Jessa Furches: A Rising Star Among Us

I want to thank all of my readers who have supported Stars and Monsters and our blog site this far into the year. It began as a small endeavor to make use of a writer’s free time, and it became something more. Between discussions about books and comics to interviews with inspirational connections I’ve made, I knew there was nowhere else to go but up from here. Thankfully, that’s where we are headed now, thanks to my guest on this week’s blog post.

This week, I had the privilege of being able to interview someone very special; someone who has not only garnered so much internet fame and success in the music industry as an independent artist, but has also become an inspiration by fighting through dark battles, slandered reputations, and a chronic illness that has made living in a post-pandemic world a lot harder for her this year in 2020. Her name is Jessa Furches, of the singing duo, the Furches Twins.

Jessa Furches: A Star

Jessa and Gwynne, the Furches Twins

From Greensboro, North Carolina, Jessa and her twin sister Gwynne were both thrust into stardom and music at such a young age. When they were both only four years old, the Furches twins were brought into community theatre year after year, partaking in loads of different productions.

“The Wizard of Oz and the Music Man were always my favorite movies,” Jessa said, “and after I learned how to sing songs from the Wizard of Oz, we auditioned in community theatre productions for six years, and we did it until we were twelve years old.” They did Wizard of Oz every year, with Gwynne and Jessa both given identical roles as the Gatekeeper, having the two girls stand and walk side by side in unison. Audiences loved the twist in the character, and from there, the twins knew music was their calling.

Following those years, Jessa and her sister became victims of severely cruel bullying in middle school and high school. Between being made fun of for her body image, being called flat chested, or flat-assed, and being called too skinny, or ugly, nothing hurt Jessa more than being ridiculed and made fun of for her love of Michael Jackson. “People were not only mean to me, they were nasty,” Jessa described. “Around 2010, I had no group of friends to fit in with. The only ‘friends’ I had, told me I needed to eat cheeseburgers…they were the only friends I had because nobody else gave me a chance, and the ones we had bullied us.” There was little to no help given to the twins. Even when Jessa and her sister had to switch schools in the 8th grade in hopes of ending the bullying and harassment, nothing had changed. It got severely worse; it got so bad that Jessa and Gwynne had to fake an entire fight with each other during gym glass so they would be suspended and leave school. It was what they needed to do to get out of the awful environment. “One of the preppy, popular students encouraged the other students to yell and shout nasty, incestuous remarks about us, about my sexuality, and about my issues with my own self-harm. They’d target me when I was alone, asking ‘What do you like to do, cut yourself?'” This was something Jessa struggled with for the entirety of her teen years, up until she was 18 years old. By the time high school came around, kids were only more cruel.

One of the things that got Jessa through the harsh mean girls and hating trolls of those adolescent years was the fact that her twin sister, Gwynne, was by her side. “I vividly remember a guy who’d bully us in a class with Gwynne and I, where him and three other guys got the whole class to say ‘You don’t belong here! You need to go back to where you came from!’ And Gwynne and I just sat next to each other. Having each other made it easier for sure.” The bond that Jessa and Gwynne share, not only as twins, but as friends, is something that has saved these twins time and time again. Seeing their love and loyalty to one another brought tears to my eyes as we discussed Jessa’s childhood growing up.

Jessa and I went on to talk about what motivated and inspired her. “I adored Michael Jackson’s music,” Jessa said. “See, when I was ten, my dad left us. It was a huge blessing in disguise, to not have him around. He left a woman who loved him for 14 years and her two chronically-ill children, so I’d be inclined to agree as well. Jessa went on, explaining how her role model shifted when Michael Jackson’s Thriller came on the radio one night. “My mom was all like, ‘Listen to this! He is a legend!'” Jessa’s mother began to share all of his different albums with her and Gwynne, and played all of his music videos for them. Michael Jackson and everything he was became a safe haven for Jessa. “I’d cry by his posters, wondering why he’d gone, and my mother would hold me and, with tears in her eyes, she’d say ‘Listen to Michael; Keep the faith.'” He was always meant to be placed in her path, and it was Jessa’s single mother who gave her someone great to look up to.

Michael continues to be one of Jessa’s biggest influences in her music career. From when she was just starting out in choir, taking after Jackson himself to not sight-read sheet music, to drawing vocal influences in her music and covers of pop songs and classic ballads, her stylistic voice is what got Jessa and her sister the internet fame and stardom that launched their music career. They started uploading to YouTube, creating singing videos, and gained a following. By 2015, the Furches Twins had 100k subscribers on YouTube channel, and a combined Instagram follower count of over 900,000 followers. The two had garnered so much recognition from their music covers on social media, the twins were even able to sign with a record label in North Carolina called Othaz Records. Since then, Jessa has managed to begin writing and creating her own original music as a solo unsigned music artist, with new music available on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.

