MILA J: MADE IN LOS ANGELES
As a young girl navigating the streets of Los Angeles, she would rent the hip-hop cult classic, Krush Groove every week until, finally, the guy working at the video store just gave her a copy.
“I was obsessed with Sheila E. and the Fat Boys,” explains a laughing Mila J. “And it’s funny because my dad ended up finding these tapes of me recording myself beatboxing and trying to rap like them.”
It wouldn’t come until later though that Mila J, born Jamila Chilombo, would understand how her attraction to this film would play a prominent role in her professional music career.
She began her journey in the entertainment industry as a background dancer touring with Immature; appearing in Prince’s 1991 ‘Diamonds & Pearl’ video with big sister, Miyoko; and prepping her solo journey early on from valuable experience with girl groups, Gyrl and Dame Four. Now though, it’s Mila’s time and this go-round, her vision is leading the wave.
“I was never a solo artist,” Mila J tells JET during a one-on-one interview. “I had to develop into that. I just had to find my voice as a solo artist and find who I wanted to be creatively.”
The result, a very-well received Westside mixtape, and fan-urgency to return to music…full-time.
Sonically, Mila, who is signed to Motown Records, delivers a soft tone with aggressive lyrics that mingle between sexually suggestive to holding her dude (or best friend) down without doubt. As far as her ability to spit a nice sixteen, you can check for her previous work.
Visually, her street chic glamour is reminiscent of Aaliyah, especially when she flaunts her dance moves.
Nevertheless, the core of Mila is 90’s R&B with hip-hop undertones fused with everything L.A.
All of which serve as the inspiration behind her five-song visual EP, M.I.L.A. (Made in Los Angeles).
“After taking time to find who I am and writing more, I’m just able to come into my own. I’ve always loved R&B and I’m definitely influenced by 90s music and that era and I always loved hip-hop so I definitely wanted to keep those two incorporated into my sound.”
The M.I.L.A. EP takes you on a cool ride. Beginning with the uptempo, Ty Dolla Sign-assisted single, My Main, which takes on the Coyote Ugly theme in the visual and gives a shout out to besties.
Then the singer/songwriter gets slick with the tongue and metaphors on Champion featuring Atlanta rapper, B.O.B, featuring Mila and her dude “boxing” it out in the bedroom. This is where the aforementioned, sexually suggestive lyrics come in to play.
Mila J is no girly girl but never denies that she’s still a woman and emotions run deep. She’ll tough it out for her fella when he hits a low point as detailed in Times Like These.
More of her sensual side is shown on track four, Pain in my heart then the visual offering concludes with the aggressive, Smoke, Drink, Break-up inspired by a true train-wreck romance.
The project is solid and gives just enough to be interested in what’s to come.
When it comes to paying homage to her hometown, Mila aims to showcase the realness of the city and not so much the glitz spotlighted in Hollywood.
“It’s my home,” she says proudly. “People only think of Hollywood and fake- they come here from other places and then it gets a bad wrap. I’m reppin’ for my city and showing that there’s a real side of L.A. – not just the walk of stars.”
Up next for the Motown artist is her full project, slated for a 2015 release.
Watch the latest visual from the EP here and let us know what you think in the comments!