Australian Band Jakubi Is Like 5 Clones of Bruno Mars
Ain’t nothing like five hot boys who can sing, play instruments, and have Australian accents. Throw in some laid back infectious tunes, and you have the latest breakout band, Jakubi. Don’t get it twisted though, they are far from a boy band. If you were to take Bruno Mars, clone him five times, and then turned him into a smooth group that can play piano, guitar, drums, and more – you’d probably have something similar to Jakubi.
They hit us with a new EP just last month, entitled 61Barkly, which has four fresh tracks with delicious helpings of soul, melodic keys and guitars, topped off with those smooth vocals we are obsessed with.
The quintet of two brothers, two cousins, and one really good friend collaborated with industry top producers who’ve worked with Kanye, Dr. Dre, John Legend, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, and more.
With a list like that, you can see why this EP should be on your list of downloads. Check out the EP, the music video, and then peep our Q&A with Addam, Robert, Jacob, Jerome and Jesse below!
61Barkly Track listing
1) Bank Account
2) Uptown Lady
4) Nobody Better
Seems like almost everyone in the band is related (brothers, cousins, etc.), what made you all decide to be a band?
Addam: Yep. Me and Jesse are cousins. Jacob and Jerome are brothers, and Rob is sorta like the best friend that we grew up with.
Rob: I don’t think we ever really “decided” to do anything, was more just that once we started making music together, everything else outside felt a little boring.
Addam: We used to just play parties for our friends. Nothing too serious. Then it just kept growing and growing. So we just kept jamming. Me and Rob started playing in bands about 15 years ago, more sorta punk and indie style. Our drummer left our band one day, and Rob was like “Hey doesn’t your cousin drum?” Jesse is my cousin. The three of us played together for a while before meeting Jacob and Jerome through a friend. They were DJing, producing, and making more electronic style music. They had never played in a band before, actually Jerome had never even sung before [laughs].
Rob: Yeah I remember Addzy calling me up to see if I wanted to go have a jam. I was sorta in a different music project at the time, but as soon as we started jamming together, I was like “Yep I’m good to go boys” [laughing]. It just felt really really natural. Instant vibe!
Addam: And that was the birth. four years later here we are.
We’ve heard that the name 61 Barkly is the address where you decided to be a band. What’s up with that?
Jacob: So the friend that we all met through was actually my ex-girlfriend. We moved in with Addzy and Jesse. The address was 61 Barkley. That was where it all began. Me and Addzy would just sit around playing on Ableton making beats. My ex-girlfriend used to get upset with me because we would just be making music all night and not hangin’ with her [laughs]. We just wanted to call it that because that’s where it all started, it’s a bit of a representation of where we came from.
Describe your sound/
Jerome: Ummmmm I would say maybe N.E.R.D meets Stevie Wonder meets Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Breakbot. We have heaps of different influences though. My dad was a massive influence for me. He is a crazy dancer and always had stuff on. Earth Wind and Fire, Zap and Roger, James Brown, just all these funk artists. I didn’t realize at the time, but yeah in the long run he has had a huge impact on me. But we all like a lot of different stuff. These boys grew up on more rock stuff, Blink 182, Incubus, Rage Against The Machine. Pretty all over the place.
If “Nobody Better” was on a movie soundtrack, set to a specific scene maybe, what would it be and why?
Jacob: It would be the last scene of the movie when the guy realizes that there’s nobody better and it’s raining.
Rob: So much rain.
Jerome: And he is on his knees in a puddle.
Jacob: Then she turns around and they both just run at each other, and he picks her up and they kiss. But they had to be separated, couldn’t be together. So he leaves her a little letter, and she gets on the plane.
Jerome: But he sent the letter with doves.
Rob: [laughing] Wow.
Jacob: Then she gets the letter, opens it, and it just says there’s ‘nobody better.’
Rob: That’s it, roll credits.
We’ve heard “Nobody Better” is about love. Tell us more about that.
