They’re more than just those kids from Vine!
Catch up with Jack & Jack, two of the music industry’s first breakout artists to go from silly social media stardom to rise-to-the-top radio repeat!
In the exclusive interview below, Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky — who’ve been wowing fans with their unique sound and new music this year — opened up about how they transitioned from being familiar face funnymen on the internet to being taken seriously as musicians, how they deal with online negativity and more!
“Some people come to our shows thinking, ‘These kids are from Vine.’ But when you watch it, you don’t even think about that anymore. It’s so musical and so beautiful. It’s innovative—and we’re more than just those kids from Vine.”
You guys are musicians, but how do you feel about being called “social media influencers”?
Jack J: At the end of the day, it’s how we came up and it is who we are. You can call anyone a social media influencer—John Mayer! I see him going viral all the time on Twitter. First and foremost, he’s a musician, but I don’t mind being hybridized and labeled as both.
Jack G: As long as it’s not the only label you give me, you can call me an “influencer,” because hopefully I influence some people. That’s the goal, to inspire people.
You’ve been making videos together your whole lives. Do you remember your first Vine that went viral?
Jack J: We dressed up as nerds and called it “Nerd Vandals.” On the back of Jeeps, it says “four by four” and we wrote “equals 16” in Sharpie. It was good comedy for 16-year-olds. The next day, when we went to school, our math teachers were showing it in class!
Jack G: After a few hours, it already had 70,000 views. Those were numbers we’d never seen before; it was huge. The Huffington Post and random publications ended up picking it up. That was my first time ever being on a website!
After blowing up on Vine, you hit the road for the original MagCon Tour. What effect did that have on your careers?
Jack J: I’m really proud of what we did. It was the first of its kind, and I think that it changed our generation, not just that group of nine boys, but all the boys and girls it inspired. It really became something else.
Jack G: A lot of kids on MagCon didn’t sing, dance, play an instrument, act…didn’t have the traditional talents. They were just there to meet you and brighten your day. We showed everybody that it was still possible [to gain a following]. There are so many influencers now, but we were really the trailblazers in that.
Do you feel pressured to keep up with your social media accounts?
Jack J: Sometimes. We’re both very grateful for what it’s done for us, but the Internet can be a toxic place.
Jack G: There have been so many instances in the last three years where I’ve thought, Why am I on this? But then I realize I have all these people looking up to me, and I have to be there for them. That’s the only reason I post. If I didn’t have fans, I wouldn’t do social media.
How do you deal with online hate or negativity?
Jack G: Tyler the Creator had one of the best tweets ever. He was like, “How is cyber bullying even real? Just put your phone down.” I know that cyber-bullying extends to real life too, but sometimes you just have to shut your phone off and walk away.