Music students at Bismarck State College had the opportunity last month to collaborate with Six Appeal.

The sextet of professional singers is based out of Minneapolis.

But did you know that two of its members have North Dakota roots?

Jordan Roll was a college freshman at Concordia when he founded the a cappella vocal band. “That was December of 2006,” he says.

The Bismarck native’s motive was what you might expect from a college kid.

“We started it for a freshman talent show, and girls liked it,” he explains. “So we kept on doing it, singing in dorm rooms, that sort of thing. It was great.”

But it didn’t take long for Six Appeal to find a much broader appeal, with their contemporary sound and stage presence to spare. “A lot of people come for the music, but half of the show is jokes,” Roll says. “It’s half of just getting to know us.”

Reuben Hushagen, also from Bismarck, joined up to sing low bass in 2010. “I always wanted to do something that was interesting with my life. I didn’t want to be stuck at a desk filling out papers or anything like that.”

“I was a pizza guy and a ski bum,” he says, “and I’ve been a professional musician for a while now.”

Six Appeal has gone on to perform in all of the lower 48 states, as well as far-off places like Russia and China. And just recently: “We went to the Vanity Fair Oscars party on three weeks notice after booking the thing,” says Roll.

There, they were up close and personal with the stars. “We got a really solid head nod from Drake,” he says. “That was nice!”

So what message do these two North Dakota kids have for other kids who want to be like them?

“You can make your own YouTube channel,” says Hushagen. “You could make a podcast about your songs that you write. Whatever it is, there is an outlet for you.”

“You’ve gotta find the thing that’s yours, and build that brand and really speak your truth about what you feel is important to you,” says Roll.

Jordan Roll and Reuben Hushagen — North Dakotans hitting all the right notes — are two people you should know.

By the way – Jordan and Reuben both credit their Bismarck Public School music teachers with lighting the spark in them at a young age.