In early October, the search was officially over and the iconic 106 & Park announced the new hosts of the show. We’ve grown accustom to a male and female hosting the show, but not this time around.
Mykel “Miss Mykie” Gray is one of the four new hosts; however, that’s not all she has going on. Miss Mykie joined the team but she brings with her a loyal fan base that some celebs wish they had. Miss Mykie has been blazing a path in the music industry for many years and has finally reached a platform where she can gain recognition. Her music refuses to be placed in one category; she has a unique sound that is sure to pop but can also rock with the hip hop heads all while staying true to rhyme and blues.
It’s not just the 106 & Park stage where Miss Mykie works with amazing artist. Miss Mykie has worked with industry heavyweights such as Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross and Paul Wall to name a few. This Houston cutie also has brains…a graduate from Howard University; she used her college experience to increase her fan base. Before she knew it she was well known in the underground music world.
On an early morning call, so early that most people don’t have their thoughts straight, Miss Mykie was vibrant and had an enthusiasm that couldn’t be contained by our distance. She was eager to chat with Yo! Raps about who Miss Mykie was before 106 & Park, where her motivation to pursue music comes from and why she rocks the Mohawk we’re all talking about.
In the interview, Miss Mykie shares details about tragedy in her family as well as how she hopes to motivate other young women. This very deserving new television personality and host is here to stay and this is why.
Who was Miss Mykie prior to 106 & Park… the Miss Mykie we don’t know?
Miss Mykie was -- well, I’m not going to say “was” because I still am. I started off doing music I was a recording artist and I was a school teacher at the same time, it was difficult to balance the two. I would go to work and as soon as I would finish I’d be transforming into Miss Mykie in the studio and doing shows. We did our own tour and there would be days I’d have to travel but still make it back to get my job done as a teacher. I started getting a little buzz and YouTube started going crazy.
What is the response that you have gotten from former students about their teacher being on TV?
Everybody is super excited for me because they saw the ground work that my team and I put in. We all knew it was just a matter of time before something was going to pop, I just never in a million years would have expected being a TV host was it. I mean but everybody is really excited and I am very excited. The response has been cool.
You’ve stayed positive and confident in your journey, as you said you didn’t know TV host would be the avenue but now what do you see for your future?
I definitely see many more years of hosting 106 & Park, I love it so much! But I believe this is a platform for many more things. I went to Howard University and I studied, “Fine Arts Theater,” so that’s a big part of me as well (the performing and acting) so I definitely want to pursue movies, commercials and sitcoms. I still want to branch out and do music again. I just want to be a positive role model and someone that young adults look up to in a positive perspective.
A lot of people in the entertainment business don’t want to be labeled a role model or be put in that lane, why are you seeking that title?
I have a lot of nieces and nephews and again I was a school teacher so I was around kids a lot and I just grew to love children. Being a teacher you see and hear kids talk about so much and I wasn’t always pleased with the conversations I would hear. So I took it upon myself to mentor a lot of the little girls that were at my school. I just realized how important it was for them to have somebody keep it real with them and let them know the right way to go about different things, you know -- classy and positive.
What inspired you to be in the entertainment business when you’re so passionate about children?
I’ve been entertaining since I was a kid. My mom and dad put me in a lot of different programs for it, theater, dance and music. I grew up doing all kinds of stuff, I did the whole girl group thing. My parents built a recording studio in our home so we spent a lot of time there and my brother was a producer so we were really into music. He was the one who really inspired me to branch out on my own. He was my biggest motivator!
It sounds like your brother was very significant in your career… tell me more about how he motivated you?
Yes! Like I said I did the whole girl group thing and he was the one who told me I had what it took to pursue music by myself. He was like “Mykie, you need to go ahead and be a solo artist.” He was the initial reason I made that decision. But tragedy struck my family my freshmen year in college, he was killed in an altercation. That was a big loss for me, I kind of put music on hold then I wasn’t motivated anymore. It took a big toll on me so I decided to focus on other things. I went on to pledged AKA, I was apart of a dance team at Howard for the Showtime marching band called, “The Ooh La La Girls” and I kind of just lived my college life and did what I needed to do to graduate and the rest is history.
