Traces of Mika Episode 01: Who is Mika?

It’s crazy to try to even explain myself in a conversation. I can be one of the most complex individuals that you could ever meet but also loveeeeee at the same time. Becoming who I am now, well let’s just say that came with a lot of trial and error. 

The first track of Traces of Mika had to be authentic, real and unedited. Simply because it was setting the tone for what to expect. For any person who values their energy and peace then you can often find yourself sitting alone, enjoying your own company. I’m no different. I actually enjoy being my own company only reconnecting with the world every once and a while. 

I’ve always been that person though …a loner. I make a statement in track one “I’m the girl that ate lunch in the bathroom in Highschool.” I didn’t have a lot of friends and I struggled to connect with people. And I didn’t sit alone because I was awkward, or a nerd, or the outcast; I simply just didn’t have the balls enough to just go sit down and spark up conversations.

Knowing who I am now….I know why I would rather choose my own company over others. I’m safe. I’m reliable. I’m me. I learned at a very young age that I was the best person to bet on because people will let you down and lie. Never understood why people did those things….that was until I started growing up.

See, I’ve dealt with losing people for as long as I can remember. Loss of life, loss of love, loss of money, loss of family, and yet I still feel optimistic about the future. Traces of Mika ironically started when I was about ten years old. That’s actually me at ten years old at the very beginning of track one.

I grew up recording myself, writing songs and then performing them out in my room; mostly by myself, but I often recruited my cousins and sisters to sing with me. 

I play these old tracks from 1997 throughout the entire podcast giving you parts of young Mika all the way through. When the producer of this series took my old cassettes and captured the audio I was nervous to hear the old me. It was like hearing a ghost and then yearning for her at the same time. Young Mika hadn’t been hurt yet, betrayed, left, loved, praised, or known for that matter. And hearing her, hearing me, I had a piece of that innocence back. 

And then there came a track where I heard my Mama’s voice for the first time in 12 years. I think I played her voice over and over with my eyes closed until I was back there with her. Having her with me. Having her protection. As an adult, everything falls on us. No one can save us or coddle us and granted we may have our parents there with us along the way to help us navigate. But not mine, my mama was gone. Gone way before I ever knew what being a woman, mother, wife, or friend even was. I had to learn that all on my own. I had to learn how to love, communicate, and speak up for myself by myself. Like I said, becoming me was trial and error.

Releasing Traces of Mika was more so about starting a conversation around dreaming and owning what you want. Granted the series will get a bit crazy at times with my unpopular opinions or controversial past but hey, every piece has seemingly made me, me lol. Especially when you hear the skit “Dating These Ni**s”, grab your pen to take some notes lol.

It’s crazy that I really used to record myself just as I did for this podcast twenty years later. Its kind of like my steps/journey has been designed already and is out of my control. My mama used to call it “A Faith Walk”. So I’ve been walking by faith…..attempting to navigate through life achieving my dreams and experiencing love and happiness. 

Faith walking isn’t easy folks, and nope I don’t know how to tell you how to get to your goals but I surely can tell you what it takes to achieve them. And it’s not a relationship, it’s not money, it’s not even a perfect execution plan. It’s you! Your mind! Your energy! Your consistency! 

Like Whoopi Goldberg said in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, “life is but a dream.” I didn’t understand it then but I get it now and I decided to dream out loud. 

Now onto the bullshit…

Now let’s get into the second half of the episode….the one where I address some bullshit. Lol! Ok maybe I shouldn’t say it that way…but then again, I love using colorful words. A lot of my peers/former flames are or have been millionaires, entrepreneurs, and movers and shakers in publishing and  film; many of them have dealt with the ups and downs of fame. I for one do not like to use that word because my bank account doesn’t match what I want just yet lol.

Truth be told, I’ve worked with almost every publishing house and have promoted or supported every author from 2008- 2018 in some capacity. Either my company has promoted or reviewed their work, I’ve created their book tours and connected them to book stores and media, my award show has honored them, or I have helped them create their own publishing companies through my media company. Granted, I’ve done it all and have been blessed to work with the best of the best. That position comes with attention and granted, I’m still that girl that sat in the bathroom by herself. Extremely introverted and a natural loner, so when “fame” or popularity came I ignored it; keeping myself down to Earth and allowing people to have access to me because I wanted everyone to win.

When I originally decided to shut down Delphine Publications back in 2017, two authors who were still very active under Delphine Publications offered to help me keep it going. They expressed they did not want me to stop publishing others but I, for one, wanted to just do my own thing. I had enough of opportunists coming into my company trying to get a leg up and not promote their work. And unfortunately, I had a lot of writers between the years of 2014-2017 who were signed to Delphine Publications and did not even host one book signing for their book (violation of their contract), which is my fault for not enforcing. And when their book flopped who did they blame, me of course. Duh!

As a boss or a leader, you have to be ready to receive the backlash as well as the praise. It’s funny how people want to share the glory but will point fingers when things don’t go their way. So when shit started to hit the fan, a lot of authors who I invested in and lost money from, had a lot of things to say about me. Granted, I wanted to respond to a lot of the things that were being said about me, but why? Part of me truly did not care about what authors (who did not even promote their books) had to say. A larger part of me felt betrayed. I began to question my leadership, my Genuity, and the friendships that I thought I had built and was cultivating. I put a lot of energy into some of my authors that I started to consider friends or family of Delphine Publications. Many of whom I’ve been in their homes, know their children, did hospital visits when they were sick, loaned money and advice, and even spent my personal time helping them build their own dreams. I’m not gone lie ya’ll… a bitch was hurt. To spend countless years building others and often not gaining any credit or financial gain from it, I began to question my efforts and my purpose. I didn’t understand how anyone could spend more energy trying to get people to dislike me instead of promoting their own work.

You see, publishing is a business. Granted I can be personable and a cool person but my mentoring my writers created a foggy relationship. People tend to forget that they were an investment and I wasn’t just their friend. I needed to make my money back and until I did, I would rightfully own the publishing rights to every damn book.

But here came one author who I allowed to work within my company, teaching them how to build a company and to make money. We call him in this episode #PissAnt. They took that time to create a story about me and I find it interesting that so much energy was spent trying to figure out my success and how I spend my money rather than promoting their own books. Call me crazy, but if your book flops and you haven’t promoted it anywhere other than Facebook, how is it anyone else’s fault?

Now granted I’ve built some successful authors. Very successful. Every author under Delphine Publications was mentored into being an artist. They know how to promote offline; they know how to do interviews, they know how to engage with their readers, and they know how to invest in themselves. How? It’s because I took them on the road with me. Yes, an independent publisher took their time to take their authors on the road. Then I took my time to sell some of my author’s books to bigger publishers so that they can outgrow me and flourish.

But that’s what you’re supposed to do right? Pay it forward. But just like a lot of my peers, I was talked about and dragged on social media. But that’s not new. I was first talked about online when I was 21 and burst onto the scene, stepping on some Vets toes. Granted, I don’t have feelings when it comes to pursuing dreams. I think so many people get caught up in social media gossip and bullshit versus focusing on their dreams, goals, and making money.

So, I address the bullshit that was said about me and my company for the very first time in this episode. Why address it? Shit, why not? People love mess and although I was too busy on the road then to sit my ass down and address some social media gossip, I felt that now it was a cool time to say heyyyyyy to every author who was under Delphine Publications. Whether you like me or not, I bet you’re still getting money from the work that we did and the things that I taught you. That’s what I want them to remember, that Tamika taught them how to make money. Anything other then that I don’t care about.

Ok ok, I’m done rambling….I’ll let y’all listen.  

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