London – By his own admission, Jason Kay and Jamiroquai have been away for a long time. But four years after a hits collection completed his contractual obligations at Sony Music, which signed him on in 1992, he’s finally ready for his comeback.
Kay spent his hiatus training to become a helicopter pilot. It’s the latest obsession for the self-confessed adrenaline junkie, along with a prized collection of automobiles at his 32ha Buckinghamshire estate, located west of London.
But it hasn’t all been thrill-seeking during the break. Kay applied the same rigour and passion to the recording of Jamiroquai’s new album, Rock Dust Light Star, which will be released worldwide outside of North America on November 1 on Mercury/Universal.
Recorded largely in his home studio, it’s something of a back-to-basics affair, by his standards. In all, Kay spent almost two years and $794 000 (R5.5 million) making the album.
Two different singles will offer fans a preview of the album. Internationally, the fast-paced White Knuckle Ride – featuring Kay showing off his piloting skills in the video – started rolling out on August 23, hitting number one in Italy and also charting in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
White Knuckle Ride has been picking up specialist airplay in the UK, but the official single there is the sun-kissed ballad Blue Skies.
Jamiroquai has career album sales of 2.6 million in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and 4.4 million in the UK, according to the Official Charts Co.
Hit singles included Cosmic Girl and the Grammy Award-winning Virtual Insanity.
Once dubbed “the cat in the hat” – he still wears a variety of elaborate headgear on stage – Kay is also full of jittery enthusiasm about resuming touring, although he says things will be more “laid back” than the hyperactive performances of old.
“At 40 years old, you don’t want to be doing stuff that you did when you were 19,’’ he says. “You’ve got to grow with the music. Even I forget Cosmic Girl was 13 years ago. A lot changes in that time.”