Take us on the journey of learning that you were chosen as a host of 106 & Park. Where were you? How did you feel?
Well, you know the first time that they called me on the show turned into a second time and then a third time and then it turned into a big last final week. There were 7 candidates and we all went toe to toe, going through a series of challenges to see who could handle it… it was quote unquote our hell week [laughs]. Then they flew us back on a Friday night the day of Terrance and Rocsi’s farewell show, it was like they tricked us. They never called and just said Mykie you made it, it was like they called and said we want to fly you out to have dinner with Steven Hill who is the main dude that created the show and Eric Rick. Those two are the head honcho’s. They told me it was a last meeting that didn’t mean I got the job but to bring a few outfits just in case. In the back of my mind I was like, “Hold on”, they are not going to just be flying me back out here just for a meeting but I didn’t want to be cocky! We had lunch with them on a Sunday and I saw Shorty Da Prince and Paigon there, I was like, “Dang”, I knew Paigon was my competition so I thought they were going to have us go toe to toe for the spot. So I started trying to google some last minute information just in case they started asking us questions, I didn’t want to seem stupid I’m looking all through Wikipedia for 106 & Park facts and everything. But it was nothing like that; we sat down and ordered our food. About 20 minutes later they told us we were three of the four new hosts and then they said the last host is walking up now, we all turned around and it was Bow Wow. It was definitely a moment I won’t forget.
What is the chemistry like between you and the other hosts Paigon, Bow Wow, and Shorty Da Prince?
It’s awesome! We’re like family, its crazy how we all just clicked but we’re all so different. We each bring such different dynamics to the show which I love. We’re just really like family.
Why do you believe that you’re right for this role, what do you bring to 106 & Park?
Again, I bring that positivity, I have my own style, it’s apparent. I’m the only chick on there rock’n a Mohawk, not tripping and doing my thing. I bring energy and just that life, I just believe I bring life, energy and fun but I have my elements of teaching and being that mentor because there are times I read the twitter board and naturally I read a comment and find myself going back to address young girls and how they should handle certain situations and stuff like that so again I just bring that motivation and positivity.
Now, I have to talk about the Mohawk… how did the hair style come about and what type of feedback do you get from it?
I actually started doing the Mohawk about 2 years ago, being an artist you know you try to find different ways to stand out and be different. And at the time I did the Mohawk and people were like, “Wow”. So I just decided to use it as a branding point with my career and it did help. People be like you know the chick with the Mohawk! So I just ran with it. When I got to 106 & Park, Steven Hill was like I freaking love her Mohawk and you know me being a girl I was like ooh I get to switch it up and change it. But he put the breaks on that like um no, keep your hair like that and I’ll tell you when I’m ready for you to change it. So yeah…I pretty much got D-Boed my boss was like No! I’m not tripping it makes people talk, there are people that like it and people that don’t, it doesn’t bother it’s on my head. I don’t go to the shop or nothing like that I do my own hair, just something that I do.
Some of the stereotypical views that have been feed to us about black women on television are that light skin and long hair is beautiful, what do you have to say about your experience of being a black woman on television? Have you come across such stereotypes based on your skin tone?
I have personally never experienced that but I know that it does happen. In my past I’ve seen it happen but not as much anymore. I see more dark skin, natural hair women on shows and commercials now then ever before, I thank God that I haven’t experienced that. I don’t have the long flowing hair, I mean of course I could put a weave in but I have my style and I hope I never am made to feel those stereotypes. I hope those stereotypes die down or just go away but I also know the way of the world and the truth is it does happen.
We’ve come to my movies and music section…
If you were snowed in and had only one movie to watch over and over again, what movie would you want it to be?
Ooh, I would have to say, “Todd!” That movie is so freaking funny. I went to the movies when it first came out and I went back 2 days later and then I went back again. I laughed like it was the first time.
What’s in heavy rotation on your iPod these days?
I’m not going to lie… myself! I don’t get to do music like I really want to, I do miss it and again my music is positive and inspirational. It even motivates me sometimes.
Finally where can we find your music and learn more about Miss Mykie?
You can visit me online at www.missmykie.com and follow me @missmykie but of course tune into 106 & Park.
- By Alysha “AP” Price