We had the good fortune of connecting with Jehan Muhammad and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jehan, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success is embracing solitude and independence. I’ve always been an introvert and loner and I spend a lot of time alone. It has helped me to listen to my inner self and not be influenced by the opinions and suggestions of others. I think that’s honestly one of my best characteristics, being able to think for myself. I’m a very strong-willed person that makes my own decisions. One of my favorite quotes is from the late great rapper Tupac, “The realest people don’t have a lot of friends.” I really don’t have many friends. There’s probably two people on the planet that I would call a friend. I’m not saying become completely isolated from the world and disassociate yourself from everyone, but you really have to protect your energy and be selective of the company you keep. Energy is contagious. The last thing you want is to be surrounded by a bunch of draining energy vampires distracting you or “friends” with different and opposing opinions about your life and what you should and shouldn’t be doing, pulling you in different directions. I’ve never been the type of person to run with a clique or squad. I’m a one-woman army that accomplishes things by myself. I built a whole app and my website by myself. I write all my music alone and found all my producers on my own. I’ve never had a manager or an agent. I accomplish things by myself. It’s a lot of hard work and financial responsibility being an independent artist but I wouldn’t have the artistic freedom to release projects when and how I want to if I wasn’t. I’m not on a time frame to release music when a label tells me to. I put out stuff whenever I’m ready to and that’s always what’s best creatively for an artist.
I literally can’t think and function when I’m around a lot of people. I completely shut down. Some people feel the need to be around a crowd all the time. You don’t have to be around people 24-7. Learn to spend some time with yourself. It’s unfortunate that some people don’t gain this wisdom until late in life and have to find out the hard way. They think everyone is their friend. I think my parents worried about me a lot when I was younger. I think they were concerned about how I would survive and function in the world being so anti-social, not talking to anyone or interacting with my peers. I was social distancing before social distancing was even a thing. I grew up with four siblings and I still was always in my own world. You can’t become so dependent on the energy of others though. You must consult solely with yourself at some point. It’s your life. If I would have listened to family members, teachers and so-called friends, I wouldn’t have made it this far because all of them had their own opinion about what I should or shouldn’t have been doing with my life. I would have never moved to Atlanta, pursued a career in music, started acting, and never started wearing hijab and made history. You have to mentally mute people and their opinions because if not you will end up very unhappy trying to please everyone which is impossible. You have to do what makes you happy and what’s best for you at all costs. Don’t be afraid of solitude and functioning independently.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I consider myself “creative fluid”. I do a lot of different artistic things besides music and acting. I’ve always had an eye for art, color, shapes, design and style. I love to paint, I started painting very young. My father was a professional painter that worked in the Smithsonian Museum and I was always painting with him. I love fashion too and sometimes I design and make outfits by hand. I hand make greeting cards for people instead of buying them from the store. I create my own graphics and artwork like album covers, logos, flyers, etc. I love photography and filming things. Over the past two years I’ve gotten more into designing and building small sets for photo shoots and filming. I don’t like to restrict and limit myself to what I can do creatively. Just because you’re good or successful at one thing doesn’t mean you can’t explore and do something else. In one year of acting I’ve received more support and recognition from the film industry and other actors than I have in twenty years of being a recording artist and making music. I never received any support, accolades or recognition for anything I’ve done musically and I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the years and inspired a lot of other artists, believe it or not. To me that is a sign that I’m on the right path. The more open you are to different methods of self-expression, the more opportunities you align yourself with and more impact you have in your industry. You open up the field of pure potentiality because any and everything is possible. You may discover a hidden talent that you didn’t even know you had. If you’re a chef, you should know how to cook all different types of food. If you’re a cosmetologist then you should know how to style all different types of hair. Working in the mainstream film industry and being a background actress has inspired me to use my passion and talents in different ways. I’m always on set with a bunch of actors so that has inspired me to create short skits and write scripts. I’ve been a writer my whole life and it’s my number one passion and the main thing that I’m good at. I feel like a great writer should be able to write anything. If you can write a song then you can write a book, article, blog, play, movie, television show, poetry, etc. Most background actors are strictly focused on getting an agent and auditioning for speaking roles in hopes of getting casted in a regular appearing tv role or major film. I have nothing against that. I just possess a very independent mind set because I approach everything independently. I’m more focused on writing and creating my own stories and playing my own characters in my own production. I want to have full creative control over the story, characters, plot and representation overall, for areas that I feel are lacking in the mainstream film industry.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love art and one of my favorite pastimes is visiting art museums and exhibits, so I would definitely take them to the High Museum of Art. They host a lot of nice events there. If you’re into fabric like myself then I would take you to Fine Fabrics which I think is the biggest and best fabric store in the Atlanta metropolitan area. They have about 2,000 different types of fabric there. It’s a seamstress and designer’s Heaven! Jeju Sauna Spa is another place that I love. It’s a Korean bath house that offers many different spa services and has several types of spa rooms that you can relax and unwind in. The men and women are separate but you have to be very comfortable with nudity because everyone walks around completely naked where the showers are. I love all different types of food from all different countries. Thai Star is one of my favorite Thai restaurants so I would take them there to eat.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m always inspired by kindred spirits which are the freethinkers and visionaries of the world, so my shout out goes to all the rebels, non-conformists, innovators and pioneers, people that go against the grain to create their own lane, stand in their power and speak their truth regardless of the consequences. I shout out all the people that aren’t afraid to be their true self, that come from nothing like myself but have a dream and vision and are determined to make their lives better and leave an impact on the world. You will always win by being your true authentic self. That’s my definition of success.

Website: https://www.jehania.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jehania333

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jehan-muhammad-679515b5/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jehania

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jehania333

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