include my husband in all the plans, advice, direction and vision of this dream…in fact, it’s OUR dream….even though he is not musically inclined, he is the head of our household and I honor and respect his position and covering in my life. One day I asked him what his dream, greatest heart’s desire, passion and vision was. He answered to see Your dream come true….he has been my biggest supporter and has sacrificed so much to see me make it…He is my heart. I am he and he is me. AAM: Who are some of your musical influences? Myshel: I listen to all kinds of music – folk, country, pop, rock, contemporary Christian music….Stevie Wonder, Diana Krall, Donny Hathaway, Babe Mason, Celion Dion, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Nora Jones, Switchfoot, Cold Play, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin….to name a few. I love true artists that make true, honest music. AAM: How would you characterize your musical style? Myshel: My musical style is Urban Pop. It’s radio friendly/mainstream music with an honest message. This is what I gravitate to. AAM: You write many of your songs. What is the process of writing for you? Myshel: Most songs write themselves if you would only listen….when I listen to a track, it can either sound sad, happy, reflective, strong, declaring a point…I deeply listen to the feel/vibe and write in the song asks of me. I used to force my message on the never worked…I pray, listen, and follow the flow of simply get out of the way. It’s liberating, and allows
pure honesty to flourish, and THAT’s what you ALWAYS want from a song. What comes from the heat – reaches the heart. It’s the only way to write, in my opinion. AAM: What advice do you have for musical artists that are now coming up in the business? Myshel: Whew….this business is “something else!!!” If your heart is not in it…if you’re not willing to put in the work…if your motives are wrong…then you might want to consider doing something else. Don’t compromise your standards for ANYONE! People will test those standards in hopes that you will break your own rules to get what they claim they can do for you. Stay true to yourself, God, personal morals, creativity and gift given to you and you will go far. It may take longer, but it will be worth it! It’s a process filled with highs and lows…no matter how bumpy the ride…don’t let go…don’t give up! AAM: What project are you currently working on? Myshel: My own album! I’m so excited and ready to FINALLY finish my project! It’s been a long, long road, but I have no regrets, nothing to be ashamed of, and grateful for the powerful things I’ve learned along the way…now when the project comes out next summer, my maturity level will be able to handle the weight of the creative, emotional, and career oriented responsibilities. I can truly say – I am ready! AAM: So, when can we expect this album to be released? Myshel: I have a great team working on my album and we are gearing up to put the finishing touches on it! Summer 2011 is my project release date. I am more than grateful for this beautiful process of doing what I love! AAM: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Myshel: Building schools, community centers and orphanages in other countries and right here at home, mentoring other artists, traveling to sing and inspire many. I can’t wait to give of my resources, monies, gifts and heart to many. THIS is the FULLNESS of my dream!!!! Music is only a piece of the puzzle.
AAM: What do YOU know for sure? Myshel: I know I’m going to make it! I know that I was born for this! I know that great and beautiful things are coming my way. I know that generations will know that I walked this earth long after I’m gone. That’s what I know for sure. AAM: Thanks for sharing this time with us. For more on Myshel, visit http://www.myspace.com/myshelsgroove , See video performance CLICK HERE FaceBook @ Myshel.Wilkins.