“The rule is: all killer and no filler!”
Jazz funk band Jamiroquai, with charismatic frontman Jay Kay at the helm, are performing at the Starlite Festival on July 22nd. It marks the first time the group, formed back in 1992, have visited the Costa Del Sol and they have a new album to boot.
After a 7 year hiutus, Automaton Jamiroquai’s 8th studio album through Sony Records launched to critical acclaim in March. The band called it a reflection on what’s most important to them: love, peace, the planet and each other. Jay Kay is immensely proud of his latest work calling it, A complete album. A proper, finished album. The rule was, all killer and no filler!
“We knew we had to get it right with this one. And if you don’t make an album that’s cohesive, that you dig, where the rhythms and melodies are right, that just feels good and feels cool, then you know, what’s the point of doing it? It’s as simple as that,” he added.
The group have come a long way in the last 25 years since their smash hit album ‘Emergency On Planet Earth’ stormed the charts in 1993. Critics and fans were in awe of them and their unique blend of jazz, funk and acid. They have also mastered the disco and soul genres over the many years they have been performing.
Their 1996 album ‘Travelling Without Moving’ the most popular album so far, had entered the Guinness World Records as the best-selling funk album in history and contained the track ‘Virtual Insanity’.
To date Jamiroquai has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide. Jay Kay also won a prestigious BMI Presidents Award, “in recognition of his profound influence on songwriting within the music industry” and with the band, also won an Ivor Novello Award for “an Outstanding Song Collection”, as well as 13 Brit Award nominations during the course of their career.
Jamiroquai has swapped band members numerous times. Jay Kay has always led the band alongside co-songwriter and keyboardist Toby Smith, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2017. Talented didgeridoo player Wallis Buchanan still plays for the group while drummer Nick van Gelder, left shortly after their first album and there have been 4 significant others.
Being the frontman, Jay Kay is occasionally referred to as the group name, because he is the only person under contract with Sony Music as the artist name of Jamiroquai. (A reason why band numbers have regularly come in and then out!)
It was widely claimed that the group’s formation was a result of Kay’s failed audition to become a singer of the Brand New Heavies, although this is a rumour he consistently denies.
Jay Kay (real name Jason Kay) has had a relatively tough upbringing by all standards. His identical twin brother David died a few weeks after he was born which has always affected the singer. His parents were both adopted and his mother (singer Karen Kay) had to raise him on his own after separating from his father. Jay Kay didn’t actually get to meet his Portuguese birth father Luis Saraiva until 2001.
Jay Kay has always basked in the media spotlight since he rose to fame aged 22 and has had several high profile relationships which generated the star extra column inches namely with Hollywood actress Winona Ryder, supermodel Heidi Klum and Australian singer Kylie Minogue. He also dated the vivacious ‘Big Breakfast’ TV presenter Denise Van Outen for 4 years from 1998.
Jay Kay is now happily married and has two daughters Carla and Tallulah and with long term partner Maria, whom he met in 2007 aged 45. “I’ve always wanted a family, but I’d reached 45 and wondered if it would ever happen. I’m a touch late, but it’s brilliant!”
This, he claims, is the reason for the band’s recent 8 year break. “I am totally serious about my missus and kids,” he said. “My biological dad and my mum were adopted, my identical twin died and my parents split. There’s a whole history of insecurity there. And so this is it. I am the Dad for my girls. Forever. I don’t want them calling any other man ‘Daddy.’ They’ve got me for life.”
Catch Jamiroquai at Starlite Festival in Marbella on Sunday July 22nd. Tickets cost between €102 for Tribune seating and €578 for a Platinum Box. Book online at www.starlitemarbella.com.