Photos by Joe Martinez
To round out the last of our Black History Month features, we went to The Gem to meet with St. Louis’ own Mvstermind. A recording artist, business owner, and creator who has been elevating the local music scene
II’m a man of spiritual intent and I make music for self that activates the soul and ignites the heart. My music sounds like community. I grew up on the Northside of St. Louis and I’m really just a product of the community. My music is an homage to what I heard. I pick and pull elements from neo-soul and Black Renaissance to Gucci Mane.
People from St. Louis have always held me down everywhere I’ve gone. We’re loyal people and we believe in ours. We’re the Show-Me State, so you have to show us. But once we catch a glimpse of something special, we undoubtedly begin to believe and pour energy into it. Once you give us a reason to believe, we stay loyal. That’s this community. It’s bittersweet sometimes because there are too many walls and not enough bridges. But I really do believe in this place. I really do. That’s why The Gem is here.
We have such a tech scene in St. Louis. I’m big at looking how the tech space moves. Seeing how they prepare as a catalyst to foster talent. The Gem is really an incubator – providing the space, tools, opportunity and resources to accelerate the growth of the individual. We operate as a business, but want to find the best way to provide for artists for free. We give individuals with a passion for music a space to write, produce, perform and step into their craft. If we do this with intention, we can reshape the whole experience for artists.
As a father, I’m an even-higher motivated individual. I’m grateful to come from a two-parent household and it’s beautiful to make that happen for my family. To be that family man. But we’re a family of entrepreneurs, we travel a lot. And we made the conscious choice to call St. Louis home. I understand this city and I understand my role here. So many cities have this finite identity. In St. Louis, we can all be a part of it. It’s easier to interact as a community with an identity of self.