He's got £15million, a fleet of Ferraris, a country manor and Denise Van Outen. But Jamiroquai's Jay Kay is angry...
about Tony Blair, Marilyn Manson, Steps, Hello! and lots more besides. "Denise eats all my crisps," he complains to Sylvia Patterson.
Today, Jay Kay, 29, him out of Jamiroquai, is The Dick Dastardly of Pop. He is in quite the worst mood he's flaunted in a public arena for years. Storming into a photographic studio in north London, he circles twice around nothing at all like a particularly pissed off killer hornet, throws
himself in a seat beside heat's tape-recorder, slaps his B&H tabs on the table and stares at his knees. He should be the happiest man alive.
He's sold over 11 million albums. Steps out with Denise Van Outen. Likes his motors. Owns 11 bedroomed Horsenden Manor in the Buckinghamshire coutryside which stands on 70 acres of grounds and sports a lake and a river with trout in. And now He's about to bring us Synkronized, Jamiroquai's fourth album, their jolliest yet, or, as the disco-frilled single Canned Heat has it, he's got "canned heat in my heels".
He should be laughing. But instead, his intense brown eyes are buried inside a frown, wispy hair whisking upwards, all dressed in black,
supping deeply on the tea of Tetley's and bile for a world gone berserk. The tabloids' "favourite funkin' Romeo" has a bee in his absent bonnet.
Heat... Come on, then, what's getting to you?
Jay Kay... Getting to me? What's getting to me? Doing this. I do not like press. I've got far more important things to do. It's tiring, it's boring.
I'm there to sing, make music. What's the point? The music speaks for itself.
Heat... It can also be great having something to say...
Jay Kay... It can be, but for me it's been mostly a rough ride - it's not exactly like we get the best press in the world. Why brother, to have things written about you that are mostly crap anyway? Like the shit I read the other day about getting engaged to Denise, getting married, all this rubbish, where do people get this shit from? [gets up, begins storming round in circles behind his seat]. Someone's always trying to catch me out. I'm The Prat In The Hat, I'm the white guy who makes black music, I'm the guy who's into the environment who drives a Ferrari.
Ha! But it didn't stop me, did it? Eight million people bought the album, they know what it's about.
Heat... This is ridiculous. You should be having the time of your life.
Jay Kay... Yeah! And there's a lot of things to do in life but sometimes it's just difficult .
Personally, all I want to do is just get on the road and get out of this fucking country.
Heat... What stops you?
Jay Kay... Well, luckily I've got a great girlfriend. Which is a result, 'cos the last one was an old cow.
Heat... Your relationship with model Tamzin Grenhill was quite volatile, wasn't it?
Jay Kay... A pain in the arse. There's nothing worse if you're in the public eye to have someone just shouting at you in the public.
It's the most awful thing you can do to someone like me 'cos I'm a Capricorn and quite reserved,
I don't like to be publicity embarrassed and I can't stand people that do that to me.
Heat... So Denise is a calming influence.
Jay Kay... Yeah. She does he own thing, y'see, whereas the last one didn't do anything. I get the idea a lot of women want
that these days but Denise isn't like that at all. We have a laugh together and that's what you need in a relationship.
Heat... What's the first thing you said to Denise?
Jay Kay... "I'm really stoned."
Heat... Where were you?
Jay Kay... Silverstone. Silverstoned. [Laughs]
Heat... And what did she say? "So am I?"
Jay Kay... She said "oh".
Heat... Did you have vibes for her before you met her?
Jay Kay... It's funny, yeah, I did actually. I didn't even know who she was, never seen her on telly, 'cos I'm never up that early.
So I said. "Yeah , I'll go and do this photoshoot." And I kept saying "Who is she? Who is she?" and people said, "You'll like her, she's really good." And we were having a real giggle so I said, "Come back to my place, I'll cook us some dinner". So she did.
Heat... And did you "cook" her dinner?
Jay Kay... I did.
Heat... What did you cook?
Jay Kay... Steak and chips, mate. If anyone was expecting a julienne of carrots and asparagus and medallions of monkfish they were very wrong.
Heat... What's your recipe for success?
Jay Kay... We don't see each other all the time and that's what keeps it good, when we do see each other we're always happy.
Never had an argument.
Jay Kay... I think we've had one, about a slice of tomato.
Heat... Too thick was it, or...
Jay Kay... Heheheh... I don't bloody know. Stealing my tomato! She eats all my crisps. She can't half eat, Denise, packs it away.
Heat... How does Denise deal with your bad moods?
Jay Kay... She's not around all the time. Got her own thing to do - some gangster film with Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Jonny Lee Miller, Jude Law. [the forthcoming Love, Honour And Obey] Heheheh, couple of scenes I'm looking forward to in that one. Unfortunately, my bird's always the tart. I can't wait for her to get nice prim roles, like Mrs Doubtfire, where she actually keeps her clothes on, for once.
Heat... Must be ace being reasonably young, in love and having 11 bedrooms to play in.
