Jessica Meuse Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Jessica Meuse Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you
for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you
play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

I always tell people that the perfect way to describe my style and
voice is…if Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin had a baby, it would be me.
I’m definitely “country” but you can tell I was raised on a lot of rock
and roll and have a musical background since childhood.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

My biggest highlight was definitely releasing my album, “Halfhearted.”
It was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, and that was a dream
come true!  It’s surreal to look back and reminisce about such a
historical and energetic place, and I can’t believe it has already just
come up on a year that the album was released!

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

I wrote a song called “Halfhearted” and it was one of the last to go on
the album — pretty last-minute, actually.  The moment the song hit me, I
knew “This is the title track.  This is it.”  It just clicked and felt
right.  The meaning behind the title “Halfhearted” isn’t what you’d
think it would be.  It isn’t about being halfhearted about something,
not giving your all — it’s actually about the duality of everything in
life.  From the macroscopic view of the universe and beyond and the
battle of “good vs evil” to the microcosmic battle of  “good vs evil”
that rages within each and every one of us every day…”halfhearted” is
about accepting the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the beauty
and the beast that lives in all of us and being okay with it.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

I wrote 14 of the 15 tracks of the album.  The only song I didn’t write
was “Jigsaw Puzzle.”  Everything I write reflects true life and real
things I have thought and experienced.  My main message, if you listen
closely, is basically “making lemons out of lemonade” and finding that
last shred of inner strength you may not have known you had!

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

I grew up listening to a lot of 90s country, and you can definitely
hear that in my work.  Martina McBride, JoDee Messina, Faith Hill,
Trisha Yearwood, and modern day artists such as Carrie Underwood and
Miranda Lambert have influenced me immensely as I’ve grown as a musician
and writer.  You can also hear, mostly by the form in which I write,
that I’m heavily influenced by alternative and rock music.  If 90s
country wasn’t on, it was classic rock — anything from Fleetwood Mac to
the Stones and the Doors.

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?

Well, my last CD was made without a click track and the overall
production, to me, is absolutely horrid.  It wasn’t done correctly and I
wish I had more experience myself as a songwriter to revisit and maybe
even rewrite some of the songs.  “Halfhearted,” my current album, is
quite the polar opposite of my previous release.  It was done properly
with the correct preproduction and time required to make it sound the
way it does.

Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is
special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Answer:  I truly feel that my music resonates with people because it’s real.  My
music is raw and true and, like I previously stated, everything I write
about is based in reality.  I’ve lived and breathed these songs.  I’ve
felt the hurt I sing about, and I’ve felt the elation of success and
overcoming.  I’ve been there before, and I think people hear that in my
songs.  People want to know they’re not alone, and I think a lot of my
songs speak to that, especially because they do have a positive message
at the end of the day.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

I love nitty gritty, spitfire songs.  It reflects who I am as a person,
trying to figure out my way in life, and I resonate most with those so
that shows in the recordings!

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?

I had a lot of creative control over my songs on “Halfhearted” when I
wrote them and worked out preproduction.  A few of the phrases got
changed that I didn’t really care for — specifically in my song “High.”
It was mostly little things like that, but I had a lot of creative
control for the most part.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

I’ve actually had a few fans message me on social media about how a
song of mine “saved” them or how a song helped them get through a very
trying time or relationship.  It really fills my heart up to know that
my music connects with so many people on such a personal level, and
that’s honestly what keeps me going most days.  My fans even got their
name “Muse Mafia” because I initially called them my “muses.”  They inspire me to
always keep going and working hard, whether they realize it or not.
Just having someone reach out and take the time to tell me what my music
means to them is truly…magical.  I don’t know if there’s another word
for it!

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