Written by Glo(w)
There is innocence in newness. When spring’s first bud appears, it’s almost as if nature reveals herself after hiding for too long. First days of school, met with anxious excitement, are linked to youthful whimsy. It’s refreshing to embrace the awkwardness that every being experiences when life is new. It’s the perfect nostalgia. When remembering the moment when we first became aware of our humanity—those quirky, searchy years— we are remembering when we first felt our core. For some, those years were blissful and simple. For others, those years were darkened by external sources. That was the time we when first met ourselves. And that part of us still coexists blissfully with who we have become or wrestles with our present existence. Every ounce of JSMN’s brand is wrapped in the most honest expression of being completely comfortable with each layer of your own self.
There is beauty in brevity. Interactions with JSMN were filled with ease and comfortability. Her honesty about her inspirations and sources of comfort revealed many of the intrinsic movements millennials encounter. There is much hope brought forth from surviving trauma. JSMN is a light-filled gem who reminds us of our honest selves and makes us remember how much joy we are have. Her music is a memoir focused on the journey to self-awareness and self-love documented by stunning visuals.
Listen to and watch JSMN and get to know her more below. Be sure to catch her latest project.
What mediums do you use to create? I know you do music, but do you do anything else?
Aside from music, I am a film director. I like directing videos.
Did you direct your own video for payphone?
It was kind of collaborative.
How long have you been creating?
Ever since I could remember. Either it was like videos, I started videos at a really young age with like a flip phone. But with music, I did it really young but I was too shy to go on stage.
How did you get over being shy to get on stage?
I don’t know. I just woke up one day and said, “It’s now or never. You betta do it.”
What part of St. Louis did you grow up in?
I moved a lot, but South City, pretty much. And now South County.
How’d you end up in South County?
(laughs) Some strange stuff happened.
What do you think about how people classify music in to genres?
I feel like it’s really weird for me ‘cause I can’t really put myself in a box. But, I don’t know. If you can fit in that box, why not?
Tell me about your dream project? Like if you had unlimited resources and could create anything.
I feel like I would want to, aside from getting my favorite producers on it, just create and be involved in the visual aspect of everything, and the artwork of everything.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I guess, dealing with depression for a while, it’s a quote: “Tomorrow could be paradise, so keep going.” Yeah.
How did you get through?
Music helped me through a lot. Like when I’m feeling down, I just write and create.
Do you have any vices?
(laughs) I won’t go into that.
I think a lot of people have vices, but it’s beautiful that you can use your art to get through and not have to rely so heavily on other things. Do you think it’s important for artists to congregate to collaborate?
I think it is. Just so that you can bring ideas together.
Are there any sort of larger themes or ideas that you want people to get from your art?
I think just being yourself is the message I try to push the most just because you don’t see that a lot. That’s why I try to put my weirdness in my work and awkwardness ‘cause people can relate to that. They don’t want to see anyone cool on the stage. (laughs)
I think that it’s authentic. I think that’s what people want the most. When you’re not being yourself, people can tell. How do you feel about where St. Louis is right now on the art scene?
I’m actually surprised. Because like two years ago I did not see a lot of people working together and now it’s just like we’re building platforms. It’s amazing.
Do you think the political climate or things that have happened here, like with Mike Brown, Ferguson and everything, has anything to do with people feeling the need to be open to share their work?
Yes, I think so, because a lot of people had a lot to say and they didn’t really have an outlet or were silenced. Art opened it up for everyone.
When can we expect a new project to be released?
Soon. I’m thinking March 17th.
Follow JSMN on Twitter @JSMNSZN and Souncloud at JSMN. Be sure to check out her newest project "A Very Sad Happy Birthday" March 17th.