Gwynne Furches – My Other Half

Jessa, Gwynne, and their Mother

When Jessa told me about her music endeavors as a solo artist, I asked about her sister, Gwynne. After a traumatic vehicular car accident that cost someone their life last year, Gwynne was charged with a felony, and it shook the Furches family in ways that are almost beyond words. When asked about the night Jessa got the news of the incident, she said, “I didn’t know what was going on. My girlfriend at the time woke me up, because I was asleep. I was confused, and went to the hospital and received the tragic news.” As we talked, I realized we were dredging up memories that were best left alone, but Jessa faced this heartbreaking event in her life, and she reaffirmed that she was willing to confront this with me during the interview. She asked me to include the following statement from her:

“I, myself, and Gwynne as well, know what she has done, and she made a horrible mistake, but it was an accident. She’s willing to do whatever she has to do, however amount of times, for the family of who was hurt. I support my sister, but I do not support her actions on that night.”

With that, I ask my readers to be kind, considerate, and continue to help each other move passed horrible traumas, regardless of what they may be. As I told Jessa, 2020 has been a year that’s required so much reevaluation and insight into ourselves, that even facing the most discomforting moments are meant to better us and, eventually, others around us.

Admittedly, I shed a few tears as Jessa and I talked about her sister. As someone who has an older sister, I dread the possibility of losing her. With Jessa’s sister also being her twin, I wondered if, despite everything, she still feels as close to her sister as before. “I will always feel close to her,” she said, “no matter where she’s at. She is my other half. I cannot think of one moment when my world fell apart…other than that horrible tragedy that could have been prevented.”

With all of these sudden changes in Jessa’s life, between what changed for her personally, and the sudden changes that took place in our world this year, 2020 was all around a drastic shift in perspective and awareness. Jessa mentioned her desire to go and help make a difference with recent protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, to the racial conflicts and broken tension in the nation, and the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I mentioned, she and her sister have chronic illnesses. “With cystic fibrosis, being immunocompromised makes things difficult for me,” she mentioned, “it’s hard to go to the grocery store, or go to work, and it’s been even harder because of the conflicts going on right now. I wish I could go and protest so much. I asked about her condition, and whether the pandemic has caused any issues in getting treatment. Thankfully, Jessa is still able to treat her cystic fibrosis twice a day, for twenty minutes a day. Because of her condition, however, leaving her home becomes quite difficult. Thankfully, her mother has been able to remind her to continue to move forward day in and day out. “‘You’ve got to keep going’ she’d always say. It’s why I won’t give up on this; the Black Lives Matter movement, the fight against COVID-19, the bullying and conflicts. It’s why I’ve continued to make music.”

One of Us

Sweet Sisters

So much lies within Jessa Furches. Between her passions and love that she brings into the world, and her adoration of legends like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Marilynn Monroe, she continues to forge success triumphantly. “Marilynn Monroe was trying to be taken seriously as an actress instead of a sex symbol. I myself want to be taken seriously as a singer, and not just a sex symbol. In that regard, I see myself in her, but I began to make money selling my photos of myself and other NSFW content.” In a post-pandemic world, jobs have become more difficult to come by, and whether it’s the new gig-economy that saves our asses, or the success of platforms like OnlyFans, people need lucrative ways to maintain sustainable income. For Jessa, it was more about empowerment for herself more than anything else. “Of course it’s empowering. It’s less about the money, but it has been good to save up for my family and such. The money doesn’t bring me happiness; the rich that comes from it means nothing when it feels like nobody cares about you.”

That’s the stigma with OnlyFans, it seems like. More people seem to have a lot more to say about empowered women taking advantage of a platform that allows them to profit off of their own body and image while maintaining ownership of their work, but keep quiet about the pornographic sites that exploit women and content without any accountability for those who steal from content creators and abuse platforms that way. Just my two cents as a fellow content creator.

Anyway, I lastly wanted to share a final word from Jessa Furches, who was so kind enough to say to my readers.

“I want whoever is taking the time to read my story, who may be a little inspired, or feel like they can relate to, we all deserve love, and we all deserve to be accepted. I ask that you all take care of each other, take care of yourselves, and wear a mask. I’m compromised with cystic fibrosis, and it’s BORING, and it’s lonely. Always worry about your families, friends, those around you, including your pets, and God bless all of you. So much love, no matter where you are, and who you are, and stay safe.”

I agree. Be sure to follow Jessa Furches on Instagram, YouTube, and OnlyFans, and check out her single, L.O.V.E, available on iTunes and Spotify now. If you’re a longtime fan of hers, then y’all will be pleased to hear, exclusively here at Stars and Monsters, that she’s got an upcoming new single being released sometime in November 27th, titled Seeing is Believing.

