Jakubi’s Journey to Success is Guided By a True Passion for Music

Jakubi [Epic]

The members of Australian band Jakubi are aware of the pressures that exist within the music business. They are aware of the opportunities that exist within the music business.

But, at the end of the day, they refuse to let business issues – whether of the negative or positive variety – dampen the pure, unadulterated joy that comes from the most fundamental aspect of the music business: music.

Jakubi: A band guided by a true, humble love for music
Jakubi: A band guided by a true, humble love for music

A conversation with guitarist Robert Amoruso provides a window into a band humble not because it rejects commerciality or ignores opportunity but because it embraces the purity of creating and playing music.

“We started playing together purely out of a good time,” explains Amoruso. “We still feel that way; it’s just jamming and having a good time.

“I’d like to think people can see that when we play live. It’s not a job for us – we’re genuinely pumped to be here!”

The attitude does not serve to demotivate the band. Amoruso confirms that Jakubi is wholly committed to achieving its goals — and improving while doing so.

It does, however, provide the band with a refreshing perspective when establishing and pursuing those goals. Jakubi’s ambitions are rooted in what its members, as individuals who utterly love music, truly value.

Throughout the conversation, Amoruso stresses that the band has two key objectives. It wants to finish its debut album, and it wants to continue touring.

For some, those represent means to a more commercial-driven end: one must release a successful album and work the tour circuit in order to buy fancy cars and live in big houses.

Since Jakubi derives great pride from — and takes great pleasure in — the music itself, it does not view either task in that manner.

Something like touring is not work or a necessary evil for Jakubi; it is a reward associated with being a committed band.

“We want to keep touring, live is where we feel the most comfortable,” says Amoruso. “It’s where we’re the happiest. We [especially] like playing festivals; getting to share the stage with our favorite bands is great for us.”

A lively band

Passion for the live environment, in fact, serves to unite, drive and define the up-and-coming band.

“We record [accessible] songs and have a produced sound, but at the end of the day, we’re a live band,” explains Amoruso.

Amoruso actually cites the band’s passion for live instrumentals as a reason it welcomes the opportunity to expand internationally. He feels that DJ sets tend to dominate the live scene in Australia; traveling to America and Europe broadens the reach and thus provides the band with the chance to meet additional fans who value the same thing it does: the live experience.

Jakubi [Epic Records]
Jakubi [Epic Records]
Those who attend Jakubi shows tend to remark on the atmosphere, and the band believes it can make that atmosphere transcend the concert venue.

Acknowledging that the band’s existing recordings (including the recognizable “Couch Potato”) adhere to a polished sound, Amoruso notes that Jakubi will aim to capture a rougher, less-constrained vibe on its upcoming album.

“People may be a little surprised [when they see us live], because the recordings are a lot more polished,” explains the guitarist. “The live show is more of a party. We’re going to be touring with this album for the next few years, so we’re going to have to [inject] that party vibe [into the album] because we are enjoying it and people are enjoying it.”

United by the groove
When it comes time to make music, the members of Jakubi demonstrate an undeniable synergy.

The band’s clear chemistry and united vision do not stem from identical musical preferences. Amoruso confirms that the different members all listen to different artists from different genres.

Within those different preferences, however, exists a clear sonic commonality. That commonality explains why the members function so well as a collective band. It also explains why Jakubi harbors such a passion for jam-oriented, party-driven live environments.

“We all like different styles of music, but the one thing that we’ve really found is that we like very similar qualities in different genres and with different artists,” says Amoruso. “The bassist [Jacob Farah], for example, really likes electronic music and dance music, and he likes hooks and basslines. I’m really into funk music and soul music, and I like hooks and basslines.”

As a result, the members of Jakubi have, despite their distinct musical preferences, been able to settle on a few common sources of inspiration.

“We love Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, The Cat Empire, and a lot of different artists [in that vein],” declares Amoruso. “We just love music with an upbeat bassline, harmonies and tight hooks.”

Introducing the groove

Since the members’ shared musical preference transcends genre, Jakubi naturally hesitates to force its own music into a narrow niche.

Single “Couch Potato” recently garnered interest at US hot adult contemporary radio – and spent time as one of the format’s Top 50 songs – but Jakubi will not restrict its vision to a singular lane.

“We sort of fit into the indie-pop world, but we also get a good reaction from the hip-hop crowd,” says Amoruso of his band’s diverse, eclectic sound. “We don’t want to think too much about it and pigeonhole ourselves. We just want to make the tracks we like and let people decide for themselves.”

Thus far, people have definitely been deciding they like Jakubi’s music. YouTube versions of the band’s “Hoilday” have garnered over a million streams.  “Couch Potato” holds a six-figure streaming count.

The fanbase responsible for that viewership is international. Jakubi, which recently toured the United States, was thrilled with the response it received from the American audience.

“Everywhere we’ve been playing, we’ve had great crowds and people coming up to us,” remarks a thrilled Amoruso. “And we didn’t even realize our music had fans in America.”

Jakubi already derives incredible joy from writing, recording and playing music. The additional thrill that comes from global fan support adds to the pre-existing motivation. It also nullifies any potential “challenge” associated with the music business.

“To be honest, we’re just so happy to be here,” notes Amoruso. “We only had an hour’s sleep, but we have to remember we’re very lucky. There are many artists in Australia who will never get the opportunity. We’re just pumped to be here.

“Now that we have made it over here, we want to get better – as a band and as individuals. We want to write better songs.”

Those better songs may emerge by the end of the year. Jakubi still hopes to complete its album and then initiate another tour before 2016 arrives.

The goals, let alone the timeline, place immense pressure on Jakubi.

But considering the band’s passion for music and the live environment, that pressure is likely a burden it is ecstatic to carry.

Jakubi on the web:

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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