Fresh from supporting Little Mix on their Get Weird tour, it’s clear to see that JAGMAC are pop music’s next big thing. Made up of Jared, Angelique, Gabriel, Manjo, Alyssa and CJ, the Baltimore siblings have been busy wowing crowds across the UK with their amazing vocals and slick dance routines.
We recently caught up with JAGMAC to talk about the Get Weird experience as well as what it’s like to be in a band with your siblings, which celebrity they’d like as an honorary band member as well as what the future has in store for JAGMAC.
How did you decide to form JAGMAC?
Singing and music has always been our passion since we were very young. We grew up listening to the Backstreet Boys and The Spice Girls, so music is something we’ve loved from an early age. We’ve been singing and dancing together as a family for a long time but it was about two years ago when we started to perform officially and professionally as a group. It was something that we all loved and we have so much fun doing it, so that’s how it all came about!
How would you describe your sound to anyone who hasn’t heard your music yet?
Our sound is very unique! There’s elements of funk and pop. In our new single ‘So Good’ it even has some swing in it, something different. It’s funky, groovy, it’s just really high energy. A lot of our lyrics are very positive and uplifting and the songs just make you want to dance!
Can you describe each member in one word?
CJ: As the oldest, I’d say the leader maybe.
Alyssa: I guess you could say I’m the bossy one.
Manjo: I would have to say goofy.
Gabriel: Sporty, cos that’s my other passion.
Angelique: I’m the cheeky one or the foody one, I like to eat a lot [laughs].
Jared: I’m the tricky one, as I do flips and stuff and I like to pull pranks.
Seeing as you’re brothers and sisters, do you ever find it difficult to make band decisions?
I guess sometimes but we all have each other’s best interests [at heart]. We all have the same taste in music so for the best part, we all tend to agree on things, and if we don’t then we start doing our martial arts [laughs], just kidding! No, at the end of the day we all have the same taste and passion so when it comes to songs, music and even martial arts, we definitely agree for the most part.
Speaking about the martial arts, your dance routines are full of amazing choreography. Aside from your martial arts, where else do you get your dance inspiration from?
Our dance inspiration probably comes from our dad. He used to be a break-dancer back in the 80’s. The singing comes from our mom, so if you put the two together you get us!
Did your dad get you into martial arts too?
Yeah, the martial arts comes from our dad. He has a martial arts school back home in Baltimore and it’s something we’ve been doing since we were three years old. We also teach it as well so it’s a huge part of our lives. We’re all black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Eskrima which is a Filipino stick fight.
You recently toured with Little Mix – how was that experience for you?
Touring with Little Mix was absolutely amazing! Oh my gosh, it was such a phenomenal experience getting to perform in front of thousands of people in huge arenas. The girls were amazing, really nice and we also got to meet Nathan Sykes who was one of the performers as well. Everyone was awesome and it was just such a great experience and so much fun to be on tour with them!
Did you get up to any mischief with the girls? Any pranks or stories?
We wouldn’t say that there were many pranks going on but one funny thing was that some of the Little Mix girls were riding around on some scooters before the show. We’ll have to get some of our own one day when we do our own tour!
What was your favourite thing about being on tour?
Our favourite thing about touring was seeing all the cities and just interacting with all the fans, they’re so sweet! Some of them were singing our songs on stage so that was really awesome to see. One of our songs we perform, it’s called ‘Just Say It’, we looked up and they all had their phones up in the air and their lights on, it was an amazing experience, one we’ll never forget.
Did you have a favourite venue to perform at?
Each venue was definitely great and really different. We had such a fun time at all the venues but one of our personal favourites was London O2 and Dublin, those were a lot of fun. Glasgow too. They were all great!
The O2 Arena is so iconic isn’t it?
Oh yes, to perform at the O2 was such an honour!
You’re originally from Baltimore in the US, how have you found living in the UK over the past few months?
This is our fourth time in the UK and we absolutely love it, it’s become more like a second home to us now. The weather is a bit different, it’s a lot colder here but we deal with it, we love it. The people are amazing, everyone’s just been awesome. You guys’ accents are just amazing, we love it, it’s so posh!
JAGMAC are all siblings, but if you could choose one celebrity to be an honorary band member, who would it be?
