We’ve all dreamt of being smothered in glory, money and all the tinkered perks you find sewn into the title of ‘celebrity’. It’s a striking sensation of bitter realisation and anger when you see the sentimental smirks of ‘celebrities’ such as Jason Cheetham, that damped those once innocent dreams to wet sand.
It’s more than enough for some celebrities to hide away from the cameras, pull up their hood and let their work do the talking for them. In a very specific sense, anonymity can be the master stroke to a celebrities plan to put their art before themselves, and steer the attention to the reason they are famous, instead of actually being famous. For Jamiroquai’s Jason ‘Jay Kay’ Cheetham, however, feeling the heat of the spotlight isn’t nearly enough. If he had his way, he’d take that very same spotlight, swallow it, and have the concentrated beam of light shine out of his arse.
Back in the early nineties, Jamiroquai planted a brickwork patch of acid jazz funk scene, and fashioned a new, post-modern patch of dance music. Flanking towards the chill out sector of dance music, Jay Kay’s on stage charisma and quirky style brought a growth refreshment to the British music scene of the late, which was mostly made up of the expansion of Brit Pop. However, as is often the case, remove the thick layer of charisma and you’ll discover a dense plate of arrogance, egotism and ostentation.
Surrounded by controversy, Jay Kay has made more of a living from abusing paparazzi than for being a singer. In a countless array of confrontations with photographers, Kay has painted a black mark on his reputation. From assault charges and criminal damage, the script usually reads for itself. Jay Kay laps up the limelight and public attention like a malnourished cat, targets an unsuspecting victim, hides behinds the bounces and drops in the odd expletive. No longer a rock star, but a petty, school yard bully. Gleefully driving around in one of his many over-priced collectives, Jay Kay still accommodates the same, sanctimonious, sour smile that has soiled his public persona.
Yet, he is still portrayed as a celebrity, ‘gifting’ the public sector with his repetitive, manufactured and tasteless music. I used to enjoy the works of Jamiroquai, and it’s odd to see how much one mans personality can manipulate opinions. For the paparazzi, he can be a wet dream or a complete nightmare. Some will perceive him as being a goldmine for stories, scoops and altercation. I guess that’s the massive irony of this article. I’m debating the credibility of a man who, by any means, would love the publicity he gets in whatever form, including this piece of writing.
As it turns out, I used to quite like the music of Jay Kay and Jamiroquai. I found it to be an nice alternative to hard dance music, but a jazzier and more interesting take on chill out music, speaking from the perspective of a few years ago. As for Jay Kay, I remained fairly impartial as my interest never surfaced anywhere else on the man. To me, he just used to be a bloke who sang a few songs and said “ooh” a lot whilst I attempting to do my homework. It was only after seeing his media confrontations and interviews when I decided to rid the bitter sound from my ears, and find the devil behind eyes of an extremely overrated and pretentious individual.
He was cocky, arrogant, self assured and wore bloody ludicrous hats. Even watching him on the BBC’s Top Gear was excruciating. Colloquially talking about having a dozen Ferrari’s and how he once dated Denise Van Outen like it was the most natural thing in the world. His type A competitive personality boiled me up even more, as I knew, just knew, that he’d get to the top of the Top Gear lap times board as soon as he said “I’m going to be the fastest”. Annoyingly, Jay Kay is one of those people to which things just happen for them. The cards are placed perfectly on the table.
To my complete animation, determinism that can be criticised very heavily, as proved by a photographer whom was involved in Jay Kay’s most infamous incident. After someone had allegedly kicked Jay Kay’s new Bentley after he was leaving the premiere of Star Wars in 2006, Jay Kay quickly exited the vehicle and pointed for his hallow companions to give chase to the closest photographer near him at the time. Defending his honor, and in a very calm, resolving manner, the photographer contested his innocence whilst Jay Kay threw expletives over the shoulders of who described to be his “boys”. To Jay Kay’s misery, and to the hilarity of masses, every man has his limits. Reacting to the inundation of abuse, the photographer head butted Jay Kay square in the face. And just like that, there was a little bit of justice in the world.
Will Jay Kay ever change his ways? That’s about as likely as Bill Turnbull ever being prescribed ritalin by his GP. People will still dream of being famous, and living a life of glamour and allure. I just hope they’re aware of the Freddy Krueger’s that roam these dreams, like Jay Kay, don’t show them the real tragedy of fame. Yes, you get the money and the girls. But you can also become a dick too.