Rob: Ummm well it’s pretty much a straight up love track. Wanting someone and just realizing that they are the best and there is nobody better than them. Then that feeling you get when you know you can’t have them, so you sorta, in a strange way wish you never met them. A little bit of that bitter sweet vibe.
Addam: And wondering if that person is thinking the same thing about you.
Since you guys kind of have the ultimate digital platform discovery story, do you think it’s easier to be an artist in the day and age of digital music?
Rob: Yeah I think times have definitely changed, and you gotta keep up. I always hear artists and bands complaining about how hard it is because “You don’t make money from record sales like you use to.” This is the downside to the “new age industry.” The up side, which was a huge thing for us when we were starting out was, as independent artists we were able to have our music heard and build a fanbase all over the world, just by putting our music online. I don’t know if you would say it’s easier now to be an artist, but I think it is 100% easier to be heard. What you do once people hear you is a different story. Because it’s so easy now to make music from home, for free. Put tracks up online, for free. Online marketing and promo now is basically a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs and play-listing, and is also free…Every single kid is fighting for the spotlight. Which is great because we are pushing creativity and sounds further and further, but ultimately, I think it’s like this: Easier to get big, harder to stand out!
Do you believe that every song is about something?
Jacob: I don’t think every song has to be about something. Some songs are more just for fun. But I think when you are able to really connect with something, that’s the best. A catchy hook is always cool, ya know, but if it’s just candy canes and unicorns all the time…I mean everyone’s different, but I like a bit of substance. That’s something we really try to put in our music. I play bass in the band, but I know that Jerome and Robby, they do more the vocals, and they always really try to make sure there’s a little something that can connect with the people.
Have you ever done anything using your musical abilities to convince a girl to go out with you? Do you still use your music abilities to entice the ladies? and of course we wanna know, which ones of you are single?
Addam: Yep all the time [laughs]. I steal quotes from other artists
Jacob: Sometimes after the show I’m real sweaty and the girls don’t like me, so ya need a little help [laughs]. Three of us are single, the other two are taken.
Have you found out anything weird about each other while being on tour? As in, does anyone snore loudly? Does anyone get majorly lost when driving?
Jacob: Well, I’ve lived with Jerome for 25 years, he’s my brother, I know him back to front. I didn’t know what it was like to live with Robby. Robby is pretty spot on.
Rob: Thanks, man.
Jacob: Robby is good ‘cause he has everything in order, which is sick. Addzy just kinda goes unnoticed sometimes.
Rob: Addzy is a bit of a chiller, just happy sitting quiet for a while. But we’ve lived together before, so I knew that.
Addzy: Jacob and Jerome love sleeping, hard work in the morning. Robby is a workaholic and can not sit still for very long.
Rob: I think the biggest thing we have all learned is, ya can’t speak to anyone if they are hungry. When the hunger happens it’s just like, “stop everything, let’s eat,” and then we are happy again.
What is your favorite thing about this EP? Any favorite songs or lyrics?
Addam: My favorite thing about the EP is that it’s finally out. Been working on tracks for so long.
Jerome: Favorite song is “Bank Account,” easy.
Addam: Yep, “Bank Account” was so natural and straight away just felt good.
Jacob: We loved working with Eric Hudson on that track.
Rob: Yeah, Eric Hudson is such a talented dude, as soon as he walks in the room ya just feel that electricity.
What are you guys most excited about for the tour?
Rob: I’m really pumped to be supporting another band. We haven’t done a lot of that. Will be heaps of fun.
Jerome: Yeah, it’s gonna be sick being a support band, chilling, being on the road and playing different cities every night.
Addam: Playing live is where it’s at. That’s our strong point.
How can we stalk you boys?
Rob: You can find all Jakubi news on our Facebook, wearejakubi.com, @Jakubimusic on Instagram, Twitter & SnapChat. All the usuals.
For upcoming tour dates visit http://www.wearejakubi.com/tour/