And, again folks, stay safe, and stay lovely to one another.

A Message from the Stars

Hi again, folks. Hope everyone is doing alright these days. It feels like anytime somebody ever looks at a screen of any sort, we kind of get lost in this dark and massively draining vortex of, like, chaotic fear and anxiety. There’s always something to have to “look out” for, so to speak, anytime we log onto the Facegram or Tweet Tok or Snapbook. All of the social media platforms are all kind of the same again anyway, you know what I mean? It’s hard to find content that’s worth viewing and taking in, so here are some things that I’ve come across that I think is worth sharing!

“The Midnight Gospel”  

The Podcast We Never Knew We Needed

One of the most recent things to drop this past week was The Midnight Gospel, an animated series from the creative minds behind Adventure Time. The series follows Clancy, a purple witch boy, as he uses a thick-lipped universe simulator to traverse across space and time to converse with the denizens of these imaginative and psychedelic looking realms, drawn by Pendleton Ward. Each episode follows the format of an interview for Clancy’s spacecast; It goes out into space!

I highly recommend this series, as it’s a quick eight-episode binge, each being 22 minutes long. Despite Ward’s background in kids animation, this series is 100% for you, the adult who has lost their inner child. It isn’t just cute doodles and colors that kids would enjoy on a Saturday morning; it’s got vulgar ass language! This series is real. It literally takes audio from podcast recording sessions between Duncan Tressell, real-life podcast host, and his guests as they discuss the lessons learned from reminiscing about discovered truths and philosophies as they explore spirituality and acid trips. The series dropped exactly when it needed to, as it explores the mental toll on individuals as they explore this existential realm, which many viewers will find to be both challenging and terrifying to watch during the isolation as the series premiered. That being said, one can enjoy The Midnight Gospel as a stoner-treat, while others who are looking for a little guidance in their future may find answers to the universe they didn’t think to find in this series.

Speaking of guidance, I’ve had some guidance in taking up meditation! It’s such a fun and excellent hobby for anybody who feels antsy and anxious at home, or not. You don’t have to be flexible, or a yoga master, or any sort of guru in order to learn from the art of meditation; you just need to remember how to breathe. It’s extremely beneficial for one’s mental health as well, which should be at the top of everyone’s priority. Whether you’re at home or not, whether you’re overwhelmed and stressed, or if you’re just bored and tired, then I would suggest checking out Lorie Ladd’s Instagram here, at https://www.instagram.com/lorie_ladd/ You can find a ton of posts about mediating, spiritual guidance, and focusing on your path to good vibes! Lorie knows we need that, and thank goodness we got it! Thanks Lorie!

When it comes to good vibes, though, it’s hard to come by sometimes. Usually the right song or soundtrack can make a good vibe, but the top hits lately have been…lacking, to say the least. These days, I never listen to any mainstream musical artists, unless it’s, like, Chance the Rapper or something. I go off vibes! It’s how I’ve always been. A song has to resonate in a deep frequency within you, while lyrically gives you chills. GUZO’s latest song, “Ken’s Interlude” is a good vaporwave underground hit that for sure needs to be on y’all’s radar. Check it out below!

On a last note, I hope everyone reading is out there being safe and healthy, but most importantly, being gentle with yourself. Be kind to others. Be conscious of others, and of yourself. Self-care is mucho important, folks; never forget that. Much love ✌🏼✨

“Stars and Monsters” Patreon Page!

Hey folks! Hope everyone is doing alright! At this point in time, I think this might be my 20th day or so under quarantine lockdown and stuff. Work officially put me under furlough and stuff, so unemployment was swell to file!

Anywho, I don’t wanna drone on and on about how the virus has affected my life and the rest of the world. We all know what’s happening. Some of us are seeing it unfold before our very eyes, while some of us are lucky enough to only be seeing it from the bombardment of the media. The United States government has failed us, America. This is what it looks like when the Dungeon Master of your D&D group is winging it the entire campaign. There’s chaos. And it sucks. But fear not, folks. While the guys up in the White House sort out all of that, they’ve given some breathing time for the Earth, and for others to evolve and grow as well. I promise you, it can be a good thing.

Like I said, the new Renaissance is coming, and new art with it! Such as the new web comic I’m setting to launch via Patreon! That’s right, folks, I’ve created a Stars and Monsters patreon page, and if you folks subscribe and support now, you’ll see new and exclusive digital content from all of my ongoing projects featured on this site! Pretty soon, there will be full web comics to read and view, and you can subscribe right now to see the development unfold and even help be a part of the creative process.

You can find the Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/sameerdiab. Thanks again folks. If y’all ever need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out. Stay lovely ✨

stay safe