Rabat - Whether it be the reserved exuberance of “Cosmic girls,” the delectable funkiness of “Virtual insanity,” the beatific insanity of “Runaway,” or the exultant cult-like philosophy of their early tunes, Jamiroquai remain to their fans the epitome of the subversive beauty of funk music.
Rabat – Whether it be the reserved exuberance of “Cosmic girls,” the delectable funkiness of “Virtual insanity,” the beatific insanity of “Runaway,” or the exultant cult-like philosophy of their early tunes, Jamiroquai remain to their fans the epitome of the subversive beauty of funk music.
Although fundamentally faithful to the basic tenets of the funk genre, the British jazz-funk band has lately found quite an interesting way of mixing and exploring genres from electronic and disco to pop and rock.
Hours prior to a superb performance at the 17th Mawazine Festival, the group gave a 15-minute press conference at the Rabat Art Gallery (Villa Des Arts) on Sunday, June 24.
In what sounded more like a fifteen-minute chat with old friends, they talked about their music, how it felt to deliver a premier performance in front of a passionate Moroccan public, and their conception of art and its place in society.
How did it feel to be in Morocco for the first time? What surprises did the band have for the thousands of Moroccan fans whose attachment to the band’s type of music has something of a religious elevation of spirit? asked a pack of journalists.
Jay Kay, the band’s leader, laughed encouragingly at the questions.
“It always feels good to sing, to perform, and do music,” he said, straddling the unique feeling of being in Morocco and that of being a celebrated music band whose dexterity has won them the admiration of a worldwide audience.
“We are tired. We are just coming off Ukraine, where we’ve just given another performance,” he said, but promised the band will do what they do best for their Moroccan fans: Music.
“The plan is to play really well,” they said. “It is interesting and refreshing to go somewhere we’ve never been before. It is exciting to be here.”
Jay Kay, who that afternoon spoke on behalf of the group, talked about the band’s origins in terms of a constant drive to “synchronize.”
The singer suggested that “A Funk Odyssey,” the group’s fifth studio album, was essentially about mixing, changing, and exploring unknown musical territories, new grounds—both for their own good as artists and the good of millions of fans who demand constant creativity and novelty of musical perspectives and instruments.
“I think it is difficult to strive far away from what we do. But this album is a bit hybridized. Well, it’s always been hybrid, really,” Jay Kay said. “I think in terms of drums and how different it sounds [from previous albums]. I listened to some of the albums from day one, and I realized how much complexity and changes were in it.”
To a journalist who asked about the group’s memory of Toby Smith, a founding member of Jamiroquai who passed away in April 2017, aged 46, Jay Kay said: “I saw his wife the other day…There is at least that nice thing that he has left his children—he has left three children behind–and his wife. There is a nice legacy for them to have. It is kind of there, the music does not go away.”