Do You Guys Remember Jamiroquai?
Jay Kay of Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai is one of the quintessential '90s pop acts. And if you close your eyes and listen, you'll hear that its music sounds as though it could have been released any time between the '70s and today.
The band's acid jazz/funk may sound timeless, but the classic music video for "Virtual Insanity" is pure 1996. You have to wonder whether singer Jay Kay has a Walkman and some Beanie Babies hidden under his huge bucket hat.
Before OK Go had a go at it, Jay Kay was the master of the one-shot video -- and Jay Kay didn't even need treadmills to pull it off. Instead, he moonwalks through what appears to be a bug- and bird-infested back room of a London Ikea. What's with the blood? Is Jamiroquai's room next door to the warehouse that appears in No Age's "Fever Dreaming" video?
The English really had it going in '90s. Case in point, Blur got mainstream recognition with "Song 2" and Damon Albarn later went on to form The Gorillaz.
Jamiroquai has a similar success story to Blur -- though Jay Kay hasn't gone on to front any cartoon bands. After releasing the hit single "Virtual Insanity," Jamiroquai built a worldwide following and went on to release seven swanky wine-party-soundtracking albums.
These days, Jay Kay has forgone his fuzzy bucket hat in favor of a Native American headdress, the garment of choice for most white girls at Coachella. It's cool, though: He's an Iroquois. That's why the band is named as such (jam + Iroquois). The band also has a didgeridoo player (who does that anymore?).
Well, Jamiroquai doesn't. Wallis Buchanan left the band before the group's 2001 release, A Funk Odyssey, which took a disco approach. Fans were disappointed, but Jamiroquai returned to its roots with 2010's Rock Dust Light Star, which wasn't released in North America until this year's Record Store Day.
Rock Dust Light Star embraces the sound of Jamiroquai's first three albums, which include Traveling Without Moving, where "Virtual Insanity" made its debut. Jamiroquai continues to tour. In 2010, the group supported Stevie Wonder, and now they're about to head to Japan -- hopefully bringing a freaky, moving stage set with them.
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