George Mercado was raised on Tejano music, but like most young kids it wasn’t his primary choice for his favorite music genre.
“The thing about Tejano music, I always heard it growing up,” Mercado says. “My dad always had it playing in the background, and whenever he was barbecuing, we’d be outside playing as kids and he’d have it blaring. It would kind of embarrass me. I thought we all felt this way…But I will say I always respected it, too, because I always knew it was what he liked, and it was part of what defined him. That I did respect more than anything.”
If only the young George Mercado could see himself now, older on stage singing to Tejano music with the nickname “The Tex-Mex Cowboy.”
Mercado was born in San Marcos Texas, raised in Austin, Texas, and represents himself with his high Texan values, and musically inclined with Tejano and Country music to his core of Texas soul.
Still, it’s been a long journey from that childhood to becoming a Tejano and Country singer, first signed with Hacienda International Productions record label and now with Al Duarte Management; and Jina Ink as his publisher.
Mercado had a garage band with a cousin, and a friend in high school, playing what in hindsight he’d describe as indie rock. It was fun, but then life happened. Things ended quickly, and the music stopped.
Life moved on, with work, marriage, and a family not leaving much time to even think about playing music. Then the same cousin, who was his high school bandmate, introduced him to karaoke, what Mercado calls a life-altering experience. He didn’t even know what karaoke was but went to a karaoke bar to try it out.
“I was nervous, but I sang one song and felt that electrifying energy come out, and that was the beginning of my wanting to sing more,” he says.
He noticed how his voice had changed, his range had grown wider. Before that, he didn’t know how much he was missing singing music. Singing in front of people and receiving applause, it gave him a high he’d never experienced.
He then wanted to achieve his dream, a life filled with family and music. “But with a wife and kids at home?” he says. He needed prayer and answers.
Shortly after at church praying for direction, Mercado decided to join the church choir. As it turned out, the choir director was a co-worker at the University of Texas, whom Mercado had worked with but never met in person.
“I had doubts about joining, but that made it easier for me to say yes,” he says.
That experience opened up more doors for him. It built his confidence and helped him better understand the emotional connection with the music itself, whether it’s Christian, Tejano, or Country music, either genre his voice is angelic with a melodic flow that captivates you.
Getting signed to a record label and releasing his first single, a self-penned bilingual song with a strong Tex-Mex flavor titled “Honey, Pardon Me,” feels like a huge accomplishment for Mercado. A second song, a cumbia, is finished and awaiting release. But Mercado is realistic about his expectations for his music career. He just didn’t expect it to be so rewarding.
“When people find out I do music, they sometimes ask if I’m going to do it full time and quit UT,” he says. “But it doesn’t work like that. You have to get lucky, know the right people, be at the right place at the right time. You never know. It could happen, but, honestly, I love working at the university.
I love the atmosphere. I love that my supervisor and department are supportive. I want to retire from here. I’d still be young enough to be able to do what I love and do music full time.”
Mercado is always on top of the game putting his priorities first. He has been with Jina Ink Publications for two years now and the working partnership has been rewarding on both sides and a lot of respect is part of our projects. We put effort, hard work dedication but most of all God in all we do. God is the force that fuels our energy with a positive team! We all believe that.
George Mercado will come out with a new song for Veteran’s Day and we are so excited to be celebrating this with the public. So stay connected with us, sign up for our newsletter, or follow all the social networks at http://www.georgemercado.net.
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The finale will feature Grammy-winning and legendary accordionists in a history making event.
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The virtual 41st Tejano Music Awards will be broadcast on TV stations across Texas on Dec. 11.