Resourcefulness is key when it comes to being an artist in today’s day and age. With a WiFi connection and enough ambition, random kids all over the world are becoming stars overnight in the comfort of their bedrooms, and more often than not, they’re beating out big-budget artists for attention, thanks, in large, to authenticity.
One group beginning to emerge in such a way is AG Club. Hailing from the East Bay Area, the group’s recent debut project Halfway Off the Porch offers a diverse selection of sounds, styles, and genres, while the crew’s strong visual output thus far builds a supplemental dimension to their world. From aesthetics to sonics, and everything in between, AG Club is as homemade as it gets, with all facets of the operation happening in-house. Oh, and the best part is, this is all being done out of a garage in the Bay Area.
With limited resources and few drivers outside of sheer passion, AG Club has become a creative hub, in and of itself, growing a strong local following throughout Northern California. Today, in addition to a small Q&A with the group, we here at LL are back to cover the group’s latest release: a brand new music video for “Memphis.”
So who makes up AG Club? Do you guys mind introducing yourselves?
My name is Loui — I focus mostly on the production of the music, but I’m also a rapper.
This is Baby Boy — I’m a singer, sometimes I rap, I make music videos with Manny, I do some graphic design, and I help come up with creative concepts
I’m Jody Fontaine — I’m a rapper, singer, and songwriter for the AG Club. I handle most of the marketing and business stuff, as well as helping out with new concepts.
My name is Manny — I’m the main video editor of the group, and I also help come up with visual concepts. (*Note: Manny handles video production as 777 Media).
Mick Anthony, who couldn’t be here, is the newest member of the group. He’s a singer, songwriter, and the main guitarist.
Loui: The group came about because a few years ago, I knew Baby Boy and Jody Fontaine on social media. They were already artists before we got together and I was already doing my own thing, and I thought it would be cool to have them both on a song. So, I invited them over, we got together, and we just clicked. It felt like there was something special there, so we decided okay, maybe we should start something. And we did [laughs].
What does the name “AG Club” mean?
Jody Fontaine: Me, Loui, and Baby Boy had released two songs together. Each song had two features on it, so we figured that if we like making music with each other, why not become a group? After posting the songs originally, we didn’t have a name, so we just went as Nameless Collective [laughs]. We were still trying to find something more personal, though, and we had another name called Sugar Free – one of our other members, JB (Jabbarr) came up with that name. We rocked with it for a few days but it just wasn’t personal enough. So we looked at ourselves and thought about the music we make.
We come from the Eastern Bay Area. There’s a lot of great music coming out of here, but because a lot of us have such a wide range of inspirations, we were never really making Bay Area-sounding music. We decided that we needed a name that encompassed that, and so we came up with “Avant-Garde Club.” Avant-garde is a revolutionary type of thing, and when we first made music together, it felt like no one else was making what we were making; it felt like starting a revolution, which explains the name.
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Visuals have been an elemental part of the AG Club output thus far. Why?
Baby Boy: Me and Manny have been doing the videos for a while. At first, it was like well, if we know how to do it and we have the skills, why not do videos? Eventually, though, it became a central factor of AG Club because we realized that not everyone has the ability to make videos like this and put them out, plus we had so many concepts that we were just sitting on, thinking about. Once people started responding well to the videos, we started to make it a bigger part of everything and went from there.
For new fans, what does AG Club represent?
Manny: The main thing that we want people to understand is that we’re a bunch of young kids that chose to do something far-fetched. We really come from nothing, and everything stems from us being us. We’re no different than anyone else; we’re just kids from a small town who decided to go for it, and we had to sacrifice a lot to get here. The goal with everything is just to motivate and inspire people – that’s the best part of it all for me, to inspire someone else to be great.
Jody Fontaine: Like Manny said, we all came from nothing. We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it regardless of anything in the way. Once we knew we wanted to make music, we started making songs. We realized that we wanted to do videos, so we did videos. We realized that we wanted to do shows, so we went out and figured out how to throw a show.
Everything we’ve wanted to do, we’ve just gone out and done it. Other artists in our city see that, so we’re just trying to inspire the next person who doesn’t think they can do it. Because realistically, we had a bunch of reasons as to why we shouldn’t try, and we ignored them all. That’s the thing that we want to inspire in everyone; figure out what you want to do, and do it. Regardless of anything in the way.
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