By Barb Arland Fye
Six siblings from Baltimore are hitting the high notes in a promising pop music career with clean lyrics inspired by their Catholic faith.
They call themselves “JAGMAC,” based on the first letter of each sibling’s name — from youngest to oldest — Jared, Angelique, Gabriel, Manjo, Alyssa and CJ. Visit their website (www.jagmacmusic.com) and watch these energetic young adults/teens singing, dancing and back-flipping to their original songs like “Get Your Groove Back.”
Music promoters compare JAGMAC to such pop music group favorites as Black Eyed Peas. Ranging in age from 14 to 24, the four brothers and two sisters made their second music tour in Great Britain last month, wowing their school-age fans.
“The reaction to JAGMAC has been nothing short of fantastic. They are very well received with many people saying they are the best act they have ever seen,” says Anne Barrett of De Angelis Entertainment in London. “They performed at an event called Total Access which is organized by a radio group here in the UK. There were many famous British groups playing and JAGMAC was the least known and the best received.”
JAGMAC is signed with De Angelis Entertainment whose co-owner is Greg Hansen, a business executive and member of Holy Family Parish in Davenport. He describes the six sibling singers as “devout home-schooled Catholics who want to make a difference in the world. They want to be a positive influence on young people. JAGMAC does not sing Christian music. There are plenty of people doing that right now. We want to reach kids who are being negatively influenced by current artists.”
Just last week, JAGMAC and De Angelis signed up with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the second-largest agent group behind William Morris, Greg says. “The agent we signed with also represents the band ‘One Direction.’ If you know anything at all about pop music, you will know who they are.”
During an interview with The Catholic Messenger, JAGMAC talked about their music career, the influence of their Catholic faith, and assisting their parents, Carlos and Alicia Patalinghug, who own a martial arts school in the Baltimore area.
The siblings, who describe their music genre as “positive pop,” have been performing together for years, beginning in their Baltimore parish.
“Music has always been a big part of our family,” says their mom. “I have been singing my whole life and my husband is an incredible dancer. Fortunately, our children got both attributes as well as many others, like writing songs, rapping, playing instruments and, of course, being very good at martial arts. … They started singing together at a young age, but the last two years have been the turning point which really made us decide to actively pursue music as an actual career.”
Faith also holds an important place in the family’s life, Alicia says. “While JAGMAC is not considered a ‘Christian’ group in terms of genre of music, our Catholic faith is very much an inspiration to all of the songs. We always try to have a positive and inspiring message in our lyrics, while still keeping the music in sync with current sounds and trends suitable for radio.”
“Our Catholic faith means the world to us. It’s why we do what we do,” says C.J., who at age 24 is the oldest of the six siblings. “We feel like God has blessed us with the ability to sing, dance and write music in a way that can touch others as well as give our talents and skills back to God. … Music has a powerful impact on everyone, but especially the youth and hopefully with our lyrics we can inspire them in some way.”
Their faith, Alyssa says, “makes us stronger, especially through the power of prayer.”
Alyssa, 22, and C.J. are the primary song writers. They’ve had the privilege of working with music industry songwriters Sam Beast, Bryan Todd, Manny Streetz, Lauren Christy, Pam Sheyne and Mike Komprass to help them hone their skills.
“We all have our individual talents,” Alyssa says of herself and siblings. They also have a talented uncle who inspires and encourages them: Father Leo Patalinghug, “the cooking priest,” who won a throwdown with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.
Like typical siblings, they occasionally get on each other’s nerves, but they also know the importance of reconciling afterwards. “At the same time, we try and build each other up, especially if one member is faced with difficult times. We’re a family and we’re all here to help each other grow personally and spiritually,” C.J. says.
They’ve given many free concerts over the years to try and raise money for countless things such as the earthquake victims in Haiti and the typhoon victims in the Philippines. “Both funds were donated to Catholic Relief Services in an effort to try and help rebuild those communities again,” C.J. adds. “We’ve also raised money for a retirement center for priests in the Philippines as well as for children in the U.S. with severe illnesses. We just want to help in any way we can.”
Wherever their music career takes them, JAGMAC hopes to make a difference, C.J. says. But, “at the end of the day, as long as we can make someone smile by something we say or do … to us we’ve accomplished something, even if it’s as small as that.”
(Barb Arland-Fye is editor of The Catholic Messenger and can be reached at arland-fye@