Music’s Exciting New Sibling Pop Band
September is gearing up to be a very busy month for JAGMAC, the sibling band named by Radio Disney as music’s “Next Big Thing!”
This week, they are releasing their debut studio EP, Right Back With You. Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by some of the biggest names in pop including two-time Grammy Winner Neff- U, best known for his work with Justin Bieber, Sia and Eminem, the EP features six high energy, soulful and positive tracks that will make listeners want to dance and sing along!
Then next week, the band will embark on the 21-city “Tonight Belongs To You” tour as the opening act for IN REAL LIFE, the group that was formed on ABC’s Boy Band.
JAGMAC is made up of six siblings who each bring his or her own spirit to the group. Angelique is a painter and graffiti artist. Jared’s biggest dream is to be the next Marvel superhero. Gabriel is a sports fanatic; Mango, a chef; and CJ is a neat freak. Then there’s Alyssa, who we spoke with from the band’s Baltimore home.
First of all, congratulations on being named Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing!”
Alyssa: Being chosen as Radio Disney’s NBT has definitely been one of the highlights of our career. Not only has Radio Disney taken us in and made us part of their elite family, they have given us a worldwide platform to really showcase our music. We will be forever grateful.
Previous NBT artists include Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes and Fifth Harmony.
Alyssa: That’s what makes it so surreal. They are all among our favorite artists! So to receive the same title that they held is an incredible honor.
What can JAGMAC learn from their subsequent rise to the top of the music charts?
Alyssa: Probably the most important thing that we can learn from them is to never give up. This is a tough industry and the only way to win is to stay in the game. It’s also super important to remain humble, grounded, and most of all thankful for all of the blessings.
How did a group of six siblings from Baltimore work their way onto the national stage?
Alyssa: We started out doing local events at churches, festivals, and malls. We also did a lot of benefit concerts to raise money for the needy after the tragic storms in Haiti and the Philippines. We eventually landed some big events which allowed us to perform all over the UK with school tours, radio festivals, and of course, our tour with Little Mix. That was a game changer. When I think about it, performing has always been kind of second nature to us. We have been around music, dancing, and martial arts our entire lives.
Alyssa: Oh yes, not only do we sing and dance, but we are all black belts in Tae KwonDo and world champions in a Philippine martial art called Eskrima.
As you know, Hollywood and the music industry have whitewashed Asian American artists for decades. It appears to be changing on TV with “Fresh Off The Boat” and in film with “Crazy Rich Asians”. Is the music industry finally taking notice?
Alyssa: It certainly seems like a lot more opportunities are opening up, not only for Asians, but all races. The group BTS is massive right now and they seem to be leading the way for others. But we feel that as long as a song is great, it should be played, regardless of ethnicity.
Let’s discuss your latest single, “Not Sure”. What’s the meaning behind the song?
Alyssa: The meaning behind “Not Sure” is that when you are in a relationship, there comes a time when you have to make a decision. Is this the right person for you, or is this not the right person for you? If you’re not sure after giving it a fair chance, then it might be a good idea to move on so that you don’t waste each other’s time and energy.
Is anyone in JAGMAC in a committed relationship?
Alyssa: The only person in the group that’s married is our oldest brother, CJ. He got married in May of 2017 and has given us a wonderful sister-in-law who we love very much!
We’re a beauty publication so have to ask: how important is fashion and style to the group?
Alyssa: We always try to look our best when we are out in public performing. Some level of fashion is definitely important, but we feel like style is even more important. Knowing how to put outfits together is a talent, so even if what you are wearing is not super expensive, you can still make it look really cool by doing subtle things to make it look more stylish.
Who chooses what you wear?
Alyssa: When we have major photo shoots we will use a stylist, but most of the time we try to do a lot of the styling ourselves.
How do you keep yourselves looking so clean and fresh?
Alyssa: We each have our own individual beauty regimen, but let’s just say if anybody wants some good picks for the stock market, hairspray and gel would be a great bet.
JAGMAC begins its first nationwide tour next week, opening for IN REAL LIFE. How are you guys preparing for your first live shows?
Alyssa: We are beyond excited for our tour to get started! We got to spend some time with the guys from IN REAL LIFE and they are all super nice and even more talented! We have been preparing for this for a long time. In a way, everything that we have done in our career up until now has brought us to this point. So, all of our different experiences will certainly come into play with regard to helping us be prepared.
Are you feeling the butterflies yet?
Alyssa: We always have a few butterflies before any performance, but once we get on stage, they all disappear and adrenaline takes over.
What are the biggest concerns about being on the road?
Alyssa: Probably the biggest concern with being on the road is that we will miss our family and friends who can’t come with us on the tour bus.
But it’s all worth it, right?
Alyssa: Our whole JAGMAC journey has been quite a roller coaster ride. There have been lots of ups and some downs. Things are not always easy, and they don’t always turn out the way you think or want. So it’s really important to keep everything in perspective and to remember that everything we have been given is a gift from God. So, in answer to the question, yes, it is all worth it because we have been given talents, and it is our duty and honor to share those talents with the rest of the world.
JAGMAC’s RIGHT BACK WITH YOU will be available on iTunes and all major retailers and streaming services on September 7, 2018. For more information, please visit https://jagmacmusic.com
By Shane Gallagher
Photos by Mike Ruiz