Meet Twin Peaks Recording Artist/Songwriter Mila Mason
Born in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, Mila Mason is a multi-talented artist/songwriter, wife, and mother of three. She is currently doing a radio tour promoting her recent single, "Maybe, Maybe Not," from her soon to be released CD, Stained Glass Window. Coming from a musical family, both her mother and grandmother were singers. Mila's mother, Diane Mason, had a thriving career as a performer. She toured in Europe and had a regular show in Las Vegas opening for The Commodores. Today, Mila strikes a complimentary balance between her own heritage and the new generation of country music that she can call her own.
Discovered through a friend of a friend of a friend in 1993 by renowned producer Blake Mevis (of George Strait, Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley fame), Mevis became an immediate fan. He took Mila into the studio, recorded some sides and delivered the product to Atlantic Records Vice President Bryan Switzer. Mila was signed to Atlantic in 1996.
Mila's debut Atlantic Records album, That's Enough Of That, appeared on Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart on March 22, 1997, where it held its position for 13 weeks. The title cut by the same name entered the Top 20 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart and was followed by her signature song, "Dark Horse," which landed at No. 21 on the chart in 1997. After recording and releasing her second album, Mila felt driven to concentrate on her songwriting craft--the reason she came to Nashville. She departed the label with the determination to accomplish that very objective. The decision was climactic in Mila's career. It was a risk, but a risk she knew she had to take for herself, for Mila Mason--the artist.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Hi Mila. It's great to meet you. So you grew up in Kentucky?
Mila Mason Yes. Both my mom and my grandmother were entertainers and my dad was a coal miner, so I got the best of both worlds. My mom moved around quite a bit, so I went to 13 different schools altogether. That gave me the ability to talk to anybody.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] How old were you when you started moving around?
Mila Mason From the time I was born. My mom was quite the gypsy, so I moved around all my life. We moved all across the country. I went to school in Cincinatti, Ohio; mostly in Kentucky and Nevada.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] When did you start singing and performing?
Mila Mason At 15 is the first time I got paid for singing. My mom had a show when I was 15. She finally agreed to let me in there with her. I had to have a chaperone because we played in so many casinos. I was allowed to be on stage, but I wasn't allowed to walk around anywhere. It was fun; it was a good experience.
She moved me to Nashville when I was 17. Since she had been performing all her life [and] she thought that it would be good for me to move there because I wanted to be a songwriter. I thought my mom was the best singer in the world and I really thought that all I wanted to do was to be a writer. But when I moved to Nashville, people would look at me and ask, "Are you a singer, are you a singer?” I would say, no I'm a writer. I would refuse to let people know because I wanted to be taken seriously about my writing.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] I listened to your single, "Maybe, Maybe Not." I really enjoyed that song.
Mila Mason Well, thank you.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] So, this is the first single from the CD?
Mila Mason Yes. The single's name is, “Maybe, Maybe Not," but the album's name is Stained Glass Window. It's on Twin Beat Records and comes out the end of September for sale. But people can get it when it comes out on the website, www.milamason.com, if they have trouble finding it in the stores.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Are you currently performing? Do you and Jason ever perform together?
Mila Mason This week I played at the Bluebird here in Nashville. My husband was playing with me that night. We played South Dakota the week before and Minnesota the week before that. Yes, we perform together all the time because we're both songwriters. Thank goodness - he helps me to remember lyrics! I enjoy performing with my husband.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] What are some of your favorite songs on Stained Glass Window and what inspired you to write them?
Mila Mason "Stained Glass Window." Three women influenced and inspired me to write this song. My mom gave me a book when I was growing up - it was the story of Josephine Baker. I enjoyed her life story so much that it kind of inspired the song, along with my mother. Josephine Baker was the toast of Paris and the toast of France. When she'd come back home to America she couldn't even eat in a restaurant. She was the biggest star you could even think of - she was like Madonna back then. She finished out her life in Paris and she adopted 12 children. Everybody thought she was so risqué, but she did such wonderful things so the song talks about not judging women. "It's a sin to break a stained glass window just because you can't see inside. She had a colorful past but it cast a holy rainbow," and so that's what the song is about.
”Maybe, Maybe Not” is one of my favorite songs on the whole album. I co-wrote that song also with a good friend of mine. I started on the lyrics one day after I was doing the laundry. I heard this noise in the dryer and I thought it was a quarter, but it was actually an overall snap that had fallen off. When I grabbed it, it burned my hand. I thought, what if that had been a quarter? I started writing the song. It talks about a girl having a load in the dryer reaches in and pulls out a quarter and it burns her hand, and then [she] says, "Maybe it's a sign, maybe I should call, see if everything's alright in Omaha. Maybe you were right, maybe I should change, maybe if I tried real hard maybe I could change. I could do what you say and just grow up, it might be worth a shot, but then again, Maybe Not." It's kind of a sassy song.
Another favorite song is "Somebody Must Love Me." It's a duet I do with my husband on the album. He co-wrote it so that song means the world to me.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Thanks Mila. It was great talking with you. I wish you much success with your single, "Maybe, Maybe Not," and your upcoming CD, Stained Glass Window.
Mila Mason Thank you so much.
For more information, contact Kathi Atwood at Aristomedia, Phone: (615) 269-7071, www.aristomedia.com or check out Mila Mason's website at www.milamason.com.