Not gonna lie: Used to quite fancy Jay Kay, lead singer of Jamiroquai back in the day. What can I say? He wore cord flares, Peruvian hats, Adidas track jackets, Gazelles and could seriously dance – my main requirements in a fella in those days. Er, and probaly now tbh.
And musically-speaking, I’ve always liked his band, Jamiroquai (and have had to correct more people than I care to remember on the fact that HE isn’t called Jamiroquai *bored eye roll*).
I have many musical memories featuring Jamiroquai:
Going on a snowboarding trip to the States when I was about 15. I wore Adidas Gazelles and a knitted Inca hat on the flight, and when we did a day-trip to Boston I bee-lined towards a music store and picked up US versions of their singles.
Watching the Virtual Insanity video for the first time and my MIND BEING BLOWN.
Listening to KISS non-stop when they released a new track in 1996 complete with phat jungle beat (Do U Know Where You’re Coming From ft. M-Beat) in an attempt to record it onto ~*cassette tape*~ until it was officially released.
[YouTube and Spotify didn’t exist then and those were the days, kids, when there was a hefty ol’ gap ‘tween a song being played on the radio and it actually being available in Woolworths.]
As always, I’ve digressed. But guess what? Clue’s probably in the title tbh, but Jamiroquai are BAAAAAACKKKKK!
Their first single in seven years, Automaton, is out at the end of March and I’ve already got the title track on repeat. Fuck, it’s good.
Some nay-sayers are moaning that the new electro sound is too far removed from Jamiroquai’s acid-jazz roots, but 1) MUSIC EVOLVES PEOPLE, and it is an undeniably funky af track and 2) they’ve sort of missed the whole point of the song, which is:
recognition of the rise of artificial intelligence and technology in our world today.
How we as humans are beginning to forget the more pleasant, simple and eloquent things in life and in our environment.
This from front-man Jay Kay himself. And hence the song sounding a LOT like a modem fucking a drum machine.
The video is also suitably hi-tech, with Jay Kay’s headgear looking like a cross between an angry colander and some bicycle lights, while the direction reminded me a bit of Terminator 2: the post apocalyptic hippy years.
And just when you thought the Jamiroquai of yore was gone for good, BOOM: halfway through we’re served up 70s style breakbeats and (in the video above), some classic old skool Jay Kay moves. YASSS. All the yasssssssssss!
I’d like to catch them live this year and, in anticipation, have been listening to the Jamiroquai back-catalogue; I’ve only just realised how poignant many of their lyrics were. In the same way that I used to HATE Michael Jackson’s Earth Song, now I’m older I realise that yup; MJ did indeed have a point – quite a serious one, in fact. Welp.
And Jay Kay’s done it again with his observations on the way modern technology is consuming us as a species, taking us further and further away from what it means to be a human being – a subject ve-ry close to my heart rn (sneak peek here for anyone reading this carefully).
It’s like the 2017 reprise of the 1996 single Virtual Insanity.
Yes, Jay Kay might be a bit of a petrol head, owning enough cars to fill your local car showroom three times over, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about or use his platform to create awareness over some pretty fucking important issues concerning us all.
He also gets bad press for being an arrogant prick, and while I’ve never met the man, I can’t help but feel it’s more to do with the paps bothering him, when he’s actually a pretty private guy. He knows what he likes, does what he likes and generally stays out of the public eye.
Soz, btw. This wasn’t meant to turn into an instalment of the unofficial Jay Kay fan club, but basically: JAMIROQUAI ARE BACK AND I’M V. V. HAPPY ‘BOUT IT!!!