Mika Newton’s career launched on a high note this summer with “Don’t Dumb Me Down,” produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson. In it, Newton proved she’s more than just a pretty face. She’s a hitmaker too – with a focus on inspiring fans to recognize the power they hold within. That is one reason she says it was important that her next track, “Come Out and Play,” be released in time for National Coming Out Day. She’ll perform the single live this Thursday, October 18, at the Fusion Party at Splash.

“I want to help people believe in themselves,” she says.  “Life is always going to be a struggle. We need to be brave and fight for what is right. If you do what you do with love, you will prevail and your life will be so much better for it.”

Newton has had to fight to make her dreams come true. Born Oksana Stefanivna Grytsay, she grew up in the Ukraine admiring the talents of Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. She always knew she wanted to sing, and luckily for her, both of her parents supported her passion. “I thank God for the support of my parents,” she says. “All parents should support their children, even if they don’t understand or agree with the road their child is traveling.”

Newton continued to hone her craft, and last year, was chosen to represent the Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest, a televised competition similar to American Idol. It was how she caught the eye of producer Randy Jackson who signed her to his label, Dream Merchant 21, and moved her to Los Angeles.

“I am very honest with myself in my songs and what I want to say to people,” says Newton. “I want to help them be honest with themselves. I intend for my stamp on today’s music to be the stamp of truth.” She describes her audience as young people who “understand that life is an amazing adventure and everything is in their hands.” That message of pride, along with the colorful dance beats in her songs, are finding resonance among gay fans.

Some say Newton’s image is too innocent for today’s pop music scene, but she isn’t concerned. “I don’t need to fit some mold of what is hot now in order to sell records,” she says. “Fads come and go.  My intention is to follow my heart and create art that makes lives better.” She urges gay fans to heed the same and take their first step out and play.

Get Out! Contributor

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