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Episode #437: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax


Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW JESSICA MEUSE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

My best advise and what I’ve learned from being exposed to a national television show like American Idol is to pay attention to all the people who love you and brush past the people who don’t. People who are doing something with their lives lift others, those who fail and need to hate don’t … but God bless them anyway.

The version of “Done” you have is re-written. The initial version was a simple four-chord structure and honestly, I was just mad. My focus when I wrote it was the lyrics and I didn’t care about the structure, so much as getting my feelings out. I think it came across well and some people like the “old” version versus the “new” version and vice versa. I re-wrote it because I wanted to show my growth as an artist, beyond my reality television experiences. With the release of “Done,” I wanted people to see that I can write, that I know what I want, and I’m gonna do what I need to do to succeed — which, to me, is to be able to make music professionally. The back story was that I got cheated on. This was several years ago, and I accidentally dated a guy who obviously had two sides. He chose to show me a facade, but he just couldn’t hold on to it beyond a few months! I was so disappointed in him, and I was infuriated that a person could sit there and tell someone they love them and then be cheating on them multiple times behind their back. I ended that and wrote out my feelings. Bam! “Done” was born.

One thing I always emphasize when I talk about my music is…
that I keep it as genuine and real as possible. I’m not afraid to call things out for what they are within my songwriting and I think that connects with a lot of my fans, my #MuseMafia, on a human level. I say things sometimes that I think maybe others hesitate to say. I say it for them in a powerful, independent voice and it unites people in a way that defies geographical, religious, and political borders. My music is about being human. I know what I stand for and I want to give my fans something that will connect with them on a soul-to-soul level. My music and this upcoming CD is going to embody self-strength, rising above adversity, and pushing forward with hard work all while maintaining the values instilled in me. Every song is real. Every song is truth.

Houston, Texas…
I recently relocated to Houston, Texas, and I’m still getting a feel for the area! I know Texas has a huge “Texas Country” scene, and I’ve already submitted for several singer/songwriter contests and festivals. I’m just trying to get my foot in the door in my new surroundings and I really want to check out SXSW up in Austin! As far as back home in Alabama, there are a lot of little holes in the wall that I love and that have played a big role in who and where I am today. The Nick, up in Birmingham, is a dive underneath a bridge, but it feels like home. Many bands that have gone on to become national and international acts have performed there. Workplay, also in Birmingham, played a huge role in getting me where I am today. The owners are almost like family, and I always felt accepted there. Iron City is newer, but it’s an awesome spot to catch large acts (and eat good food!).

Music business…
The music business is, in short, cutthroat. It’s difficult to succeed in, and it’s chaotic. But I absolutely, positively love it and all of the curve balls it throws at me. It’s a field of constant learning and adaptation. I’ve encountered several personal failures in the industry, but I try not to focus on them, and I move forward. The pros? I have met some of the most amazing people in the universe in the music industry. I’ve learned so much in an education that money can’t buy.

I’ve immersed myself in it and allowed it to become a major part of, not only my life, but myself.

The relationships I have made within the music industry have opened doors and connections beyond music, and I’ve met some of my best friends because of it. It’s crazy, hectic, and it can break your heart — more than once — but I’m in love! I can’t wait to learn more and see where it all leads.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Without a doubt, Brent Smith. First of all, his voice is one-of-a-kind. Secondly, he has overcome so much that so many fail to overcome. His story is incredibly inspiring and he (and the rest of the band, Shinedown) are simply amazing artists and writers. I would love to pick his brain about his songwriting process, how he prepares for shows, and hear his story directly from him.

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