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Growing up is tough. There's so many pressures in society that most kids end up being blind to. I want to be what my idols were for me growing up. They told me that I could do anything I wanted, regardless of my circumstances. I want to help people understand their potential.
― Conor Smith, March 10, 2019

Conor Michael Smith (CMS) is an American rapper, songwriter, and musician. He went by Michael Conor from 2017-2018, before addressing his name as Conor in 2019.[1] He was 1/5 of the band In Real Life, known as the rapper of the group. He released his debut single "With You in Mind" in 2020.

Early life

Smith at a young age

Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 7, 1999. He stayed there as an infant for three months, before moving to Seattle for four years. He lived in Cleveland, Ohio, for eight years, Reston, Virginia for four years, and returned back to Cleveland. He is from Shaker Heights, Ohio. He has four younger siblings: Kaitlyn, Erica, Patrick, and Brendan.

He has been playing the violin since he was six years old, and started rapping when he was eleven, watching Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" music video on YouTube. He found Naz, Eminem, A Tribe Called Quest, and Lil Wayne (which was the popular artist at the time), his introduction to the rap industry. He wrote for fun, and never told anyone until he was fifteen.[2][3] In elementary school, he would always play his violin during music class. During this period, he admitted that he caused a lot of trouble for the teachers, resulting in him and his two friends to be separated into different classes.[4] After seventh grade, Smith grew more rebellious and independent, delving his time into music, as well as having a history of stealing. He acknowledged over an Instagram Livestream that he and a few friends in seventh grade stole at Safeway and were finally caught when taking items from the front of the store, where the cameras were. One time he got reckless, and the cashier noticed him. About to get caught, Smith put everything back and ran home. He decided to do the right thing, and told his mother what he did, along with apologizing to the police and cashier. It was the last time he stole, ending in his junior year.[4]

Career

2014-2016: Early beginnings

Smith in 2017, for Boy Band

At the age of fifteen, Smith took music more seriously, where people his age were releasing music. He realized that he could do it, too, with it being openly accepted. Throughout high school, he struggled a lot. He sometimes skipped class to write songs, and to play piano. Smith claimed to not have many friends growing up; only one or two close ones who also wrote music and recorded.[5]

When he was sixteen, musical artist Ray Jr. discovered him after finding a video of him rapping in a Twitter video that went viral in his hometown. Ray reached out to him, and helped with recording and music videos, which Boy Band found Smith through. Smith had bussed tables before he was in the band, working at B Spot and Dewey's Pizza.[6][7] He got fired at the pizza place before his training was even done, and his other job because of a dress code violation, with his t-shirt being too long.[8] At one point in his sophomore year, he spent his time in basketball, wanting a career in the NBA. He did not make the team, but it worked out in the end, because he would not have been on the show. During the second year of junior high school, he started to take online classes. When he was about a week finished, Boy Band contacted him, and he set it aside.

2017-2020: Boy Band and In Real Life

For ABC's Boy Band, he was directly messaged on Instagram by one of the producers named Pamela, asking if he was interested in auditioning. He performed on Skype to the producer despite his inability to sing, and weeks later flew out to Los Angeles. He auditioned as a rapping-violinist with Machine Gun Kelly's "A Little More". The band In Real Life formed as himself, Brady Tutton, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, and Sergio Calderon. Upon winning, he thanked his hometown. In the Shakerite he mentioned that his school counselor, David Peake, and orchestra teacher, Donna Jelen, understood his goals as well as encouraged him toward his passion.[9]

After the group released a studio album, nine singles, and did two headlining tours, they announced of an hiatus in January 2020, to pursue their own solo careers.

2020-present: Solo career

As a solo artist, Smith headlined at Stella's Music Club on January 1, 2020.[10] He released his debut single "With You in Mind" on October 26, 2020. He is planned to perform in late August 2021, at The Odeon.

Music style and influences

Smith is a classically trained violinist, but his true calling is hip-hop. He has cited some of his musical influences which include Logic, Eminem, Machine Gun Kelly, Future, and J. Cole.[11] In an interview, he clarified that he has had multiple musical influences throughout his life. He named his biggest inspiration as of 2020 to be Tupac, appreciating the honest in his music. When he was 13-14 it was Eminem and Jay-Z, 15 it was Logic and J. Cole, and 16-17 was Kendrick Lamar.[12]

Smith was known as the rapper in In Real Life, and "Tonight Belongs to You" was the band's first single to showcase his vocals. He added that if he rapped in every song, people might think, "Okay, dude. We get it, you can rap."[13] He expressed in a tweet that he wrote his own raps ("point, blank, period").[14] "Eyes Closed" was the only rap he did not compose, which he was concerned about during Boy Band, unsure if the band was worth it if he could not make his own verses. Initially he began his part with "holy smokes", yet his rap changed when performing live, commonly using his "Six Track" rap instead.

