Early life and education
Meuse was born in Round Rock, Texas, on October 19, 1990, a daughter of Charles Edward and Sheila Arlene (Strobel) Meuse.She moved several times as a child, since her mother worked for the government. As a way to be more outgoing as a pre-teen, she recorded CDs and gave them to friends. While living in Zephyrhills, Florida in 2002, she attended St. Anthony Catholic School in nearby San Antonio, Florida. It was there, at the school’s talent show, that she acknowledges performing publicly for the first time.When she was in the seventh grade, she moved to Slapout, Alabama, where she joined the Montgomery Youth Orchestra, eventually becoming principal second violin. She also played shows of her own at various festivals, fundraisers, schools, and public events. In addition to the violin, she plays both guitar and piano.
She attended Auburn University at Montgomery, where she majored in liberal arts.
Meuse states she is, “influenced by virtually every genre of music.”More specifically though, she has called her style “a blend of southern rock with alternative and rock n’ roll.”Mary Colurso of AL.com has described it as “rock…infused with country and metal.”Meuse’s musical influences include Coldplay, Miranda Lambert, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Nicks, Death Cab for Cutie, Bruno Mars, and Shinedown.
At age eighteen, she began writing music. Her first song was called “What’s So Hard About Bein’ a Man” and developed from feelings of anger.She went on to self-release a CD by the same name in 2011, and has written around sixty original songs. Most of them have focused on dark and serious subject matter.
In October 2010, Meuse won the Stars of Alabama Artist Showcase, a statewide music competition that was judged by professionals from Montgomery, Atlanta and Nashville.In October 2013, Meuse was featured by the Alabama Media Group in the Birmingham Sessions, an online showcase for musicians around the Birmingham, Alabama area.She auditioned for The Voice before her American Idol run, but did not pass the judging rounds of the mentors.
Encouraged by her friends, Meuse auditioned for the thirteenth season of American Idol in Atlanta, Georgia. She performed an original song called “Blue-Eyed Lie” and was accepted by all three judges.Meuse initially joined Matthew Hamel and Clark King for the Hollywood group round, but the three of them struggled to work well together and chose to part ways. Meuse then joined a group with Nica Nashae, Cara Watson, and Stephanie Hanvey. They sang Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”.