How Huron Alumni MYNA’s suspension led her to musical success

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MYNA

MYNA’s working on her EP ‘Bad Luv,’ which is heavily inspired by her experiences transitioning into adulthood.

Maya Kogulan, Print Editor-In-Chief

Five years ago, MYNA was sitting in the 10th-grade office receiving a suspension. Now, the 20-year-old Huron graduate has gained over 55,550 streams on SoundCloud, is performing at 2020 SXSW*, and became a finalist of the Inaugural 2019 Motown Accelerator Artists Grant program. 

Her musical beginnings started at age four with her mother, who used to sing her classical Indian bhajans. She started to emulate her mother’s tones and naturally fell in love with the art of singing.

“Music has been my teacher since birth,” MYNA said. “It taught me how to cope with life. It’s allowed me to create a personal memoir with each new release being a continuation of the last story.”

She started exploring her passion for music in middle school, where she learned to play the viola, piano, and guitar. However, she found that none of those instruments conveyed the emotion that her own voice carried. 

When she entered Huron High School, she joined both the Bel Canto choir and numerous acapella groups. But outside her musical classes, MYNA found high school suffocating leading her to often feel like an outcast. 

“I remember walking to my mom’s car by senior year with no friends,” MYNA said. “I was always deep in thought in my head, so it was hard relating to others. I wanted to talk about the real issues. It was frustrating seeing people walking in the hallways stuck in their own problems, not even acknowledging the major problems affecting the world.”

It felt so good to see that people were vibing with my music. I didn’t feel like a kid making music in the neutral zone, I felt like an artist.”

— MYNA

She was rebellious and refused to accept the status quo. It was MYNA’s stubborn nature that would get her into trouble at school. She didn’t like following rules, which ultimately led her to a suspension in her sophomore year. 

“After I got suspended, I wasn’t allowed to stay after school anymore,” MYNA said. “I needed to find new ways to keep myself busy since my parents were always working. I started going to the neutral zone and creating music. It allowed me to meet other artists and collaborate together on our creative processes.”

By her junior year, she was writing and releasing music regularly onto SoundCloud. She received immediate success with her first song “Lemon Tree” gaining over 21,000 streams. 

“It felt so good to see that people were vibing with my music,” MYNA said. “I didn’t feel like a kid making music in the neutral zone, I felt like an artist.”

Only a year later, she released her full-length EP, Roy G BIV. Through this project, she was able to creatively explore her synesthesia. 

“When I experience different emotions, I see colors wash over me,” MYNA said. “Roy G Biv allowed me to express each color through song. For example, when I get panic attacks, I see all red. So, I made “premature (red)” very anxiety-inducing with the lyrics about my triggers.”

MYNA’s creativity didn’t go unnoticed. The Motown Musician Accelerator, a program that helps Detroit area artists, saw her talent. She was awarded a spot in their 12-week program, which provides artists with mentorship, industry connections, and grants. Through the program, she was able to buy her own equipment and start her independent own record label. 

“I had to forge my own path,” MYNA said. “ Growing up, there were no Indian American artists for me to look up to. Representation in music is so important. Even though we aren’t in the center of the conversation, our role as observers matter.”

As her music career pushes forward, she hopes her music will break down barriers for other young aspiring Indian American singers. Most importantly, in uncertain and anxious times, she wants to use her music to spread love. 

 *2020 SXSW has been canceled due to the coronavirus. 

Listen to MYNA latest EP, Bad Luv: https://soundcloud.com/itsmyna/albums