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Entertainment

A Conversation with SM6: The Family Band that Became a TikTok Sensation

SM6 1The six Jones siblings—George (21), Isabel (20), Adam (18), Emily (16), Eliana (14), and Jack (13)—grew up in the suburbs of Geneva, Illinois, just an hour away from the Windy City. It was here that they began pursuing music, going to piano lessons, taking performing arts classes at their local community college, playing in their school talent shows, and ultimately starting a family band. Originally called Summer Monkeys, the band has since changed their name to SM6.

About seven years later in 2021, they amassed 1.6 million followers on the popular social media app TikTok from a viral video called the “Don’t Flinch Challenge.” On TikTok, you can find the band posting light-hearted videos like challenges and “squad walks” to trending songs, collaborating with other TikTokers, posting music covers, and ultimately just being themselves. The band also posts everything from vlogs to music videos every Friday on their YouTube channel.

SM6 2On March 26, they released a pop-rock EP titled “Perfect,” around the time they relocated to Los Angeles to pursue music even further.

“We started with piano at a very young age. I was eight,” George, the eldest of the Jones clan, told The Outlook. “Eventually, after many years of doing piano, we expressed interest in other instruments.”

Today, in their music videos, you can see George slamming on the black-and-white keys of his red keyboard; Isabel belting lead vocals while playing bass; Adam and Jack playing slick chords and solos on their guitars; Emily singing backup vocals behind her drum set; and Eliana dancing to the beat with her blue tambourine.

The “Perfect” EP is comprised of five of the first songs the band ever wrote: “Perfect,” “Too Young,” “Never,” “New,” and “Overboard.” They originally released the music in a 2018 album, but have since removed it from streaming platforms and re-recorded the songs.

SM6 3“We wanted to bring it back because there’s something special about having some of the first music and hearing the differences in all the songs,” said Isabel, the main lyricist of the group.

“We have an emotional attachment to it,” Adam added. “[The EP] was us exploring our musical interests. We were trying to figure out who we are as musicians.”

While the band members have different favorites on the EP, they all have special memories tied to the meaning of the song “Perfect.”

“We wrote [Perfect] all together because we’ve all had bullying experiences in middle school and high school. We wrote it off that and how bullies make you feel insecure about things that you wouldn’t have before. It’s really showing that nobody’s opinion should matter; it’s all about self-love and accepting who you are,” Isabel explained.

SM6 4The “Perfect” music video features fans holding up signs that indicate things they are insecure about, and then flipping it over to reveal the words, “I’m perfect.”

“I think I hold an attachment to ‘Perfect,’” Isabel said. “Every time I watch that video, it almost bring me to tears.”

Prior to the EP, they released three other singles in 2020: “Oddity,” a Twenty-One Pilots-esque song about feeling out of place in society; “MIA,” about being  cut off from friends unexpectedly; and “LA,” a feel-good song about having fun in Los Angeles, the place where their success has brought them. They also released a Christmas song in December called “Light Up Like a Christmas Tree.”

The band revealed that it took loads of hard work and persistence to overcome hurdles—such as playing empty gigs and not being taken seriously as musicians—to finally get to where they are today.

SM6 5“Before TikTok took off, it was hard getting people to take us seriously because we were kids,” George said.

“We originally released an album and we didn’t do social media at all,” Isabel said. “We were trying to get into it but we didn’t have anyone who would listen to our music, and it was hard mentally playing so many empty gigs. And now it’s so much easier because we have an audience that wants to listen to it. We’re just so grateful for that.”

“It was a long journey to get to where we are.” Adam added.

After they were thrust into the public eye with their newfound TikTok popularity, the band continued to receive thousands of hate comments on the platform, which was the inspiration behind their song “Oddity.”

“You can say you’re not going to take those thing to heart, but it’s hard when you see one comment like that, let alone thousands,” Adam said. “We just ignored it the best we could and we just kept posting our content.”

SM6 6“We didn’t want to let other people define who we are. We wanted to keep going despite everything and continuing to be our true self,” George said.

“There’s always going to be those silly comments,” Eliana mentioned.

“I think it also helped that we all had each other instead of being alone and going through that,” Emily added. “We had each other to talk to and support each other.”

The members of SM6 commented on the experience of being in a band with their siblings.

“It’s awesome,” Emily and Adam answered simultaneously.

“The hardest part about being in a band with your siblings is no one focuses. We’re so comfortable with each other that we don’t care, so it’s hard getting everyone to focus and actually buckle down and work on something,” Adam said.

SM6 7A day in the life of SM6 consists of waking up at 4:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and work out, conducting band rehearsal, and making content for social media. The latter half of the day is always different, whether they are collaborating with other influencers, getting demos together for new songs, or hopping on Zoom meetings.

While producing content requires lots of time and effort, the band’s passion for music is their main driving force.

“We’ve had this vision since we were young—we just want to be performers, we want to be on stage,” Adam said. “That’s the end goal for us, so that’s always what we’re aiming for when we wake up every day.”

The band believes that their work ethic is the reason for their success. “It doesn’t matter how naturally talented you are as a musician if you don’t have the work ethic. You have to keep working at it, and I think that’s the main reason we’re where we are today,” Adam said.

Although the band can’t reveal any specific details yet, they do have plans to tour in the near future. Soon enough they’ll be back on stage, performing for crowds full of fans.

We won’t be seeing the end of SM6 anytime soon—the band has about 70 more unreleased songs, and will continue to produce music and social media content. This is just the beginning for this wholesome family band.

IMAGE TAKEN from @SM6Band on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @adamjones_sm6 on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @isabeljones_sm6 on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @georgejones_sm6 on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @jackjones_sm6 on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @elianajones_sm6 on Instagram

IMAGE TAKEN from @emilyjones_sm6 on Instagram

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