Perseverance Mattered for This Rising R & B Star

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer Mila J best known for appearing in Prince videos will take the stage next month at Essence Festival.

She sat down with News With A Twist host LBJ ahead of the festival to talk about her new EP and sibling rivalry.

LBJ: Well it’s always good to have to have folks stop by the Twist set. And, today is no different. We are happy to have Mila J. Hello there!

Mila J: Thank you for inviting me.

LBJ: M-I-L-A-J. Made in L.A. (That’s the name of the CD as well.)

Mila J: That’s the name of my EP that’s coming out this September actually. I was born and raised there.

LBJ: Born and raised in L.A. And the current single, ‘Make Up’… I mean ‘Break Up.’

Mila J: Break Up! We not making up!

LBJ: I understand. Well, you know, your story is truly one of perseverance. You’ve been playing you music for a long time. You also dance. You write songs. And is that the message to young people that you just keep swinging the bat as long as you can.

Mila J: That is definitely the message. You just keep swinging it. And, you know, eventually that door will open. Even If you gotta, you know, kick it down. You just definitely gotta stick with it. I feel like as long as you have the passion for it and the work ethic, you know, because a lot of it is talent, but a lot of it is that work you put in, you know. And I definitely think it will come pretty soon.

LBJ: OK, so, coming up, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, the headliner is Prince. You got a pretty interesting experience with that guy.

Mila J: Yeah, I was actually a little girl in his “Diamonds and Pearls” video.

LBJ: You were one of the little girls with the kids sitting at the table and all that.

Mila J: Yep, yep. And the one sitting on Rosie’s lap, the one the lady was singing to.

LBJ: Well that`s awesome. So it’s been that long. You’re a dancer. Which one do you prefer, dancing, song-writing, performing, which one do you like?

Mila J: I can not pick one. Honestly, because I fell like they all… I mean, I did initially start off as a dancer. But I just think, all around, just being an entertainer or a performer that can sing and dance. It’s hard to pick one. It’s like picking a favorite child.

LBJ: Speaking of children, it’s good to be in your family these days.

Mila J: Yeah, it is. It is.

LBJ: Your sister is…

Mila J: Jhené Aiko.

LBJJhené‘s on out there too. You guys competing?

Mila J: No. Not at all.

LBJ: Sisterly love…

Mila J: Sisterly love. There’s no sibling rivalry. Everyone is trying to create this thing between us. But, no, it`s all love. She’s been doing it a long time too. So it’s just finally happening.

LBJ: Well that’s fantastic. We wish you the best. When you come back you got to perform for us.

Mila J: Yeah, I got to break it down on the Twist Stage. News with a Twist.

LBJ: Before we let you get away, on the upcoming Made in L.A., what’s the music like, because there’s a bit more of an edge to your music than most female performers.

Mila J: Yeah, there definitely is an edge. I still am a tomboy. I think a lot of my mentality is… you know, I’m a diamond in the rough. So a lot of the lyrics are definitely a little more aggressive. But it definitely has a good vibe to it. I’m not bashing guys or anything like that so don’t get me twisted. You know, there`s actually a lot of songs about holding a guy down. A lot of relationship-driven songs. I have some up-tempos on there that are club bangers and my DJ on there is crazy. B.O.B, actually, is featured on one of the songs. It`s a lot of different vibes to the album. I’m just excited for everybody to here it.

LBJ: Mila J, thank you so much for stopping by. Best of luck. “Made in L.A.” is the EP.

Mila J: September!

LBJ: Pick it up.