Cover Photo By @dumoarles
MuddyMya started releasing music a little over a year ago to date without much expectation. In her words, “I just make songs and post them.” Today, the Atlanta native has become a buzzing name in the underground, recently putting out some of her best work to date in the form of “Cashin Out” — a single produced by CashCache and MexikoDro, headed by lyrics including my personal favorite: “Life I never planned it out, but look how things are panning out.”
Speaking to Mya, she places large emphasis on the fact that her success thus far has arrived without much expectation – she works at her craft, makes the best music she can make, and lets the universe do the rest.
And the universe has certainly been responding. With numerous cultural cosigns to her name, a fast-growing fanbase, and a singular, masked aesthetic, Mya is doing things on her own terms and garnering authentic, well-deserved acclaim for it. No over-stretching herself or asking favors – just genuine support on true-to-self music and a world-building creative vision. 6 months ago, she worked for Target at a job she hated. Today, Mya is fully focused on music, with the path becoming clearer by the day.
“Everything has just been clicking for me – spontaneously, for one, and quickly, for two [laughs].”
We had the chance to speak with MuddyMya about working at Target, fashion, “Cashin Out,” anime, and more. Read the full conversation below:
LL: To start off, you’re from Georgia, right – Stone Mountain?
Yeah, I’m from Atlanta but Stone Mountain is my hometown. Atlanta is where all my friends are and it’s where I’m at like every day. People in Atlanta want you to be specific sometimes so that’s why I say Stone Mountain. It’s like the suburbs of Atlanta – the bus still runs out there but it’s more like neighborhoods and homes and stuff. It’s suburban, it’s east of Atlanta.
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LL: What does your day to day look like at this point?
First thing is recording and then watching anime. I record all my music at home, I like recording at home a lot.
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LL: What’s your favorite anime?
My favorite anime is Death Note. If you ever tap into anime, you gotta tap into Death Note, that’s my favorite one.
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LL: Is music a full-time gig for you at this point?
Yeah I worked at Target up until like 6 months ago and I just quit that shit. It was time for it anyways, I hated it. I had a realization that I could really do music and figured out how much money I needed to live and make it happen – my manager told me to make the jump, too, so I did it. Plus, my Target manager was just an asshole [laughs]. Me and my brother both worked there and he fired my brother saying he was late all the time even though we showed up together and I never got in trouble for being late. So once that happened, I quit.
LL: Did the people at Target know you were making music?
I never told anyone at Target I was making music. One of my coworkers found out, though and showed everyone the “Mindblown” video right before I quit.
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LL: You’ve only been releasing music for a little over a year now, and it feels like a lot has happened in such a short amount of time. What’s your perspective on that? Did you ever expect this kind of response?
My brother and people around me always ask me that — I’m just kinda shocked. It’s surreal, it doesn’t feel like it’s happening to me. It’s like some out of body shit [laughs]. I’m obviously still normal and still have to keep working hard but with stuff like the Pigeons & Planes article, people ask how I did it and I’m like I don’t even know [laughs]. I just make songs and I post them – I never tried to force a hang out with anybody or ask for anything. It’s all been authentic and genuine which I really like, but I don’t really know how to feel about all of it.
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LL: I think my favorite line in your catalog thus far is from “Cashin Out” – “Life I never planned it out, but look how things are panning out.” With that last question in mind, can you expand on that line a bit?
Literally that’s how life is. Me and my dad have a weird relationship but he’s the kind of person that always wants to have a 5-year plan – and while I agree to a certain extent on planning, I really don’t like to plan things. Of course if I’m making a music video or something, I’m going to plan because you have to. But when it comes to my life — if you don’t plan it then it can’t go wrong. If you don’t set expectations and just let things fall into place, you’ll never disappoint yourself. So I just let the universe and God give me what’s meant for me, basically. My biggest fear is doing something that I hate with my life so if I don’t plan that out and put that pressure on myself, then it won’t happen. That’s just how it is.
Which is wild – the thing about it is that I just so happened to like plug beats and my voice sounds good on them. All m friends say they’re going to think I’m a plug rapper but I just love Cash’s production so it felt really natural.
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LL: How did you and CashCache connect?
That was another spontaneous thing. I’m tapped in with another producer named Popstar Benny. He’s a legend in Atlanta, to be honest. I’m pretty sure Benny showed Cash my music and he fucked with one of the songs I did over a plugg beat – I’m pretty sure it was “Mindblown” – and he DM’ed me. I didn’t see it for months, though, because sometimes my manager checks my DMs and I don’t think he knew who Cash was. So I never saw the DM.
I ended up going to this meeting a few months later and they told me I should connect with CashCache. I ended up randomly checking my DM’s and seeing he was in there right after that. I DM’ed him back but he didn’t answer so I was just like fuck, I missed it. But then he randomly came into one of my [Instagram] Lives and I told him I DM’ed him. He was down to work so he sent me a pack – in there was the beat for “Cashin Out,” and it was labeled as a collab with MexikoDro who has always been one of my dream collaborations. I clicked on it and fell in love with that beat right away. The whole pack was hard but that one, in particular, was crazy so I just put it on and freestyled over it. If it’s meant to happen, the universe just makes it happen.
LL: I wanted to ask about Muddy World, the mask you wear, your cover art, and the whole aesthetic you keep on social media. I love to see artists building a sort of world around their music, so I wanted to ask if that’s something deliberate for you or if things have just kind of naturally led down that lane.
Muddy World and things like that are deliberate but with the cover arts, it’s more like we’ve just made what we wanted to make for each project. After the second project, though, my manager and I noticed that we had a common direction on the cover arts so we just ran with it. For the mask, I think I’m going to switch that up because COVID kind of ran with that whole swag. I don’t want people to see the mask and have it remind them of something really negative.
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LL: You’ve also gained some traction in the fashion world, it seems like – one main example was Mowalola following you on Instagram. Can you talk more about that side of things?
When Mowalola followed me, man. That was another moment of just things falling into place like what the fuck?! I don’t even know how she got tapped in, to be honest. Fashion to me is very important so that’s definitely what I’m going towards. I’m still going to be wearing a mask during performances and stuff but I’m going to rework that a little bit, so once I figure out the mask, I’m definitely going to be showing more of my style this year. It’s very punk inspired because I love punk bands and shit, but yeah, fashion is very important to me.
LL: What do you listen to outside of rap?
A lot of Nirvana, mainly. I love how it sounds and just the feeling that they have – I don’t really care as much about what artists say as long as it sounds good. I listen to a lot of R&B, too – I listen to a lot of Solange, she’s hard. A lot of house music.
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LL: Has the punk aesthetic always been a big thing for you?
Yeah I had a real emo phase in middle school. Heavy on Paramore, Green Day, Panic! At The Disco. I had a big like “trying to find myself” phase where I was listening to those kinds of artists and skateboarding and stuff. My mom was a big Evanescence fan so I grew up listening to that, too. Rap is always my first love and is what I listen to most but those are the other kinds of artists I’ve come up listening to.
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LL: What’s next for MuddyMya from here?
Next up will be a “Cashin Out” video. Outside of that, I’m just really focused on Muddy World and getting that project together.