Off the Record: Jackson Mercer

Courtesy of Norm Levin Photography & Jackson Mercer

Courtesy of Norm Levin Photography & Jackson Mercer

We’re back with another feature of talented musician on campus! Today, we are featuring Jackson Mercer, a third year Jewish Studies major. Watch this awesome music video by Studio 22 and check out this interview to learn more Jackson and his passion for music.


When did you start playing guitar?
I started playing guitar in the 4th grade. I always sang around my house and as a songleader at my congregation but I didn’t sing in public until High School at our acoustic talent shows and eventually in our school Glee Group.

Who taught you how to play?
I took lessons when I was starting out but honestly I picked up most of my skills from just fiddling around on my own and playing with friends. My playing is extremely raw, rarely do I actually know what I am playing I just know it sounds good!

How has playing music influenced your time here at UCLA?
As a third year transfer I am still getting my feet wet. Realistically without music I wouldn’t have the awesome job I have at University Synagogue working with teenagers and teaching music which made my move from the Bay Area much easier. Music for me is part of my personality, it finds its way into conversations helping me meet new people. Coming to UCLA, this was my first experience where I could recreate my identity and didn’t have to hide my music. This openness has given me opportunities to expose my music through Beating Lights, an Indie Music blog, and Off the Record as well as branch out socially by joining Jewkbox the Hillel’s Jewish Acapella group.

How would you characterize your style of music?
‘Life inspired, folk influenced, modern indie spiritual music for the soul’

What was your favorite album from 2014?
Post-Rock is my jam, so the Her soundtrack which was done by Arcade Fire was my jam the early part of the year. A good friend and mentor of mine, Dan Nichols, put out a Studio/Live album in conjunction with his movie Road to Eden, which is awesome. But I think Akeda from Matisyahu was up there. It shows such personal growth and musical growth, it is one that definitely keeps me thinking and dancing.

Where can people find more of your music? (Like and share and enjoy!) (Comment and like and follow!)
A new EP is in the works!

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