By Dr. Elaine Richardson (Dr. E), Artist and Curator of Columbus Women&Girls’Fest
Christina Myles is a soulful vocalist and woman of many talents, including mom and role model to her 11-year-old daughter, Alana, a budding singer. She’ll be performing at Columbus Women&Girls’Fest on Aug. 3 at the MPACC Box Park. Christina has been performing since age two. She is a worship leader at her church, and even made the top 100 of American Idol in 2004. Yet, it has only been within the last four years that she proclaimed herself a professional performer. We sat down to highlight the importance of music in her life.
Dr. E: When did you know you wanted to sing and do music and arts as your vocation?
Christina: I’m from a musically gifted family, who inspired me to develop my own style at an early age. At age two, I sang the Negro National Anthem enthusiastically for an audience of 300 plus. I’ve entertained in the Reynoldsburg High School Music Chorale, churches, theater and more. Ms. Suzan Bradford-Kounta, executive director of the Lincoln Theatre, also has been an amazing encourager for me as an artist and a mother. She has provided many opportunities for my development. My even greater inspiration is my daughter Alana.
Dr. E: Can you elaborate more on your daughter as your inspiration?
Christina: I remember being that little girl with dreams, gifts and talents, and life circumstances caused them to be buried. I missed the chance to be cultivated in my identity and gifts. That pushes me to be a better me, artist, mommy and woman because I know she is watching and I want her to be solid in her identity and life’s purpose and passions.
Dr. E: It’s wonderful to be able to mentor your daughter’s gifts. When did you know she could sing?
Christina: When Alana was about three, I would find her singing and making up little songs and skats… I could hear her tone even at that age. Then when she was about six or seven she began to write poetry and short songs. I thought… she may really have something here!
Dr. E: Who are your artistic and musical inspirations?
Christina: Maya Angelou! But also local artists such as DJ Krate Digga, Naki Akribettoe, Renee Dion, T. Wong and Cedric Easton (now in NYC).
Dr. E: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Christina: Columbus has truly grown my appreciation for the arts. I’ve lived here almost 20 years and only recently discovered all that’s under my nose. The Greater Columbus Arts Council has done an amazing job putting Columbus on the map for the arts. I am proud to be here in the mix.
Christina Myles and her daughter Alana perform on Aug. 3 as part of Columbus Women&Girls’Fest, a free, all-day community festival at MPACC Box Park, 925 Mt. Vernon Ave. Their concert begins at 4:30 p.m.