The New Girl: Miss Mykie
by: iman n. milner
photos by: BET Networks for EDGE Magazine
When 106&Park announced it’s new hosts no one was more surprised than the independent artist from Houston, TX who’d only been called in once by BET prior to the moment that would introduce her to the world. For years Mykel Antoinea Gray, better know by her stage moniker Miss Mykie, was a silent force in the music industry building her brand from the ground up with the help of a committed team and unmatched work ethic. As the new host of the BET mainstay she’s made quite an impression on the audience and captured the interest of our team with her bubbly personality, girl-next-door humility and natural beauty.
EDGE: Who are you?
Miss Mykie: Miss Mykie is just a regular woman. I’m just like any other woman who wants to be successful and wants the finer things in life. I want to continue to grow and evolve as an entertainer and as a person.
EDGE: A lot of people don’t know that you were first a recording artist. Tell us about how to you came to music.
Miss Mykie: I started doing music when I was really young. I grew up in a huge family and we would always do little shows in the basement and one time I sang a record for my parents and they really started to take my talent serious. They invested in it and put me in different performing arts programs so that I could really reach my potential. They even turned one of the rooms in our house into a studio where my brother and I would record our own songs. I did the whole girl group thing in high school and ended up branching off into my solo thing from there. When I graduated from Howard University, I really started to take it serious as a career. I moved back to Houston and linked up with my producer “Big Chill” and we went to work. He gave me my name “Miss Mykie” and we started grinding it out. We put out so many videos and mixtapes. We hit the ground running and just took off.
EDGE: How did your life as an artist prepare you for your life as the host of 106?
Miss Mykie: Definitely shooting music videos gave me an ease and made more comfortable with seeing myself on screen. I would see things that I liked and things I didn’t like and I would work on those. Being a performer who was out on tour, I gained a lot of my confidence doing shows. I knew how to connect with an audience before 106. I am a natural talent so it wasn’t too difficult to step onto the show and get the hang of it. I did a lot of red carpets and interviews before the show as well so I wasn’t a fish out of water completely. But I can see how I was prepared from having done my thing as an artist first. The biggest challenge was learning how to step to the other side of the mic, I’m not the one being interviewed and that was an adjustment.
EDGE: How have you and Paigion managed to bypass the cattiness of two women being on a show like that together and having a separate fan base? How have you guys managed to stay positive and supportive?
Miss Mykie: I’ve always believed in women not tearing one another down but lifting one another up through support. Me and Paigion are very close and I’m going to do everything I can to keep it that way. It’s all new. We’ve only been on the show for about four months. But it’s so important, especially with women of color, to make a stand of solidarity in the name of sister hood. Learning how to just support one another no matter what…that’s crucial.
EDGE: What’s been the most poignant moment of your journey so far?
Miss Mykie: All the moments that really catapulted my career. My independent tour that I went on really helped to bring awareness to who I am as an artist. Of course the 106&Park thing has helped so much with meeting new people and people knowing who I am. It’s a great platform. I really feel blessed that I was chosen out of the thousands of people who uploaded videos. I didn’t do that. Stephen Hill reached out to me and I felt like that was such a huge honor. Out of all the hosts I was the only true new face. Paigion and Shorty had already come on and guest hosted a few times and of course, Bow Wow is Mr. 106, so I was the only newbie. I took it as a huge honor and I think about that every time I step out to do the show.
EDGE: What impact do you hope to leave on the show that’s different than what’s been done to this point?
Miss Mykie: My positivity. I used to be a school teacher and I connect really well to young people so I just hope to be a motivation to young girls especially. I want them to know that they don’t have to follow the typical crowd. A lot of young girls like to look at the video girls and the women who have dignity and they just want that attention. I want to show them that you can make it and still be a classy woman. I want to be a role model. I want people to know that you can do it. You don’t have to compromise, you can do it the authentic way. You can go to school, get an education, grind it out and make your dreams come true. It takes a lot of work but it’s possible, I’m proof of that.
EDGE: What was your favorite 106&Park moment before you hosted the show?
Miss Mykie: I watched 106 back in the AJ and Free days but I never was a fanatic about it. Being from Houston I always loved when Beyonce would be on the show. It was exciting for me because she was where I was from. I always enjoyed the show because it was young and fun.
EDGE: Is there anything that you feel that people should know about you before they form opinions?
Miss Mykie: They can catch up on my journey. I want people to know the history on me. When I was chosen a lot of people were like ‘who is this girl?’ but I didn’t come from nowhere. I put in a lot of hard work to be where I am…put in your research before you pass judgement. Check out my tour videos, read my story…see what I went through to get where I am.
Stay in touch with Miss Mykie: @MissMykie
Website: Miss Mykie