There’s always a party happening somewhere, and Jakubi provide the perfect soundtrack. That’s why the Melbourne, Australia quintet—brothers Jerome [vocals, keys, talkbox] & Jacob Farah [bass, moog], cousins Jesse Rehaut [drums, guitar] & Adam Kane [guitar, keys], and longtime friend Rob Amoruso [guitar, keys, drums]—immediately attracted a growing audience with their swinging, slick, and sizzling sonic buffet of pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock, and soul since first emerging in 2012. It all started as a good time…
Jacob began hanging out at the Melbourne house Jesse and Adam shared. Soon, he invited his brother, while Adam reached out to Rob. Unassumingly coming together, they would rock all night in an upstairs jam room, inviting patrons of the bar below to experience the burgeoning magic. In 2013, they uploaded “Can’t Afford It All” to Soundcloud, and it swept the internet with 500,000-plus plays in a month. A Kygo remix would swiftly cross the 5-million mark as the boys received an invite to tour with Fishbone in the United States during early 2014. As demand for headline shows grew, they returned to North America and lit up a New York gig attended by Epic Records Chairman and C.E.O. L.A. Reid. They left the states signed to the label in 2015.
“I believe our live shows are our strongest point,” exclaims Jerome. “That’s where we’re really at home.”
“Because we started playing house party style, we feel super comfortable performing,” agrees Rob. “For us, it’s about playing in front of people. We’re just five friends making music together. On stage is where we all come together and the music comes to life.”
Their next 2015 viral smash “Couch Potato” racked up over 500,000 YouTube/VEVO views and garnered effusive praise from Perez Hilton. 2016 saw the boys land in Los Angeles to record what would become their appropriately titled debut EP, 61 Barkly—the address of the house where they first jammed. For six months, they collaborated with everybody from GRAMMY® Award winning producer Eric Hudson [Kanye West, John Legend, Dr. Dre] and Harmony Samuels [Ne-Yo, Chris Brown] to Royal-Z [Fifth Harmony] and FRESHM3N III [Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears].
“None of us have been to University at all,” Jesse goes on. “Working in L.A. and touring the states felt like our education. The biggest inspiration from traveling was the level of musicianship we got to see. There are amazing musicians in Australia, but the level is much higher in the U.S. It made us work harder and opened our eyes. There’s no better education for something creative than actually being there and doing it in front of a crowd and in the studio. It was a huge lesson.”
Produced by Hudson, the funky fresh swag of “Bank Account” kicks off 61 Barkly with a bang as Jerome’s voice volleys between buoyant guitars and resounding keys.
“It’s like a sequel to ‘Can’t Afford It All.’ You’ve got the girl, but she just loves money,” laughs Jerome. “You’re pretending to be a rich dude, working down to the bone, and doing everything to keep this girl. It’s a fun one.”
Bells and a choir of “Whoa’s” introduce “Uptown Lady” before smooth and sugary vocals take hold. “I love songs with a strong message that are poppy,” continues the frontman. “It’s not Beyoncé, but it still empowers women.”
Working with Samuels, “Pillow” is a reggae-tinged ode to everyone’s favorite bedtime accessory, while “Nobody Better” serves up a different kind of love song that’s equally soulful and sweet.
“We’re five individual minds who come from different backgrounds, but all want the same outcome,” says Jesse. “It’s never one style or genre; it’s just, ‘Let’s make the songs as good as we can make them.’”
Their unparalleled chemistry stems directly from a family bond. “It’s such a big part of who we are,” comments Adam. “That connection helped smooth the process of touring and making a record halfway around the world from our homes. Being a family keeps us real.”
Now, 61 Barkly is the place where the fun commences. “This is only the beginning,” Jacob leaves off. “It’s our proper step in the door on an international level. This is it, and we can’t wait to share this music with the world.”
Jerome Farah: Vocals, Keys, Talk Box
Robert Amoruso: Guitar, Keys, Drums
Adam Kane, Guitar, Keys
Jesse Rehaut: Drums, Guitar
Jacob Farah: Bass, Moog