We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Meuse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Focus is a huge habit that has contributed to my success. I’m a big multitasker — I do about 15 different things simultaneously – from designing new merchandise to creating content, streaming on Twitch and promoting my gaming brand, fitness and health, and my music brand. At the end of the day, being able to focus on the task and actually complete it is what has gotten me where I am now. I am also a full-time student, and my grades are important to me, so having “tunnel-vision” focus is imperative. Secondly, time management skills are absolutely imperative. As a business person, brand, and artist, I have to schedule literally everything in my life – whether that’s homework or going out afterward and grabbing a beer with a friend. My whole life is a schedule, but I love it! I’ve also managed to work this out into a reward system for myself, so that helps too!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Getting where I am today was NOT easy. It seldom is easy to achieve something that is actually worth the trouble to any of us, anyway. In the music industry, I’ve been confronted with adversity at nearly every turn. There are sharks…everywhere — people who just want a buck from you and will do anything to have it and have it now. I’ve been told I’m not feminine enough. I’ve had male producers tell the wardrobe folks to “put her in a skirt…she looks good in skirts.” I’ve been asked to share the bed with a big concert and event promoter in Texas, and because I refused, I never got a gig through his company again. Honestly, I just make my music and create art because it makes me happy. I feel like I lost myself a bit — mostly in my younger days — in the glitter and glam of “Hollywood” and the concept of “fame,” but I found that, in my later twenties, I just felt drained and uninspired from that mentality. I’m thirty now, and I can wholeheartedly say I just flat-out love making music. I love playing guitar. I love singing and writing and making people feel something. I’m back to my “WHY” and that is simply because I like doing what I do! I have the most supportive fans an artist could ask for, and they like me just as I am, and that’s enough for me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely have to take them to the Little Donkey restaurant in Homewood, AL for lunch! They have great margaritas and most — if not all — of the food is made from scratch in-house, which I’m a huge fan of! We could go to the park up by the Vulcan in Birmingham to attempt to walk off some of the calories after that. If Birmingham Oddities is open that day, I’d show my friend that cool little store. It’s super unique in that it showcases lots of skulls and skeletons and weird random things you’d never be able to find anywhere else. It’s one of those places that you have to go to, at least once! Later, I’d take my guest to the Atomic Lounge down by my school (UAB in Birmingham). It’s a great little bar with tons of specialty drinks, and it’s decorated inside to look somewhat like a jungle. On top of that, everyone in Atomic typically wears onesies. It’s a great place to live in the moment and not worry about superficiality for a little while! They have onesies you can borrow — lemurs, dragons, zebras, and even Elmo! It’s a great place. For dinner, there’s a great sushi spot just across the street called Bamboo. If we feel up to it, I’d end the night at The Roof, a cool bar on top of the Redmont down the road from Bamboo and Atomic. If my guest likes concerts, Workplay, Iron City, and Avondale are all amazing venues. If they enjoy craft beer and breweries, Avondale is great for that as well as Good People (across from the Baron’s baseball stadium) and so is Cahaba (the blonde is my favorite). Basically, whenever I have a guest, I show them all the best drink and food spots and we literally eat our way through the city! I love, love, LOVE food!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother always nurtured the oddball creative in me, so it only makes sense that I give her the shoutout she deserves. Thanks, mom, for letting me be the quirky, monster-drawing, symphony orchestra nerd, gamer, anime-loving, animal-obsessed, alien-believing kid that I was. I definitely wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t had my mom around. Because of her support, my creativity was not stifled, but it overflowed. Thanks for buying me my first violin, my first guitar, and driving me back and forth to symphony practice every single weekend. Thanks for telling me that someday everything would “fall together” when I told you I was getting bullied in school. You were right!