True House Stories® Youtube & Spotify Video Podcast
TRUE HOUSE STORIES W/ DERRICK MCKENZIE | JAMIROQUAI
Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories® # 026
Derrick McKenzie you would probably initially tune in to hear about his Jamiroquai fame, but ’True House Stories’ reveals so much more about the man behind the drums of one of the world’s greatest bands in the history of music.
Learn how he first picked up his mum’s coat hangers at the age of 5 years old and started to rock out a rhythm. His dad’s music was pivotal to the music he grew to love. Still rocking the coat hangers at the age of 10, he started a band with his friends and practiced relentlessly with coat hangers on his mum’s stool which he used as a makeshift drum kit.
He had an amazing talent for rocking a rhythm, self-taught he played purely by feeling the vibe and practiced religiously to perfect his techniques. At the age of 15 he joined a band ‘Pure & Simple’ and pulled in his first semi pro gig. He continued with this band for a couple of years working a lover’s rock style – soulful style with an old school reggae vibe which really set the foundation for Derrick’s future in the music industry.
As any parent would dread, he asked for a drum kit, and was told to get a job and buy it himself. Determined Derrick, went off to work at Marks & Spencer, and he managed to fulfil his dream, saving £400 and purchasing his first basic drum kit.
During the 80’s, Jazz funk became Derrick’s new genre of choice having discovered bands such as Incognito, Brand New Heavies, Beggar & Co. Derrick joined a band called ‘Tranzyence’. Disco was in his veins though, Derrick had a real love for funk deep down in his soul and was inspired by bands such as Blood Stone, Brass Construction, Donald Byrd, Patrice Rushen.
Up against more popular genres, Derrick still hadn’t quite hit the success he was destined for. It was a tough getting gigs as Derrick was still very young and inexperienced, but he never gave up. He continued to feel that overriding passion for drumming, continuing to work early shifts to ensure he could always make time to practice drumming in the afternoons.
Determined to follow his dream, Derrick joined ‘Candyland’ -5 piece indie dance band who worked hard to get gigs, sending demos to record labels and music mags and pulled in a weekly residency at a club in London. The band recorded an album which resulted in a 5-week tour across America. At this point Derrick thought he had finally made it in the industry, still not knowing what his future held.
Moving on to a pop band ‘Freaky Realistic’, lasting 6 months , he then joined ‘Urban Species’ a rap outfit signed to ‘Talking Loud Records’ where he toured the UK and Europe as part of the rhythm section. Not completely feeling the hip hop vibe, Derrick landed himself an audition for a band he had never heard of. A band that would change his life forever.
After 2 long days of auditioning, Derrick was invited to became the drummer for the incredible band ‘Jamiroquai’.
Watch this truly remarkable show and hear what the future plans are for Jamiroquai, learn about how Derrick has continued to work during lockdown and remain a very significant name on the scene by working for Mi-House Radio and producing his own disco / funk music and collaborations with other amazing producers in the music industry.
Derrick is a ’True House Stories’ legend. Always determined to follow his dream and never giving up hope, he is an inspiration to us all.
Derrick started drumming at the age of six, banging furiously on the kitchen floor with two of his mum’s coat hangers, to a beat on the radio. From an early age, Derrick knew that drumming was the one thing he really wanted to do.
At the age of 10, Derrick was inspired by a friend playing in a reggae band. This encouraged him to go out and play his own local gigs. In the late 1980s Derrick joined a jazz funk outfit called Tranzeyance and later, he went on to play drums in a band called Candyland and were signed by Fiction Records.
He joined a band called Urban Species, a rap outfit from North London where he toured Europe extensively and also performed in Japan.
In 1993 Derrick became the drummer of the world famous JAMIROQUAI. The rest is to be told….
These days, Derrick is working on his own music productions, working and touring with Jamiroquai and also DJ’s on his weekly Mi-House radio show – The Rhythm Sessions.
Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) YouTube Video Part 1
Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai) YouTube Video Part 2
Biography Derrick McKenzie (Jamiroquai)
Derrick started drumming in the 1960s, at the age of six, banging furiously on the kitchen floor with two of his mum’s coat hangers, to a beat on the radio. Even at this early age Derrick knew that drumming was the one thing he really wanted to do.
At the age of ten, Derrick was inspired by a friend playing in a reggae band. This encouraged him to go out and play his own local gigs. Another friend decided to lend him a drum kit, until Derrick persuaded his mum that he should start hiring one. At fourteen Derrick joined his friend Toyin’s band. She was an exceptionally good singer and was already working with different reggae artists only he could dream of.
By sixteen, Derrick got a job at Marks & Spencer in East London earning £9 a day, working Saturday mornings from 7am until 1pm. Finally the day arrived when Derrick was able to buy his very first drum kit. With his dad’s help, he managed to get together £400 to buy a Slingerland 1960s drum kit. It sounded great and Derrick loved it! He would practise hours on end – well around four hours a day until his mum came home from work and forced him to stop!
In the late 1980s Derrick joined a jazz funk outfit called Tranzeyance. They did gigs and rehearsed every Tuesday without fail in Shoreditch, East London. He loved those days.
Eventually he joined a band called Candyland. He was still working at Marks & Spencer, but started to finish work earlier so that he could come home and practise.Candyland got signed by Fiction Records for a few years and released an album. But they got dropped, which was a trauma. But, they had a fantastic run and did some damn good touring! After getting over being dropped, a mate told Derrick about a pop rap outfit called Freaky Realistic. They did a few TV appearances and showcases, but Derrick still wasn’t satisfied.
Eventually he got a call from another friend whom he had played some gigs with. The band was Urban Species, a rap outfit from North London. All the guys and one lady were fantastic, especially live. They toured Europe extensively and it was such a great experience, doing Japan at Christmas!
In 1993 Derrick met a friend of a friend who was a top producer, two days later rang Derrick to ask if he’d like to audition for a band called JAMIROQUAI. Derrick hadn’t even heard of them at the time! So he did his two long auditions… and the rest lovely people, is history!!!!!