CJ: Unfortunately this couldn’t happen, but for me it would be Michael Jackson. If only he could be a part of the group, that would be amazing. Maybe Justin Timberlake? He was in a pop group and he’s one of my favourites.
Alyssa: I would have to say Christina Aguilera, she’s definitely one of my favourite singers of all time, she’s so good.
Manjo: I’d probably have to say Bruno Mars because he’s just a really good singer and he’s half Filipino like us.
Gabriel: That’s a tricky question. I’m a big fan of Ed Sheeran so that would be pretty amazing to see him be a part of our group, and he’s from the UK so that would be even more awesome!
Angelique: I would pick will.i.am, he’s a really cool guy. He has an iconic style so if he was in our group, that would be really really cool!
Jared: I would choose Nathan Sykes as he’s a really really really good singer and songwriter, and he plays piano as well which is really cool!
Any of those would make a great addition to JAGMAC, especially Bruno Mars, he’d fit right in with you!
Oh yeah, he’s definitely our genre. The only thing is, we’d have to work out where to fit his name into JAGMAC, maybe JAGMACB [laughter]. We’d make it work.
We’ve sort of touched on this already, but who would you say are your main musical inspirations?
Individually we all have our own favourites but collectively as a group we lean more towards the Jackson 5 because they’re a family. Also, the Black Eyed Peas, they’re a bit edgy but their songs are very dancey and upbeat, very catchy, so if you put the two together you kinda get our sound.
Do you have a favourite song at the moment?
Being on tour with Little Mix, we got to hear our favourite song which is ‘Secret Love Song’. We were also singing during the concert, so we were fangirling pretty hard. We all really enjoy that song and we also have an a capella version that we sing, it’s definitely a lot of fun!
We love the video for ‘So Good’ and it shows you working 9-5 in a restaurant. If you weren’t in JAGMAC, what job would you be doing?
CJ: Thank you! Oh great question, I’d probably be back in Baltimore either teaching martial arts with my dad at the school (I actually teach as well), or I’d be teaching dance. I love to choreograph so that would be mine.
Alyssa: Like my brother said, we have a martial arts school back home so I’d probably be helping! There’s the after school programme and summer camp.
Manjo: I would probably still be studying culinary, which is my major in college. Hopefully I want to open my own restaurant in Miami, that’s my favourite place.
Gabriel: I would 100% definitely be at college and playing any kind of sport. You name it, American football, you guys’ type of football, soccer, baseball, anything – it’s my love.
Angelique: I’d definitely be in college, or Uni as you say here! I would probably be working at a local shop like an ice cream place or a bakery. I like to paint as well, and graffiti, so I’d probably be doing a lot of that too.
Jared: I would be at my house doing home school! The funny thing is, that I was doing five minutes [of school work] before you called in the car. I like drawing as well.
Do you have a dream venue that you would like to perform at?
We love the O2 so that would be a dream venue to perform at again. We’ve all agreed that one of the next places we would love to perform at is Madison Square Gardens in New York. Also, one of the stadiums in our hometown of Baltimore called M&T Bank Stadium, that would be a lot of fun. But also here in the UK, every arena is massive and amazing, such a good energy.
What’s next for JAGMAC?
We’re gonna be back here in the UK for a lot of summer festivals! A lot of new and exciting things are gonna be happening. We’ve got summer festivals lined up, shows, we’re gonna be releasing our debut album soon too, probably towards the end of the summer. We’ll be back on Blue Peter hopefully sometime in the summer as well. There’s a lot of fun and exciting things coming up. If people want to find out more about us then they can go to our website, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat (jag_mac). We want to let people know that if they tweet us, we would love to tweet them back. It’s something that we love to do and we really want to get to know everyone individually and personally. The fans have just been amazing.
We’ll definitely look forward to having you back in the UK in the Summer and hopefully will catch you at a show! Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
WE LOVE YOU! We really can’t thank them enough, they are literally the sweetest people ever. Twitter blows up for us almost every night, we just love laying in bed and getting to talk to all of them., we wouldn’t be JAGMAC without them. They aren’t even like fans, they’re basically like family, our JAGMAC family. We love getting to know them and thanking them for the love and support that they have for us. We love you!
Thank you to the incredible JAGMAC for their time!
Their single ‘So Good’ is available to download now. Check out the video for it below.