Posh country gaff, flash sports autos, stunning Stateside success and the soundtrack to every Mr Byrite in Britain :
all in a year's work for former "wanker" Jason Kay. Up until the autumn of last year, Jamiroquai's Jason Kay lived and operated from a swank London mews house. But the 27-year-old who, in the last four years, has sold upwards of eight million albums and who now regularly
holidays with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in Mustique, decided that a grand pop star statement was required.
Hence, he is now the newly-appointed lord of a magnificent manor deep in the hearts of Buckinghamshire, replete with 11 bedrooms,
staicases everywhere, innumerable little boy's rooms, and, as the place is over 400 years old and steeped in history, at least one ghost.
His driveway, meanwhile, is big enough to house his rather expensive, very fast sports car.
"Seven years ago," he grins, a self-satisfied smile settling between those pronouncedcheekbones of his, "I was living in squalor in Ealing
Brodway (West London Suburb). Now look at me..." In seven years, Jamiroquai have ascended from West London's club-land,
via three albums (Emergency On Planet Earth, The Return Of The Space Cowboy, and the current Travelling Without Moving),
which have placed environmentalist angst into a pair of cool trainers. The result? High street fashion emporia ubiquity;
universal love from Joe Public; and burblings about "authenticity" from a largely sceptical media.
1997 was a very good year for you, wasn't it?
You can say that again, if I'm not mistaken, Travelling Without Moving has now sold well over five-and-a-half million worldwide,
with a million-and-a-half here and another in America. Cleaned up at the American MTV awards (where Jamiroquai received four trophies) and just come back from supporting The Rolling Stones over there. In fact, we even met Jack Nicholson backstage in Las Vegas the other night.
He said he loved the show, which was nice. "Which was nice!" Ha!
Any insights into the secret of your success?
Well, I'm a great believer in the numbers three and seven. A lot of the big changes that have happened in my life have come in three and seven year cycles. Jamiroquai have been going for seven years now, and this is our third album. It's a little like, you hit the spot three times, then
you're ready to move on. We've reached a plateau. Our next step, I can confidently predict, will be the Big One. I'm at a real crossroads here.
Has success gone to your head at all?
No, not at all. If anything, I'm a calmer person now then I've ever been before. I'm also a lot more focused, less naive. I feel like a guy who's
been running and running and running. Now I've reached here, there is a temptation to ease off and think, Great, lovely house, fantastic cars,
I'll have a seat and relax a little. But if I do that, someone'll come up and overtake me on my blind side. So instead I just carry on running,
and I won't let up until I reach the finish line which, believe me, is a long way off.
Was pop stardom your destiny?
I think it was, you know. When I was at school, I had this vision that one day I'd end up on stage. I just knew that that was what I really wanted to do. I was always the class clown at school, the kid who made everyone else laugh. That was my sole function and I was happy with that.