1993 - June

The following is from the Sony Music www site and appeared soon after the release of the first album.

Emergency On Planet Earth

JAMIROQUAI. that's "JAM/EAR/OH/KWAI" But you know how to say it by now -1993 Jamiroquai. That has been their year. With their much lauded live shows early in 93 they smashed preconceptions of an inherent lack of musicianship in 'dance' music with their vibrant 10-15 piece jam sessions. The band's debut album " Emergency On Planet Earth" crashed straight into the charts at Number One in June and resided there for several weeks. Success from Europe to Japan followed as did an extensive tour of the States which left the Americans shouting for more - a request with which Jamiroquai are expected to comply in 1994 as well as throwing down their eagerly anticipated second album. The future certainly augurs well for the band that bought back the funk-and all that jazz.

The group derives its name from the native American Indian tribe the 'Iroquois' ("many aspects of their philosophy are relevant, especially their reverence of the earth") on to which they've stuck JAM; when you see them doing it live on stage you'll know why - they jam hard. The front man is Jay, a 23 year old jumping jack with an impossible voice, irrepressible star quality and a lot to get off his chest. "Jamiroquai is the name of a feeling - its about remembering where you're coming from and the band is about expressing that feeling through great tunes" he expounds. This tightly coiled spring is going to be highly intriguing to watch, listen to and learn from as his music unfurls over the coming years, of that there is little doubt.

The first single, "When You Gonna Learn?", a one-off on Acid Jazz, had the buzz.

The first live dates buzzed louder. Then Sony buzzed on Jay's door - VERY loud. A major deal isn't going to alter his course though and that's no idle rhetoric. A few minutes with him and you get the feeling that Jay and determination go hand in hand. On the classic "When You Gonna Learn?" there's dirty funk, a bit of disco, jazz inflections, and a didgeridoo in the blender - and what comes out is a unique nineties funk with attitude. The first single on the band's Orenda label (Through Sony Soho Square) entitled "Too Young To Die" was a Top Ten hit, full of lilting strings, funky horns and the coupling of an infectious melody with an anti-war lyric. The above threads continue on Jamiroquai's critically acclaimed debut album, which didn't take long to hit platinum status in the UK and spurned two more hits in "Blow Your Mind" and the LP's title track. The Emergency On Planet Earth album finally saw an eclectic talent captured for the first time for our long-playing enjoyment.

Jay is the driving force of Jamiroquai and the music in his life has been there forever. Earliest memories are of being carted around venues, from pillar in London to post in Las Vegas, by his jazz singer mother Karen Kay. As his own musical aspirations developed into reality, the involvement of such names as Brand New Heavies and Young Disciples, who remixed the first single, followed close behind. Jay and the band do not want to settle happily into one comfortable little generic definition however; looking outwards is the name of the game. Saying "funky" - and it is - only gives a clue to what Jamiroquai's music is about - jazz/funk fusion may be closer but let's not get distracted. The proof is in the pudding - and even if you're a fussy eater, the chances are you're going to like it.

Jamiroquai's music is funk with a feeling and a meaning. Jay's not there to shove his ideas down your throat but when he's belting out a tune and reeling in a mesmerised audience on the emotion you know he means it. His concerns are reflected in his music-government incompetence, bigotry, the environment and people's general apathy are all emotive issues of Jay: "you don't have to settle for what you're given - we can all do our bit, however small. We are all integral parts of the whole". One thing Jay will not do is churn out tailor made ideas or spurious remarks to sell records or garner popularity - it has been obvious from the start that he says what he feels and what you see is what you see is what you get. The quality of his music is as high on the list as the issues he holds dear - what he couldn't give a toss about though, is material produced on (and by) machines for people more interested in drugs than real music or real lyrics. "People have even stopped learning to play - but to me that's the future of music, that's what endures - not sitting in front of a computer".

Luminaries crowd Jay's record collection in his home in the wild west of Ealing: Sly, Stevie, Aretha and Gil Scott Heron to name a few. The roots and inspirations of Jay's musical influences are firmly planted in music that is raw and alive - even if some of its perpetrators aren't Hendrix, Marley and Ayres are also in the mix and from these roots grow his own distinctive style. By Marrying jazz funk and didgeridoo at the drop of a furry hat the man has more ideas up his sleeve.

Jamiroquai is a fully loaded steam train on a track that will run on its way for a very long time no matter who says what. Check out the tunes, drink in the live vibe, don't believe the hype and decide for yourself.

The Band

  • Band Members - photos of all the band members who are Jamiroquai
  • Logos - history of the Jamiroquai logo text and buffalo man
  • Biographies - official biographies of Jamiroquai from over the years...
  • Articles & Interviews - articles and interviews from the press...
  • Cars - a little insight into Jay's love of cars
  • Kiss 100 FM, London - the London radio station that first played Jamiroquai
A few years ago Jamiroquai keyboard player Matt Johnson wrote a track with Gary Barnacle (who played on Emergency On Planet Earth) and he has kindly offered it to this site to pass it onto the fans.
  • Jazz Junkie - Exclusive track by Jamiroquai keyboard player Matt Johnson