She’s determined. She’s driven. She’s a magnetic, multi-talented triple-threat force of nature. Her time is now. Mila J was born to shine. Her silky but demanding voice is hypnotic and penetrating. A spicy, strong-willed yet femininely soulful artist that has something to say, and we are instantly hypnotized. Combined with her charismatic beauty, Mila J is a force to be reckoned with. This is no star – This is a Super Nova!
Born into a musical multi-cultural family and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Mila J, born Jamila Chilombo, is one of four siblings. She got her first taste of the music world when she appeared in Prince’s 1991 video for the song, “Diamonds and Pearls.”
Already a member of a three-girl dance troop named, Innocence at the time, she caught the attention of then popular manager, Chris Stokes, who hired her and her group mates to travel as back-up dancers for the renowned 90’s boy group Immature shortly after. Later signed by Stokes, the now singing trio landed a deal with the MCA label in 1995.
With her first love being music, and being from such a musically inclined background, Mila decided to take a new journey in life and begin a solo career after giving girl groups a try.
“I wanted to be a solo artist. I felt like the group thing just wasn’t me,” explains Mila J. “So I took some time to reflect on strengthening my chops as a solo vocalist. In the group, I wasn’t the lead vocalist so I wasn’t as confident singing alone.”
In 2006, Mila J was signed to Motown under the direction of music mogul Sylvia Rhone. She worked on what was set to be her first solo album, Split Personality. Mila was one of the top ten artists on Myspace at the time, and had released a few singles that quickly gained her a strong fan base. However, due to creative differences, the album was not released.
“After that, I needed a break from the industry. I felt like if this was something that I was going to pursue, I needed my heart to be 100% in it, and I just felt at the time I wasn’t at 100%.”
In late 2012, after taking time away from the industry, Mila J decided, with some encouragement from her loyal fans, to step back into the music scene. She went into the studio and put together her own mix tape of 5 songs. “It was just something I felt like I wanted to do. I’m the kind of person that goes with my gut, and I wanted to give my fans some music from me. Songs that I felt best represented me as an artist.” Before she knew it, the project exploded obtaining over 600,000 downloads, causing a stir within the industry insiders who then took note.
In 2013, Mila J was the talk of every label in town, before deciding to re-sign to Motown IDJ. Now, in 2014, Mila J is set to release her 90’s R&B inspired, hip hop tinged collection titled, M.I.L.A. which stands for: “Made In Los Angeles.” “I like the fact of being part of the Motown Family where all the greats were discovered.”
Her first official debut album, M.I.L.A. is slated for an August 2014 release. The first single, “Smoke, Drink, Break-Up,” a sultry, slow-grooving hook-laced song about a dysfunctional relationship, was serviced in early March, and entered on Billboard’s Urban Chart at #40 with a bullet and climbing fast. The accompanying video will drop before the end of the month.
Other songs include the R&B heartfelt, haunting love song, “Times Like These” and “My One And Only,” which finds her praising her man over looping piano strokes. Her music is reminiscent of the type of tunes that the true R&B audiences long for. And Mila delivers.
“The album meshes well versus every song coming from different producers,” Mila says excitedly about the album. “It’s kind of like how I feel albums in the 90’s were: One solid vibe.”
That’s a great way to sum up Mila J: One Solid Vibe.