Jamiroquai making it big with retro '70s sound
August 11, 1997
Web posted at: 11:16 p.m. EDT (0316 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- If the name Jamiroquai doesn't ring a bell
yet, it will someday soon.
The British band just received 10 nominations at the MTV
Video Music Awards, more than any other band or artist
nominated. And their distinctive sound and look is beginning
to gain a foothold in the United States.
Jamiroquai (pronounced jah-MEER-ihk-why) is headed up by
Jason Kay, JK to his friends. The band's name stems from
Kay's interest in the Iroquois nation. He stuck "Jam" on the
front to name his band, whose retro-'70s sound is hitting it
big in Britain.
The band first appeared on the British club scene in 1992,
and almost immediately attracted attention in a club scene
that music fans had abandoned en masse. Kay's uncanny vocal
resemblance to Stevie Wonder didn't hurt the band's success
either, although Kay doesn't make much of the comparison.
"My mum's a singer, and any voice I get I got off her," he
By the end of 1992, Jamiroquai had snared an eight-album deal
with Sony Music. The second album, "Return Of The Space
Cowboy," went platinum in the United Kingdom, selling well in
Europe and Japan, as well.
The band's European success allows Kay to indulge his tastes
in exotic cars; his collection includes an Aston Martin, a
Diablo and a Ferrari. The band also gets to indulge in
Some of the videos feature Kay's auto collection: the "Cosmic
Girl" video from Jamiroquai's third album, "Travelling
Without Moving," shows off many of his cars.
The video for "Virtual Insanity," also from the "Travelling"
album, bucks the car theme, but remains unique. By mounting
a camera on the wall of a room on wheels -- director Jonathan
Glazer's brainstorm -- viewers get the impression that either
the furniture is remote-controlled or the floor is moving.
It wasn't an easy shoot. "I got quite confused in the
middle. Everything is moving. I didn't know where I was, you
know?" Kay says. In the end, Glazer told him where to stand,
line by line.
But Jamiroquai's next video, "Alright," goes back to their
former pattern: exotic cars, Kay and his trademark SuperFly
hat, and a '70s dance sound. Why mess with a winning
Correspondent Mark Scheerer contributed to this report.