Mila J is a woman on the move.

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The Motown artist, who recently collaborated with Timbaland for work on her upcoming album, is also a rising influencer, teaming up with Jack Daniels’ Tennessee Honey and BET for a current national sweepstakes campaign.

Known for being in Prince’s video “Diamonds and Pearls” at age nine, in addition to being the sister of singer Jhene Aiko, Mila has slowly but surely been paving her own way in the industry, and people are definitely taking notice.


We caught up with the singer to see what she has in store for us in 2016, and to also get her take on the importance of unification and empowerment among women.

What does it mean to be an empowered woman?

For me, being an empowered woman means knowing who you are and where you’re going in life. It’s about being aware of the moves that have to be made to get there. It’s about staying focused on your goals to create other opportunities. For me, it’s like my new business collaboration with Jack Honey, which as an artist and entrepreneur, I’m very excited about.

As March is Women’s History Month, what woman has been the biggest inspiration and influence in your life?

My mom. She’s a true superwoman. She has five children and was always there for us whenever we needed her. Her strength has always been one of the greatest inspirations in my life.

A lot of young women seek to imitate what they see in the media, as well as social media. What’s your advice for ladies who feel the pressure to conform?

My advice to young women is they should not compare themselves to what they see in the media, or social media—that should not be what they use as a standard. I would encourage them to instead be thankful for what God gave them, and know that they are beautiful no matter what society tries to tell them. Beauty starts on the inside and then works its way outward.

What are your thoughts on the rising influence of women of color in Hollywood?

I think it’s amazing that women of color are starting to have more visibility and influence in Hollywood. I’m actually preparing for my first role in a major film, and it’s exciting. I’m thankful for all of the women who have paved the way to make that possible.

What are some personal affirmations you live by?

Two personal affirmations I live by are “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and “Pick and choose your battles.”

In what ways would you like to see women become more unified?

I’d like to see women come together more often to support and positively influence each other and not let negativity divide us. We should all want to see one another win.

Are there any special projects you’re working on that we should stay tuned for?

In addition to the BET All Access Sweepstakes I’m working on with Jack Honey, I’m also currently working on another EP, which will be released later this year, along with a tour and my first film role. I have a lot of amazing projects in the works that I’m very excited about.