Kicking off our Underground Queens musician edition is Kentucky’s own Myshel Wilkins. Myshel’s voice has a tone that will run deep into your veins and touch the center of your heart and soul. This former Miss Tennessee State University honed her artistry on a world stage filled with culture while traveling with her missionary father to Trinidad, Tobago, El Salvador, Venezuela, Johannesburg and her mother’s homeland of Ghana.
I got a chance to interview Myshel to find out more info about her music. You can access our interview by scrolling below.
Name: Myshel Wilkins (formerly Michelle Robinson – Miss Tennessee State University, 1999-2000)
Hometown: Frankfort, KY
Style of Music: Urban Pop
Musical Influences: Whitney Houston, Celine Dion
What inspired you to become an entertainer and tell us a little bit about the type of music you provide
Myshel: My inspirations come from several places. I grew up around a few singers that I would watch and admire from a far. I found myself trying to emulate them as well as the singers I would watch on television. Whitney Houston was the main vocalist that I was plumb crazy about. Celine Dion was my number two and many others from different genres.
Singing captivated me. It was one of the most amazing ways to create art. I had always wanted to be a singer, but when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, a “Singer” was never praised as much as a Doctor, Lawyer or Teacher. Mainly because you see the hundreds of musicians that make it, but never see the hundreds of thousands that don’t. The chances of me really becoming a singer in the minds of those who heard my answer, seemed very slim.
Yet I knew what was in my heart, a fire that would not go out no matter how long it took or who came and went, it remained. That’s how I knew this was my destiny. I began to practice learning my own voice as well as studying other singers, but had NO idea how I was going to get into the business. It just seemed impossible without the right connections.
Next thing I know, I get a call to sing background for my good friend Mandisa Hundley from American Idol, then to audition for another artist, then another and the calls kept coming! I’ve toured and sung background for several Grammy nominated and award winning artists like Tamia, TobyMac, Kelly Price and a few others!
My musical style is Urban Pop. It’s radio friendly/mainstream music with an honest message. This is what I gravitate to. Looking back I stressed about how to get in and before I could realize what happened, I was in it! I made the most out of every opportunity and every relationship knowing that one day, I just might need to call upon a few favors and it’s paying off!
What sacrifices did you have to make to get to this point and how have those sacrifices benefited you thus far?
Myshel: Lots of sacrifices have been made. Having to be away from family especially during holidays and special celebrations due to shows and meetings are always difficult for me. It’s a lot of hard work to record and market an album and it requires A LOT of your time. So there is not a lot of going out and kicking it with friends. I’m either resting or working.
The ultimate sacrifice thus far was when my sweetheart took a job in another state for two years just so I would not have to get a 9 to 5 job that would’ve made it impossible for me to tour and record.
What makes your music unique and what do you want your listeners to get from it?
Myshel: I believe that I am unique because I chose ME! Out of all the “other” people I could attempt to emulate and copy, I chose to take the time to learn Me. Who I am, why I am here, my passions, my strengths and weaknesses are not automatic just because I am me. I had to turn down all the noise of countless suggestions to be something other that myself. I chose to shine as my original design, what ever I create follows.
These songs are from my heart. It is meant for who ever can relate to the message. This is my focus. I can sleep at night knowing I have truly gave myself to my art and it’s for who it’s for. My music is unique because it comes from one who is proudly unique. I want the listener to consider their life, consider others, consider God, and to stop being afraid to love again. I want them to NEVER give up and heal from past pains deep within. This is my reason for singing.