Jay Kay... Not 11 now. Half of them have been turned into something else. There's about four left!
But that's what I wanted for, thinking about the time in my life when I have got kids. And hopefully I'll have them with her. I think I will. Yeah.
Have to wait a little while, you have to be really careful when you do these different jobs, you have to have trust.
Trust is everything in a relationship. And I trust her. And she trusts me. Comes a time when a man's philandering is over and done with.
Heat... And yours is?
Jay Kay... Yeah. And I've done plenty philandering around the world. Oh yes, I'm not gay. Perks of the job.
But after a while that all becomes crap and you want the quality things in life. You've just got to be realistic. She's an actress and I'm a singer.
I have women throwing themselves at me and she has men throwing themselves at her, but it's a question of realising what you really want in life. I've every intention of being an honourable fella. Which is good. For me.
Heat... What's the main thing that keeps you together?
Jay Kay... Sense of humour. Also, we both work. Hard. If you've got one person that doesn't do any work, it's crap 'cos all they do is sit there and wait for you to come home, don't get off their arses. If I was like that she wouldn't be bothered with me. And vice versa.
Heat... Denise is a really brilliant singer, we hear.
Jay Kay... She's got quite a good little voice on her. In fact she subjected me to 20 minutes of old tapes yesterday over the phone.
Just left me there and I was shouting "Denise! Denise! Please speak to me! I've heard it, sounds great."
Great singer... heheheh, pretty bloody awful music. Really bad... sort of poppy soul, I suppose. Bless her. Puts me through torture.
Heat... And she doesn't mind you saying her tunes are piffle.
Jay Kay... [Carries on regardless.] Great voice, but I can think of a few other things I'd rather do with her than sit and listen to her tunes.
"Can we not listen to your tunes and just have a shag instead?" Much more suitable, know what I mean?
Heat... You once said "she rides me into the ground that girl", charmingly enough.
Jay Kay... Did I? Did I? Oops! Well, there you go. That's what people do. I'm in love. And I enjoy it. For once. [Veers off, begins shouting at length about OK! magazine.] That tripe. Hello!, they make me laugh. Every two minutes they're ringing up going, [whiney voice] "Can we come round?" No you can't. Fuck off. I don't want you round my house, you nosey bastards. It's just sell-out. Pathetic. Holding hands over the mantelpiece. There's no point coming in anyway, haven't done any decorating, it's a shit-hole!
Heat... How much did they try and tempt you with?
Jay Kay... 250 grand, which I told them to stuff up their arse, stuff it as far you can get it up your arsehole.
Heat... So it isn't "Lord Of The Manor" mahogany antiques and gold bath taps akimbo.
Jay Kay... No way! There's a whole lifetime to fill that place up with stuff.
Heat... What do your millions mean to you?
Jay Kay... Dunno, Where are they? You've been reading too many stories in the papers.
Heat... The Observer had you down as the 9th richest person under 30, with a fortune of £15 million.
Jay Kay... My accountant's probably got a holiday home in Bermuda.
Heat... D'you have inner battles about whether you deserve all that loot?
Jay Kay... I employ 30 people, that's a lot of fucking people, for a 29-year-old. Money isn't everything, I've got to be honest with you,
I've bought a house, built a studio, I still have a bloody mortgage. And if the album just flopped I'd be fucked.
For every pound I get paid, I end up with 30p after I've paid the tax man, management, accountants, lawyers, the band.
Not quite the same is it? So for every million pouinds I earn, 700 grand goes out the window.
Heat... I take it you're not a fan of Labour's tax reforms?
Jay Kay... The Government is full of shit. And so are all those fucking poxy pop stars going down to 10 Downing Street.
Now they've put the tax up and it affects people who do my job, I wouldn't be going round there drinking, I'd be going round they're saying,
"What the fuck are you gonna do about it, Tony?" [Storming back, now with hair in lovely pig-tails.] Marilyn Manson! Fucking toss-pot!
Anybody who's into Satan's got to be twisted and weird!
Heat... Do you hold him responsible for the Colorado school massacre?
Jay Kay... Absolutely! But that's just America. That some bored little American white trash would go and do shit like that, 'cos that's all they do
all day, they're just boring! Load of wankers [Begins hawking at groin where his underpants pants are, apparently, stuck]...
Heat... So what about the pop revolution? Would you recognise H from Steps if he walked in the room?
Jay Kay... Steps? I'm not interested in Steps. No interest whatsoever. I don't give a shit! Take another ABBA chord why don't you and roughly sound like ABBA. Bloody hell! It'll all end, people will get bored. [begins doing impersonation of someone standing on a stage doing absolutely nothing.] What a thrilling performance. In a long coat. That's what I'm gonna do next year, fuck it. I'm gonna get out there and croon.
Heat... So. You've almost made it to 30?
Jay Kay... 30 on the 30th of December. I spend a day as 30 in the old millennium, the rest of my life in the new one.
All that there. I've done alright up to 30.