Mila J got her start in girl groups (Gyrl, Dame Four) in the '90s, but it would take a few years for her to get her solo groove on. Now that she's got a full-length (2006's Split Personality) and a brand new EP (M.I.L.A., for Made In Los Angeles) under her belt, she's confident in her identity as a solo performer.
"I felt like I needed to take a break to find out who I was as a solo artist," she tells Fuse in this exclusive interview. "When you're in a group, it's not really all about you. You actually have to do a lot more soul-searching to be a solo artist, because it is all on you at that point. I felt like I didn't know who I was because I was in a group."
The singer and dancer gets a lot of compliments thrown her way, and most of them have to do with the fact that she looks, sounds and moves like the gone-too-soon princess of R&B Aaliyah. Obviously, these are great to hear, but she doesn't get hung up on other people's expectations when she's trying to forge her own path.
"It's always a compliment when someone compares you to anyone that people look at as great," she says. "I definitely take it as a compliment, but I'm definitely not trying to be anyone. I'm trying to be the first Mila J. Just growing up, the entertainers that did inspire me, I think Janet....Paula Abdul, they inspired a whole generation of girls who wanted to sing and dance, and that was definitely my influence."
For more on Mila J's EP and her time working with Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard, check out this Fuse exclusive in full above.