A Journal Entry of His Life
by Caroline Serling
Jackson Harris is an up-and-coming 23 year-old singer songwriter from New York, working his way into the spotlight. Growing up surrounded by the influence of a musical family, it was clear Harris had the right people around to set him on the proper path to success. His mother is Broadway producer Dede Harris, whose current hit musical is the hit Something Rotten! This theatrical connection had a big influence on what he grew up listening to. With mother’s encouragement, Harris set out making a name for himself in city of New York.
Harris began playing at small venues. Eventually he worked his way up to earn coveted positions opening for acts such favorite pop acts as Cher Lloyd, Cody Simpson, and Fifth Harmony. With an impressive collection of covers under his belt, Harris finally put out his own original album, Sharks and Vampires, in 2014. It was received with great praise from critics and fans, especially hitting the mark was the track “Miss Me.”
Harris is also very involved in using his music to make change. He has participated in various charity organizations, such as Musicians on Call at children’s hospitals, which entails him going from room to room singing to patients. He has also been very active in charity concerts. He has participated for causes ranging from homelessness awareness to AIDS prevention.
With some big collaborations and accomplishments already behind him, we checked in with him to see what he has in store for the future, what inspires him, and what he hopes to achieve. Stay on the lookout for Harris’ new music because it is definitely something you’re not going to want to miss.
What first inspired you to become involved in the music industry?
I was born and raised in New York City, so I was always surrounded by music, art, and the lifestyle that is New York. My mom raised me on the radio. There was always music playing. I was always enamored by music and how it can move people. When I was about ten years old I really started playing out loud, and my mom, older sister, and friends all encouraged me. Slowly I dove into the music world and ever since then I never looked back.
You started out doing covers. Do you write all of your own songs now?
Yes, I write or co-write all of my own material. I need to have some form of myself within the songs, because I don’t feel like singing anyone else’s songs is true to me. Whenever I make something I want it to feel like a journal entry of my life.
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Girls help. The ex-girlfriend definitely had influence on a lot of different songs; for good and bad obviously. I got to learn how to love and how to be broken up with and what that entails. I got to learn a lot about myself in that situation, so I try to capture a lot about love, growth, and also hope for whatever the future may be.
What artists do you consider your musical style similar to?
I try to take what John Mayer does with his musicality and guitar and mash it a little bit with what Ed Sheeran does with his songwriting and the way he can turn a phrase. I also love someone like Justin Timberlake, who has such incredible production and can put on an amazing show and bridge that gap of R&B and pop. Really mix musical worlds.
If anyone, who do you aspire to be compared to in your musical career?
One person in the music industry that I would love to not only achieve what he’s achieved, but work with in the future is Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of OneRepublic, which is one of my favorite bands. He as a songwriter has done such amazing work, writing for Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and people you’ve never even heard of. His song writing credibility is insane.
Is there any message you hope your career can convey to aspiring artists?
The same message I get from artists I listen to, whether it’s The 1975, Billy Joel, Drake, Nick Jonas or anyone in between. It’s about just feeling inspired to want to go make something of yourself. Feeling inspired to get through the day. Or finding a voice or solace in someone else’s story, because you’ve been there too. It’s just allowing my music to soundtrack those moments in your life.
What was it like working with big acts like Cody Simpson and Fifth Harmony?
Oh, it was amazing. I’ve gotten the chance to tour with Cody twice. We’ve spent a lot of time together during those tours. He’s like a brother to me. He’s an incredible artist, incredible musician, and I’m super excited for everything he’s got going for him right now. Working with him was great. Getting to tour all over Europe was a dream come true. Working with the girls of Fifth Harmony was insane. They’re all so talented and beautiful. Being able to tour twice with them was an incredible learning experience. Seeing how hard they work and what they’ve been able to achieve is amazing. I’m so proud of them.
Is there any one particular moment you’re proudest of so far in your career?
Whatever that moment is may be tomorrow, or the next day as I see it. But there was one specific moment that wasn’t the biggest moment of my career, but it really stuck with me. The last tour I did was over this past summer, I was opening up for Jacob Whitesides. It was the last show of the tour. We were in Portugal, and I was on my last song, close to the last note. I looked around and realized just how lucky I was to be able to make music and travel and go to these new places with my best friends and my band. That, to me, was the definition of success; just being able to do it in the first place, not the stuff that comes with it. The biggest success is when I’m able to be onstage and play to an audience that loves what I’m doing.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on new music and music videos, and I’m trying to figure out a plan now as to how to release those. I want to be creative with how I’m going to put out the new music, whether I’m going to do streaming, an album, or an EP, but we will be getting new Jackson Harris music throughout the rest of 2016 as well as into 2017.
Copyright ©2016 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 4, 2016.
Photos by Peter Hurley © 2016. Courtesy of MLC. All rights reserved.