Social media propels Jakubi

By John Benson

These days the music industry is moving at a frenetic pace.

The latest band to parlay social-media momentum into the global spotlight is Australian band Jakubi, which formed less than two years ago in Melbourne.

Now the success of the outfit’s latest single, “Couch Potato,” which has racked up more than 2.5 million video plays, brings the act to America for its first stateside tour. The Jakubi Winnebago comes through Youngstown for a Party on Plaza show Friday.

“We got this [Winnebago] for a steal on Craigslist,” said Jakubi guitarist-keyboardist Robert Amoruso. “We’ve been really lucky.”

Real lucky indeed considering it was just last year when the newly formed outfit uploaded its debut single to Soundcloud, and by the end of the second week, it already had more than 50,000 plays. The same sort of response followed with subsequent singles, which in turn caught the attention of record labels in Australia, as well as America and Europe.

What makes Jakubi so unique is its variety of sound that combines elements of tricky funk and hip-hop drums with a strong pop melody. The group’s debut EP, which will feature a track co-written and co-produced by Mike Posner, is due out early next year.

“I think our sound just comes from our different backgrounds,” Amoruso said. “It’s also something that when we started jamming, we didn’t have a songwriter. We didn’t have one person writing, so it was just like making tunes and producing music together.

“All the five members had these different influences that we put into a blender and pushed the Jakubi button. Then all of these sounds happened and blended together. It’s not something that I feel we can really manufacture or make happen. I think we fluked it, to be honest.”

A fluke or not, Jakubi is touring the states to audiences who are more than just slightly familiar with the music.

“We weren’t expecting too much, but our minds have been absolutely blown with all of the crowds who came out to see us and all forms of people we talked to at the shows,” Amoruso said. “It’s actually been really surreal for us. We’ve only been together for about two years and to come out of Melbourne and have people know one or two songs is outrageous to us.”

Considering this is the group’s first stateside tour, the guys must be having a blast living the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.

“To be honest, I think the aim of this tour is to just get a shower everyday because we’re traveling in and out of the [Winnebago], which is our home,” Amoruso said. “So I think the game we’re playing is at every show we’re trying to meet someone who would give us a shower. That’s our focus.”

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