Masterclass with Jamiroquai Rhythm Section – Boom ‘N’ Twang

4 February, 2016

Guitarist Rob Harris and bassist Paul Turner have clocked up a combined 25 years as acclaimed stars of one of the world’s biggest funk bands, Jamiroquai, as well as playing for and recording with legends such as Tina Turner, Bryan Ferry, Robbie Williams, George Michael, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue and Gary Numan.

We were thrilled to have them join us here at BIMM Berlin for their ‘Boom n Twang’ Masterclass where they discussed their experience in the music industry, answered a round of fantastic questions from the audience, and even played alongside some of our very talented BIMM Berlin students.

Rob and Paul each told the audience their stories about how they came to be in Jamiroquai. Rob’s name was put forward by his agent, but because he was too scared of possible rejection he nearly didn’t attend the audition. Thankfully, he took the leap and was successful, but he offered this advice for those students in a similar position:

“If you’re going for an audition and you really want it, you have to learn as much of the material as possible. Preparation is the key!”

Paul said that at his audition there were five songs, which he prepared for, plus one unknown song. He stayed calm, improvised, played creatively, and managed to pull it off, saying:

“You have to be able to adapt. Musicians want to see what you’re bringing to the table. Otherwise they get bored.”

Rob and Paul spoke about how important networking is in the music industry. Paul said most of his jobs as a session musician come through networking with people he knows, and that it’s really vital to do as many gigs as possible in order to show people your talent:

“Constantly do different and varied gigs. You’ve got to be strong and have a big presence, and on stage there is nowhere to hide. Always be aware that there may be someone who comes to the gig who you may get a job from. You will often get jobs through reputation, and it’s all about gaining trust.”

The conversation then moved on to changes in the music industry over the last few decades and how these have affected musicians. Rob believes that musicians have to evolve and develop new skills because they now need to be more entrepreneurial – budgets have decreased because people pay less for music. Paul agreed with him, stating that with the decrease in album purchases, artists now get most of their income from live gigs, while record companies are making money from selling gig merchandise.

The feedback from the class was amazing, with one student stating: “I really admired the interaction and chemistry between the two of them. You could tell they were having so much fun with it,” while another lucky student was thrilled to be chosen to play with the boys: “I didn’t expect that I would get a chance to play with Rob and Paul. It was great!”

It sounds like both Rob and Paul have some brilliant projects on the horizon, with upcoming gigs, tours and recording sessions planned, but here at BIMM Berlin we’re most excited to hear that the boys will be working on a brand new Jamiroquai album this year… and we can’t wait to learn the release date!

Thanks so much for visiting us Rob and Paul – come again soon!

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