Interview: Jakubi

7 April 2016

Last month local Melbourne band Jakubi stopped by Melbourne University to fill North Court with their infectious hip-hip/pop/funk music. Brothers Jerome and Jacob, cousins Jesse and Robert and best friend Addam have been playing together for four years now.  Farrago’s Claire Jobling caught up with the boys to talk to them about music, touring America and making music videos

The name ‘Jakubi’ was named after Jacob. “Kind of,” he clarifies. “The way it came about was, my name in Lebanese is Yakub and a friend of mine, actually my ex-girlfriend’s dad played with my name Yakub and added an ‘i’ and swapped the ‘y’ with a ‘j’ and it came up as Jakubi. For ages we were looking for a name and we couldn’t find a name. I went to the boys with Jakubi and at first they were like ‘nahh’ but then after a while it really stuck. This would have been about two years ago. Because we had an old name –.” He tries to remember what the old name was. “I think it was ‘Cheese and Biscuits’ or ‘Siamese Rabbits,’” he laughs.  “It was something crazy.”

The band has been playing a few shows around Melbourne recently, including the Moomba Festival, which Jerome describes as an awesome experience. “The last time we went to Moomba we were six years old or something.” Their final show in their six-week Australian tour before heading off to America was at Federation Square.

When asked what the gig scene in America was like compared to Melbourne, Rob replies: “I don’t want to say over there’s better but I just think the music is ingrained in the culture a lot more in America. People just love gigs over there.”

“All the bands we’ve played with [in America] are crazy,” Jerome adds. “Every musician, you’ve never heard of them, there’s heaps over there, and there’s the craziest bands. ‘The Main Squeeze,’ I’d never heard of the band, but they’re literally the best band in the world. Crazy musicians, crazy singer.  It’s weird, when I’m [in Melbourne] and people say ‘what do you do?’ and you say you’re in a band they automatically go, ‘oh yeah, that’s your hobby, so what else do you do? What’s your job?’ Over there people say ‘You’re in a band, oh you’ve got the best job ever!’”

Following the tour, the boys will return home to work on some new music. “We’ll have a new song to release soon,” Addam promises. “Yeah I want to release a song!” Jacob agrees. “By the end of this tour it would be awesome to have the direction of if we’re going to have a new release, whether it’s an EP or a single, even an album. It would be good to have some new music out there as well as touring.”

Their latest single ‘Couch Potato?’ has garnered some attention online for its music video. When asked how they came up with the concept, Addam replies: “We all sat around and brainstorming ideas. And both my brothers are into making films. So that was Josh’s big break and we let him do it.”

“It’s the genius of the Kane family,” Jacob chimes in. “He’s amazing. We filmed it in Northcote and near West Meadows, in that industrial area. We called all our best friends and told them to come over to be extras.”

“On one of the main streets we got pulled over by the cops, from the show Highway Patrol.” Jerome recalls, “They said ‘oh you can’t do that,’ but we had to finish the film clip so we just went to another area and kept going.”

Jacob laughs along, “Facebook went crazy! Well we can’t really blame the cops because we were driving along with a couch tied behind the car with fishing wire.”

I thank the boys for their time and wish them luck with the American tour. Jakubi fans will have to keep their ears open for new music coming their way, judging from the band’s rise to fame over the last few years we’ll definitely be hearing more from them.

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