The Spotlight

Jackson HarrisBy Alan Ho
Who:  Jackson Harris
Where: New York City
For fans of:  Maroon 5, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Steve Perry, Steve Winwood

Why he is on The Spotlight:

Take one look at Jackson Harris and your first impression is typical New York prep school kid product, the kind glorified by Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick in the CW Network hit show “Gossip Girl”.  But don’t ever judge a book by its cover.  Underneath the stereotype is a kid bursting with the kind of can’t-miss music talent that could be the stuff of legend.  Despite attending a nationally ranked prep school in the aformentioned Upper East Side, Harris had always knew where he wanted to go.  While his classmates were in a never ending struggle for social status and academic pantheon that gets one into the Ivy League, Jackson was more interested in crafting the music he knew he was destined for since 8th grade.  “I pretty much knew since about 8th grade what I wanted to do.  I wasn’t a good student; I just wanted to graduate so I could focus on my music.  I couldn’t do my homework – it wasn’t that I didn’t understand what was being taught or being asked of me, it’s just that I would spend my time after school writing songs and learning to play music,” said Harris.

His music took time to develop as early on Jackson was exposed to James Taylor and Michael Jackson, then later on the pure pop of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC and then finally the alternative rock of Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance from his friends.  He then taught himself to play guitar by simply watching Chris Martin of Coldplay and John Mayer play their guitars on YouTube.  All of this combined with his natural gift of story-telling has resulted in a sound that one can describe as OneRepublic meets Billy Joel meets Phil Collins and a dash of Steve Winwood.  The end result an EP titled “Long Story Short” and it has been described as “a stunning debut of six tracks in the classic pop vein—“.  The EP’s first single is the title track, a soaring anthem that defines the effort, which also includes a fantastic retake of Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind”, a wonderful retreat into hook-filled pop in “When It Rains” and another soaring anthem, “I Don’t Speak Silence”.

Jackson Harris may be young musician, but his music certainly isn’t, giving a fresh breath of air in today’s increasingly homogeneous and pre-fab pop world.  “This is real to me.  I am not in it for the fame or money; it’s what I love to do.  As I say in the song, ‘I am taking the road less traveled’.”

This is why he is being spotlighted.


Long Story Short:

Long Story Short by Jackson Harris

Empire State of Mind (cover):

Empire State Of Mind (Cover) by Jackson Harris


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