Seven years after releasing their last full-length album, British acid jazz/funk band Jamiroquai are back with a new song entitled “Automation.” This song is the leading single off of the band’s upcoming 2017 album of the same name, which is set for release on March 31 via Virgin EMI.
A new album, international tour dates, and more of their unique music videos are all of the way this year, so we better get used to having the band in our world. Here are five fast facts about Jamiroquai that you need to know.
1. ‘Virtual Insanity’ was Released 21 Years Ago
“Virtual Insanity” was the second single off of the band’s 1996 album, Travelling Without Moving, after the song “Do You Know Where You’re Coming From.” The song itself showed impressive chart success across the globe, but the music video is what really took the world by storm.
The music video managed to capture the song’s title by using bizarre choreography, confusing scene changes, and sometimes off-putting imagery. It helped raise the band to newfound popularity and acclaim.
Jamiroquai won four out their ten MTV Video Music Awards nominations in 1997, including the Breakthrough and Video of the Year awards. The band also performed the song at that year’s ceremony, and recreated the music video on stage.
2. The Lead Singer is Named Jay Kay, not Jamiroquai
Considering his frontman persona and sense of style, especially when it comes to headwear, the lead vocalist of the band was considered Jamiroquai. His name is actually Jason “Jay” Kay. That’s like calling Mark McGrath “Sugar Ray,” simply because he is the frontman. Aside from the singer, Jamiroquai’s original lineup also included band members Toby Smith on keyboard, Stuart Zender on bass, Nick Van Gelder on drums, Wallis Buchanan on the didgeridoo, and Alec Moran on pipeau.
We don’t blame you for thinking Kay’s real name was the band name, especially since he’s the only original member still in the band. According to the list of “current members” on the band’s Wikipedia page, Jamiroquai have had a number of band members over the years. Since they’re been a band since 1992, it’s no wonder we’ve seen different credits make up their slew of releases.
3. Twitter Proves People are Excited for the Band’s Return
Ever an adequate gauge of the public‘s opinion, Twitter reactions to the band’s return have been mounting. The ’90s band is buzzing again, and people are excited. For instance, check out what Katy Perry had to say:
Here are some more examples of people reacting on Twitter to the new Jamiroquai song (via NME):
While it might not be easy to accept that an acid jazz/funk band is cool in 2017, these reactions and the excitement around the new record shows that it’s at least possible.
4. The Band’s New Songs are Still Inspired by Science-Fiction
Just looking at a few of the band’s album titles, you can tell that science-fiction has had some kind of role in their music all along. Titles like The Return of Space Cowboy and A Funk Odyssey. In 2017, we get Automation, which fits into the same category.
In a press release, Kay spoke about the album’s inspiration and concept (via Pitchfork):
The inspiration for Automaton is in recognition of the rise of artificial intelligence and technology in our world today and how we as humans are beginning to forget the more pleasant, simple and eloquent things in life and in our environment including our relationship with one another as human beings.
“Automation” the single certainly makes listeners think of artificial intelligence. It achieves this by mixing in more synthesizer and samples into their usually more funky sound. The music video also shows off some futuristic headwear and imagery, really establishing this album’s concept.
5. Jamiroquai’s 2017 International Tour Dates
The tour seems a bit short, but the band recently revealed additional tour dates to the list. Perhaps they’ll make a habit of this as the March 31 release date of their new album approaches.
Jamiroquai’s 2017 Tour Dates:
03-28 Paris, France – La Selle Pleyel
03-31 London, England – Roundhouse
05-25 Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo International Forum
05-27-28 Seoul, South Korea – Seoul Jazz Festival
06-17 Athens, Greece – Release Athens Festival
07-09 Rotterdam, Netherlands – North Sea Jazz Festival
07-11 Florence, Italy – Visarno Arena
07-14 Pori, Finland – Pori Jazz
07-16 Aix-Les-Bains, France – Musilac
07-18 Locarno, Switzerland – Moon & Stars
07-22 Ostrava, Czech Republic – Colours of Ostrava
08-05 Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal – Sudoeste
08-12 Cornwall, England – Boardmasters