Ask any self-respecting funk appreciator for the highlight of last year and you can bet your last Herbie Hancock Headhunters LP that
the name Jamiroquai would surface immediately. The Acid Jazz single was a real corker, the didgeridoo led intro making way for a
blistering dance groove matched by Jamiroquai's raucous vocal delivery. What was even more fantastic about this stunning
debut was that Jamiroquai (real name Jason Kay) wrote, arranged and mixed the song himself... aged only 21!
Well now the eagerly awaited follow-up titled Too Young To Die is due for release, and once again Kay's arranged, mixed and done the whole caboodle - with more depth and complexity than betrays his age and recording experience. He of coourse treats it all with an air
of nonchalance, "Yeah the arrangements were a real challenge," he says. "I did all the brass and most of the strings.
I'm not gonna take any short cuts and do retro guitar groove shit. The idea of the music is that in a year or two it'll still sound fresh."
While Jamiroquai's musical talents are there to be admired, so too is the depth of his songwriting.
For behind the kitsch hat and devilish grin lies a social conscience itching to express itself on record.
With Too Young To Die, governments and world leaders across the globe come in for some heavy flak, and Kay is in no mood for
letting up. "It's basically another one of my digs," explains Jamiroquai, "because we've come to a stage when nobody wants
to go to war anymore but yet there are these governments and arms dealers making a fortune. These people are taking the piss.
Why should there be all this fighting? There are politicians who sit there signing pieces of paper sending people of my age out to war. The song's a dig against all this arms dealing and fighting, why can't we use armies to mobilise food for people.
If these people want a war then why can't they have a war against poverty?
I just want people to stand up and say 'we're not having it!' You know we've had the Sixties and the Seventies where people said the same things, but the media tried to twist it all around and say we were all on drugs and we didn't know what we were talking about.
Well now we fucking do know what we're talking about 'cause I'm straight as a die and I want to stay that way so people know I'm not
talking shit. The lyrics aren't particulary cool with double meanings and all that, their just straight and simple - that's the message."
Jamiroquai now has only a month or so to finish the debut LP at major label Sony,
who signed him for a staggering eight album deal! Surely he must feel just a touch pressurised?
"I am a little worried," he laughs "'cause I got a lot of fucking things to do! It's such easier when you're one of these people who says
'we're doing the album and that's it' but we're doing gigs - doing it how it should be done otherwise you shouldn't be getting paid."
Fiercely determined to bring an intense, positive and meaningful direction to funk as a whole,
Jamiroquai has one final message to those artists, in particular the Shamen's Mr C, who dabble with rootsless, plastic, synthetic noise.
"I've seen these people who go on the stage with their boom, boom, boom sound and they are shit! If that's the competition then they'd better watch out 'cause I'm on their cases and I'll make them look stupid. The Shamen - they're diabolical and that Mr C, he's fucking useless. Any day that fucker wants to try it on with me on stage God help him. He can't rap, he can't sing, he's shit.
People like him shouldn't be in the business." Have you heard the news today...