Giving us a slightly different spin on the ‘When I Hit Rewind’ theme, Nathan McCormick gives us his thoughts on Jamiroquai and just why they are his biggest musical influence….
Being a general music lover, and having such a huge taste in music, I tend to like most bands and most genres. So to pick one individual band as a favourite becomes a hard task. But going on what band has influenced me the most as both a musician and a music lover, I would have to go back to the first band that I ever listened to, the British acid jazz band, Jamiroquai.
Jamiroquai was the first band that I listened to without the influence of my parents or anyone else and even though the band was founded in 1992 it wasn’t until 1996, the release of their music video Virtual Insanity, that I really had a chance to listen to them. Until this point I had never seen or heard anything quite like them, the dancing, the music videos, the liveliness and positivity of their songs, and most of all the hats! They had me hooked from the word go. Unfortunately having such a unique style it was hard to find other bands like them.
Nowadays it seems that in most modern bands the members can seem to be competing against each other, but this is not the case with Jamiroquai. The instruments used in this band seem to coexist for the sole reason of making the songs sound good rather then competing at ‘who can play the biggest and longest solo’. These reason and other reasons Jamiroquai have never cease to amaze me, they somehow manage to release great song after song, and unlike a lot of bands, the songs on the album are just as good as the ones released as singles, but just like every other band Jamiroquai also has its flaws.
The biggest flaw Jamiroquai has is the lead singer, Jay Kay. Although Jay Kay is a very talented singer, he has a very overwhelming ego and is very arrogant. I would normally look past something like this, but the fact that Jay Kay is the image of the band, so much so that most people are led to believe that it is in fact a solo project rather then a band, and when he does something stupid like punching a photographer in the face in a drunken rage it effects the image of whole band rather than just his own.
Another problem I have with the band is that the message they give across seems to be hypocritical. The reason I say this is, on the band’s first album they preach about how the world is in need and how we should worry about the condition and state of the world, but by the third album the band seems to have forgotten that and seemed to almost be promoting the very opposite.
The opening for the song Travelling Without Moving is a car starting its engine and in several of the band’s music videos they use a wide range of sports cars. That doesn’t seem to be a good image for people preaching about pollutions and peace.
If I had to sum up my thoughts on Jamiroquai, I think I would have to say that even with their few flaws they are still one of the greatest bands and greatest influences in my life and have done more for me as a musician, and a general music lover, then any other band I know. I also personally believe that the first 3 Jamiroquai albums should be part of every true music lovers CD collection if not their whole discography.
The band have released 7 studio albums in total and they have sold over 40 million copies worldwide..
Jamiroquai’s first album, Emergency On Planet Earth, was released in 1993. The album went platinum in both the UK and France. This was a success that the majority of their following albums would share.
At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards the music video for Virtual Insanity won a total of four awards, and was nominated for 10 awards, Including Breakthrough Video and the Best Video of the Year.
Although the band is an acid jazz they have also explored other genres of music such as Reggae, Ska, Pop, Rock, Funk, and Electronica. Examples of this can be heard on most of their albums. Here are a few of my favourites: Drifting along, Seven Days In Sunny June, and Radio.
Jamiroquai’s current line-up is:
Singer – Jay Kay (Only founding member still in the band)
Drums – Derrick McKenzie
Keyboard – Matt Johnson
Guitar – Robb Harris
Bass – Paul Turner
Percussion – Sola Akingbola
My further recommendations:
- Too Young To Die, Track 2, Emergence On Planet Earth
- Cosmic Girl, Track 2, Traveling Without Moving
- Virtual Insanity, Track 1, Traveling Without Moving.
- Canned Heat, Track 1, Synkronized
- Seven Days In Sunny June, Track 3, Dynamite
By Nathan McCormick