Personal life

On June 8, 2019, he revealed that four years ago he was diagnosed with high functioning autism which he has kept as a secret even from his closest friends, due to the stigma and being "put in a box". He has a puzzle piece tattoo[note 1] which he got earlier that year on May 20th for himself and to inspire and give hope to others who also feel that they are given a label from their mental diagnostic.[15]

Going as Michael Conor since Boy Band, Smith explained that he felt he needed a rap name that would create an identity "bigger than himself". In 2019 he decided to use his birth name, as it got confusing between the two, but more importantly to go into full transition to accepting himself.[16] On August 7, 2019, his Instagram username changed from 'michaelbmoc' to 'conormichaelsmith'.

Tattoos

Discography

Singles

See also: Conor Michael Smith/Raps
Title Year Album
"With You in Mind" 2020 Non-album single

Music videos

Title Year Director Original Artist(s)
"How Much" 2019 Frank Borin Brianna Mazzola
"With You in Mind" 2020 All Minds Himself

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2017 Boy Band Himself 10 episodes

Quotes

  • "They call me daddy but I don't got a daughter."
  • "I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can rap, so it's okay."
  • "'Are you the new Eminem?' No, I'm the first Michael Conor. Don't get it twisted."[19]
  • "You ever look at all the people around you and realize that everyone you see has their own story and own set of problems. We're so insignificant in the grand scheme of things."[20]
  • "People get offended when you're straight up honest, but by sugarcoating and making everything seem like it's ok you're not helping anybody. Truth comes out eventually, it's much better to just be real with yourself and the people around you so everyone can grow."[21]
  • "I don't want anyone to ever think we don’t appreciate everything you guys do for us. Every tweet, every letter, every hug means so much to us. It's amazing how much y'all believe in this band. We will make you all proud one day. Remember this tweet!"[22]
  • "The thing that kind of kept me going [...] the thing that really kept me going, and I don't want to say this in a corny way but it was meeting you guys. And going out to the shows - and if you went to any of the Tonight Belongs To You shows or American Idol, I stayed outside until everyone got a picture. Every single person who waited with the exception of a few cities because I was sick and I couldn't talk, I waited outside and I took a picture with every single one of you. And I made sure of that. So when people say he doesn't care about his fans, he doesn't care about this, he's so selfish, you know, he hates this group of people and this group of people, fuck you. Honestly, if there is anybody who cares... truly guys, it's just, it just means so much to me [...] I love you guys, man, I really do.[23]
  • "Four years ago on this day June 8th 2015 I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. Hearing this at the time was the most scary and confusing thing, as I didn't exactly know what it meant for me. I was terrified, not only because of the stigma surrounding autism, but because I felt like now I had been put in a box I couldn't break out of. Naturally, I spent years hiding it from everybody, including my closest friends. It wasn't until I met you all, the fans, that I finally realized my true purpose as an artist and as a HUMAN. I heard your stories, and the thing that shocked me was that a lot of your struggles were very similar to mine. Going through school the common question was "how do we fix this kid?" or "how do we get him to adapt to our ways of learning and growing?" I was put on so many different pills and medications to keep my focus in class, when in reality I was too focused, too determined, too much for any school to take on. I don't wanna be corny but you guys really saved me. I heard your stories and realized how much I related to all of you, but the problem was you didn’t know how much you truly related to ME. I needed to get this tattooed on my body forever so I can show people that no matter what label you’re given, whether it be ADHD, OCD, ODD, ASD, or Anxiety, you are on this planet for a REASON. We have a VOICE, and as I continue to grow and gain more success I will use my platform to bring an awareness to this BEAUTIFUL disorder and give kids like 16 year old Conor HOPE. This was never about me though, my purpose is to inspire this next generation of SUPERHEROES to innovate and change the world we live in. I turned 20 yesterday, so it's only right that I approach this next chapter of life as ME."[24]

Trivia

★ His height is 5'11.

★ His shoe size is 9½.

★ His sweater size is a medium.[25]

★ In his former Instagram username, the "BMOC" is what he and his friend, Chris, came up with. "BMOC" stands for "Big Man On Campus".

★ He once admitted over an Instagram livestream that his name could've been Brett.

★ His number one place to visit is Japan.[25]

★ Before his first puppy, Addison, he didn't have any pets growing up. It was on May 25, 2018, when his mother posted a picture of their cavapoo.[26]

★ When he lived in Reston, Virginia, he attended Southlake High School as a freshman.[27]

★ His ideal girl is genuine, down to earth, and ambitious.

★ His perfect date is to go out to a nice dinner.[28]

★ His favorite number is 6.[25]

★ His favorite Disney princess is Elsa.

★ His favorite Disney-Pixar movie is Toy Story.

