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Jamiroquai

Active beginning in the early '90s, Jamiroquai has amassed a steady stream of hits in its native U.K. and experienced chart success in just about every other area of the world, with an irresistible blend of house rhythms and '70s-era soul/funk (the latter, especially, leading early on to claims of Stevie Wonder imitations). The band has gone though several lineup changes during their career, but through it all their leader has remained singer/songwriter Jason Kay (aka J.K.). Born on December 30, 1969, in Stretford, Manchester, Kay's mother, Karen, was a jazz singer who regularly performed at nightclubs, and in the '70s had her own TV show. After leaving home at the age of 15, Kay found himself homeless and in trouble with the law (by committing petty crimes to get by). After a near-death experience (where he was attacked and stabbed) and being arrested for a crime he did not commit, Kay decided to return home, where he chose to pursue a legitimate career over crime: music. Kay didn't have a band to back up his compositions, but he quickly came up with his future project's name, Jamiroquai, a name that combined the name of a Native American tribe (the Iroquois) along with the music-based word, jam.

Kay's home demos caught the attention of the record label Acid Jazz, which issued Jamiroquai's debut single "When You Gonna Learn?" in late 1992. With Kay enlisting the help of others (Jamiroquai's best-known lineup included drummer Derrick McKenzie, keyboard player Toby Smith, bassist Stuart Zender, and vibraphonist Wallis Buchanan), the single was a success and was soon followed by a long-term and lucrative recording contract with Sony. Jamiroquai's full-length debut, Emergency on Planet Earth, followed in 1993 and became a major hit in their native England (peaking at number one on the charts), spawning such Top Ten hit singles as "Too Young to Die" and "Blow Your Mind." The band's second release, The Return of the Space Cowboy in 1995, managed to steer Jamiroquai clear of the sophomore jinx that affects so many up-and-coming bands by out-selling its predecessor in Europe and was a sizeable hit in Japan, as well.

With most of the world dancing to Jamiroquai's beat, America was next in line for the band's third effort, 1996's Traveling Without Moving. The album spawned the worldwide hit "Virtual Insanity," for which an award-winning video was filmed and helped the album achieve platinum status in the States by the year's end (as well as a highlighted performance at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards). Despite achieving breakthrough success, bassist Zender opted to leave the group during sessions for its follow-up, which resulted in Kay scraping almost an entire album's worth of new tracks in order to start from scratch with a new bassist (the slot would eventually go to newcomer Nick Fyffe). During the downtime, Jamiroquai contributed a brand-new track, "Deeper Underground," to the soundtrack for the 1998 movie Godzilla.

But the long wait between albums seemed to kill Jamiroquai's momentum in the U.S., where a fourth release overall, 1999's Synkronized, was largely ignored (yet back home and across the globe, it was another major commercial success). Subsequently, it appeared as though the majority of Jamiroquai's U.S. media attention focused on non-music related events, such as the band turning down a million-dollar offer to play at a concert on New Year's Eve 1999, and when Kay was accused of assaulting a tabloid photographer (with the charges later being dropped). It didn't take Jamiroquai as long the next time around to issue another album, with A Funk Odyssey hitting the racks two years later in 2001. Kay also helmed a volume in the mix-album series Late Night Tales. From there, Jamiroquai spent the next two years gathering material for a sixth studio album. Dynamite, which was finally released in 2005, was written and recorded in Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Scotland, New York, Los Angeles and Jamiroquai's own Buckinghamshire studio. The group's seventh studio album, 2010's Rock Dust Light Star, dutifully blended the disco and electronic leanings of 2005’s Dynamite with the organic, roots-based soul of the band's 1993 debut. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Would love to see him and daft punk work some magic in the studio. End result would be awesome
LOVE IT!
carlosbasspl a y e r
niceeeee
Been a fan for a long time. They have their own station on my pandora. Wish they would come back to SF! The show at the Fillmore years back was awesome!!
alohakghi
Rock Dust Light Star, great album and many layers of meaning to the title. I have loved the funky, consciousnes s raising approach of this band from the beginning.
Essence of sexy funk :0}
Napoleon dynamite ��☺️
His sound is amazing. I love uniqueness
dube438
Rock on Mr. K., the music is great.
J.K. is absolutely reputable to 'whisper' in any Woman's ear. That would be delicious!!!
marcmaz35
Love this band.....
Still one of my favorite bands of all time, been a fan for nearly 2 decades. Much love from California!! Please come tour the US Jay Kay!
Learned about this group in 1996...great music!
stinkychris6 1 1
I'm going to run away
sounds like a recycled version of the Eagles
Gotta love that funk
sepikpikinin i 0 0
That was not needed CutThroat! Not appropriate at all! :/
saw this great band in San Francisco in 1998, had sex with 2girls that nite.. wish i remembered their names...
I love love love them so much they are best
Adoring JMQ for decades now! Music so organic, mischievous, full of life and uplifting! Love from Indianapolis !
Miss you...truly!
One of the few artists I would LOVE to see in concert. Unfortunatel y , he's only touring overseas right now. PLEASE COME TO THE US!!!!
brenda.kaise r
Hats off (so to speak) to Jamiroquai from their #1 fan in Nebraska!
All albums are worth having! The music is cool, soulful, upbeat, happy fun! ..waiting for "..Sunny Days in June" to come up for you to listen to.
My kids turned me on to Jamiroquai back in the mid 90's....Than k You Boys!!!..... . .
Nothing but ABSOLUTE LOVE for Jamiroquai!!
vonvonviper
Every time I hear this it takes me to a place in my mind that I wish I could stay suspended a while. It can't be compared to none. Nothing less than the work of a genius....
ok I can get use to this sound
info13195
kudos to the bio's author for starting with 'native american', however the word 'tribe' is a misnomer. 'nation' is the correct and most politically correct term... #justsayin
total genius
This song is good so is dust bowl or music made of memories by Treva Whateva
Wake up dont sleep on this cat......he been jaming since 93
I got high many nights off playing jamiroquar.. . . . . . . d a m I miss the 90s
agord86
Their music is off the wall!!!
dennis_a_moo r e _ 5
come to des moines, iowa pleases
dennis_a_moo r e _ 5
the sound is one of kind
True talent and soulful.Gott a love Jamiroquai.
I simply love this group; been a fan since 97!
warrick36
Simply the best ever!
Jamiroquai is always BEAST!!!!
I grew up listening to Jamiroquai and I stl listen to them
dlpetri
No mention in the above article that Jamiroquai's song Canned Heat was the song chosen for Napolean Dynamite to dance to in the movie Napolean Dynamite?
harborinteri o r s
Has become one of my favorite groups ever since I discovered them roughly 2 years ago, my music taste is varied from acoustic flamenco, to Anita Baker---Jami r o q u a i is tight and rythmic, a big fan!
One of the greatest videos of all time and the song is a classic.
This songs one bad mother
we need more bads like this
warrick36
Honolulu please...lov e this band
cbwasher
NICE I LIKE HIS STYLE
I love this song..beat is off the hook
Wonderful road trips with these guys! Their COSMIC
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