If Mycah Chevalier’s voice is one that you have not heard, you need to. Such a beautiful and vibrant sound emanates from this woman’s soul; you will be glad you found her. She’s also an actress and a dancer. Mycah’s performed internationally and sung background for people like Patti Labelle and Maysa and opened up for people like Luther Vandross and JaRule. She tells us at Indie Spirit Magazine what she’s doing and what she’s going to do.
[audio:http://www.indiespiritmagazine.com/audio/In A Sentimental Mood.mp3]
Please click the player above and enjoy Mycah’s rendition of In A Sentimental Mood.
What came first, acting, dancing or singing?
I started dancing at the age of 3…the singing and acting followed shortly thereafter.
Who inspired you most in your early artistic beginnings?
My Aunt Judy. She was a “triple threat” (actress, singer, dancer) and I wanted to be just like her.
Vocally, are there singers that you patterned yourself after?
A mixture of Carmen McRae, Phyllis Hyman, Patti Austin, with a lil’ Chaka, Maysa and Rachelle…
Who are some of the vocalists that you enjoy listening to the most and why?
All of the above, plus Stevie Wonder, James Ingram, Eric Benet & Lalah Hathaway…Their voices permeate me when I listen to them…they are true singers…and I can feel their emotion in every note.
How does it feel to be on stage singing background for other people knowing that you are fully capable and deserving of the center stage? (Or is that just how we feel here at Indie Spirit Mag?)
I actually enjoy singing backgrounds…I love being able to make things sound warm and pretty, and because I am an artist in my own right, I know the importance of having a strong and reliable backline. I also know how fragile those relationships are, and would never jeopardize what have been wonderful opportunities for me to learn and grow as a vocalist and artist…I know my time will come…
Today’s “popular” music that is heavily marketed is youth and package oriented. And, by package we mean, young ladies who are considered to be sexually appealing and who are mediocre singers. This prevailing mindset allows no place for truly talented artists like yourself. How do you feel about that?
It’s unfortunate, but the industry has been like that since I started getting out there in my teens. I just focus on projecting a positive, strong, tasteful…”Tasteful” yet appealing image that young women can look up to and hope that it starts to change.
Besides this wonderful voice that you have, you also dance and act. What are you pursuing the most – acting, dancing or singing or a combination of everything through live vocal performances? How do you break it down?
The past several years I’ve been purely pursuing the music, but as I’ve grown, I realized that my love for the arts incorporates all three. Being featured in a play this past year, awakened my love for theater and dance and has sparked my need to get back “home” where I started. So, I’ve begun preparing myself mentally and physically to revisit my dance and theater training. This year everyone can look to see all three from me!
Because you are around a lot of people who have major music industry connections, do you have the expectation that someone should “do” something for you in terms of bringing you notoriety or recognition? Why or why not?
No. I’ve gotten more satisfaction by and nail getting things done on my own, because my accomplishments are my own. If by chance someone were to offer to help, or put me in the right hands, I’d never turn them down, but maintaining the integrity of my music and my work ethic is very important to me.
You manage your own band. Music management is considered to be a male-oriented business. There are a number of women who manage their own bands and have issues with people who maintain this kind of thinking. What have been some of the issues that you have faced personally and how do you work around them?
As a 5’2″, this voluptuous Creole songbird has definitely been hard pressed to get people to respect me in this male-dominated business. After getting over my initial shock, and getting passed over by men who at times thought that one of the men in my group were the head of the band, I was able to adapt and learn how to speak to people in order to get what I need and want for myself and my band. At times I’ve also had to learn more and know more than my clients in order to gain their respect.
What is next for you? Tell us about the new cd coming and anything else that you are involved in artistically.
I was just featured on a cd “A Time To Love” by international saxophonist Ray Gaskins, and plan to tour a little with him this year. I am working on my new solo project, which is coming along nicely. It will include a few duets and surprises, including a single release this month with my friend and fellow artist Brian Christopher, as well a a song with my little brother Nick, my sister Kristle and my dad on guitar!…excited is not the word! The month of April I’ll also be hitting the stage again in the Michael McCorkle play “All The Man I Need” for 9 shows at the Atlas in DC, where I get to sing and play myself! …
What is your ultimate goal as an artist and as a human being? At the end of your life, what would you like to be able to reflect on and truly be proud of?
My ultimate goal is to truly touch people with my voice, lyrics and music. I’ve already had so many amazing experiences and been blessed to do things most aspiring artists only dream of. I’m proud of and thankful for all of my accomplishments and wouldn’t change a thing.