★ He is in the Gryffindor house, according to the Pottermore quiz.

★ His favorite color is blue.

★ His favorite food is chipotle.

★ His favorite meal is a midnight snack.

★ His favorite school subject was Music.

★ He loves shoes, and even went to a shoe convention.[29]

★ His favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry.

★ His favorite sport is basketball.

★ His biggest fear is bees. In a livestream he mentioned of getting a tattoo of one to show overcoming fears.[30][31]

★ His guilty pleasure is watching The Bachelor, which he thinks is "stupid but entertaining".

★ He never really watched High School Musical.

★ He has over 10 years of classical violin training.

★ He can solve a Rubik's Cube in under one minute.[32]

★ He broke his wrist in 5th grade.

★ His dream vacation was to go to Hawaii or Italy, and later in April 2019 he went with his family to Hawaii.

★ His raps are written by himself; he feels proud of what he can do. In an interview, he mentioned that he wrote them in a book.

★ He's had a hard time finding a niche in the music industry, not having a lot of performing experience.[32]

★ According to Conor, he has always challenged the status quo and done things his own way.[32]

★ He feels that his peers underestimate him because he's white.[32]

★ On November 10, 2016 he was an opener at the Cleveland House of Blues where he performed for about 12 people. Two years later he performed along with the rest of In Real Life at the same venue, the show was sold out.[33]

★ In elementary school, he had a fight with a boy who he dubbed as "Peter". It began with the boy attempting to trade lunches, but when Conor refused, "Peter" became resentful. Later during recess, the boy knocked his hat off, threw rocks at him, and, after Conor egged "Peter" on, tried to fight.[4]

Gallery

Main article: Conor Michael Smith/Gallery

Notes and References

  1. The puzzle piece has become a ubiquitous symbol for autism.

Template:Conor Michael Smith

Template:In Real Life

  1. "Conor Michael Smith". June 28, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019 — via Twitter.
  2. "Meet Michael Conor". Boy Band. July 6, 2017.
  3. "Lukewarm Soda: Ep. 6 - Michael Conor". Lukewarm Soda. January 23, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 @conormichaelsmith (November 25, 2018) — via Instagram.
  5. "In Real Life: Exclusive Interview Following Boy Band". August 29, 2017.
  6. @MichaelConor (June 21, 2018) — via Twitter.
  7. @MichaelConor (April 2, 2018) — via Twitter.
  8. "Michael Conor Talks In Real Life, Early Inspirations, 2019 Goals, & More!". I'm From Cleveland. March 17, 2019.
  9. Kayali, Yasmine; Benincasa, DC (August 31, 2017). "America Put Him in the Boy Band". Shakerite. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. "Conor Michael Smith". April 22, 2020.
  11. "In Real Life - America's Next Boy Band | Exclusive Interview". October 12, 2017.
  12. "Conor Michael Smith on: With You In Mind, 2020 In The Music Industry, and His Hidden Talents!". February 17, 2021.
  13. Wass, Mike (September 12, 2017). "In Real Life On Their Debut Single “Eyes Closed” & Boy Bands: Interview". Idolator. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  14. @MichaelConor (July 23, 2017) "I write all my raps POINT BLANK PERIOD.". Retrieved August 20, 2018 — via Twitter.
  15. @conormichaelsmith (June 8, 2019). Retrieved June 8, 2019 — via Instagram.
  16. @conormichaelsmith (August 1, 2019) — via Instagram.
  17. @MichaelConor (February 21, 2019) — via Twitter.
  18. @electricink09 (May 20, 2019) — via Instagram.
  19. @conormichaelsmith (September 18, 2017) — via Instagram.
  20. @MichaelConor (September 5, 2018) — via Twitter.
  21. @MichaelConor (December 5, 2018) — via Twitter.
  22. @MichaelConor. (August 11, 2018) — via Twitter.
  23. @conormichaelsmith (March 8, 2019) — via Instagram.
  24. @conormichaelsmith (June 8, 2019) — via Instagram.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 @conormicaelsmith (June 6, 2018). Retrieved July 1, 2019 — via Instagram.
  26. @bikram_mohm (May 25, 2018) — via Instagram.
  27. @conormichaelsmith (July 24, 2017) Instagram livestream. Retrieved 2019 — via Instagram.
  28. "Justine Magazine: Get to Know the "Boy Band" Top 8 Finalists! They Talk Dates, Food & More!". Justine Magazine. August 23, 2017.
  29. @conormichaelsmith (July 2, 2018). Retrieved July 2, 2018 — via Instagram.
  30. "EXCLUSIVE: IN REAL LIFE's FEARS & FOOD 411!!". September 4, 2017.
  31. @conormichaelsmith (August 7, 2019) — via Instagram.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named boyband
  33. @MichaelConor (September 18, 2018) — via Twitter.
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