Family band SM6 blends folk, rock and pop for eclectic new sound
CHICAGO, IL – Every so often the world is treated to a truly special musical treat when a family of young musicians puts their musical talents together to create something incredibly original. From the Jackson 5 to Hanson and even to the modern-day Indie pop band AJR, the result is almost always the same – amazing harmonies with breakout sound that fans just can’t get enough of.
Well get ready for more brilliance as there’s another family band on the scene. Hailing from Chicago, the Jones siblings have formed a new folk/rock/pop group called SM6 that is rapidly gaining more and more notoriety across the U.S. Their first album, “On Our Way,” was released in November and is the perfect introduction to their unique sound and style.
The band consists of George, 19, keyboards and vocals; Isabel, 17, lead vocalist, bass and ukulele; Adam, 16, lead guitar and vocals; Emily, 14, drums and vocals; Eliana, 12, percussion; and Jack, 11, guitar. They got their start only a few years ago when Adam played the guitar and Emily played the drums at a school talent show and received positive feedback from parents and teachers – including one who insisted that they should form a band.
“When we moved into our house, the front room had a big open spot that my wife and I thought would be great for a piano,” said Duane Jones, father. “But neither one of us play the piano. People would come over and see the piano and ask, ‘Who plays?’ and we would laugh and say, ‘No one.’ Then, one-day George heard ‘Für Elise’ and just sat down at the piano and played it by ear. We knew right away that we needed to get these kids some lessons, and they never looked back from there.”
They all started playing piano at a young age and eventually expressed interest in other instruments. Isabel has always been a poet and loves writing music. She also loves to sing, and learned how to play the bass to help round out the sound of the group. Adam always wanted to play guitar, and young Jack has followed in his older brother’s footsteps. And Emily has wanted to play drums since she was 3, George said.
According to Isabel, a lot of the songs on the new album are about relationships and are filled with experiences that other young people will immediately relate to. “Chance” is a single that’s slower, with a folk-rock feel that explores the feelings that come with wanting to take a chance with a new relationship. “Dancing in the Rain” is about first love and the feeling it brings.
Adam added that the group is starting to write music about their own experiences and struggles while trying to make it in the industry as professional musicians.
“We want our music to inspire and bring emotion to our listeners,” Adam said. “What we want to be known for is showing other kids that if you have a dream you should go for it, just like we are.”
To achieve those dreams, they put in as much practice as they can. Starting every day at 5:30 a.m. the siblings exercise – which frequently includes singing while running to improve their stage endurance. This is followed by social media marketing, band practice time, and individual practice. They typically wrap up their day by 6 p.m. In addition to this, they take more than 10 hours of private lessons per week, and even take classes at their local community college and at Berklee College of Music for songwriting. In fact, George, Isabel, Adam and Emily have already begun their college degrees in performing arts – with Emily being the youngest person ever admitted to the college.
Their hard work has paid off with appearances on the WGN “Morning News” show, 95.9 The River, as well as shows at the Mall of America, Six Flags and Chicago White Sox games. They were also named Best Family Rock Band in Illinois by TMT magazine. And though fans might worry that all of this time together might lead to sibling rivalry, Duane insists they all continue to support one another and maintain healthy relationships.
“Our kids are all best of friends,” Duane said. “They don’t argue at all. In fact, they support each other and they have the same dream. It’s exciting to watch them grow as musicians. They’re all focused on the same goal.”
“I love performing with all my older brothers and sisters,” Jack said. “When we go up on stage, I love seeing people smiling and dancing. It’s good vibes.”
The group is especially proud of the debut single from the album, which goes by the same name of “On Our Way.” The lyrics serve as an announcement to the world that they’re here and should be taken seriously.
“It shows off who we are and what kind of music we want to write,” Emily said. “It’s all about never giving up and never giving in and always following your dreams. We’re hoping to inspire other people to follow their dreams no matter who they are or what they want to do.”
“I especially like ‘On Our Way’” Eliana said. “It’s very inspiring, upbeat, and has good vibes. I like the story, it makes me very happy”
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