It was the later hours of the night when I walked into “Ricky’s Palace”. This is where the band Jaialai practices a few times a week. The room smelled of flowers. I was warmly welcomed by them, their visuals director, and an adorable pup named Summer. They have a super laid-back vibe and are down to earth. They indulged me for over an hour, taking a break from working on their new music, and their preparation for their first appearance at the House of Creatives music festival to answer my questions.
Jose Adames “Jovi”: 24 Venezuela – Guitar + Synth
Mario Lemus: 22, El Salvador – Bass Guitar
Oscar Sardiñas: 34, Cuban American – Vocals + Guitar
Richard Boullon, “Ricky”: 35, Venezuela, – Drums
Mikihumo, visuals and Summer, animal support
Music type: Rock(ish) I describe the band’s music as having the passion of rock and roll, and the purity of Indie soul.
Recent major performance: iii points 2017
Sounds like: What you play at an intimate party where everyone’s goal is to be in a moment of pure joy
Feels like: Vacation, being on a swing as a child, or running right at the edges of your dream and then waking up
Taste like: Chocolate + limoncello bursting in your mouth
Looks like: Flower headpieces spinning, and festival life
Smells like: Flowers, tobacco, and nature
Behind The Music: Jaialai
Where do you draw musical inspiration? It’s a mixture of Radiohead and Sonic Youth.
Out of your songs which one is your favorite? Actually, it’s coming out on the next album.
How did you get your start in music? I’m a 3rd generation musician, My dad is a musician, and my grandfather too. I don’t think my dad wanted this career for me, but it’s all I want to do. None of my family is in the USA but I’m here in Miami making music with our band.
Where do you draw musical inspiration? I really like The Doors and Soda Stereo.
What’s your role in the band? I’m “the elder”. Many of the bandmates either met me here or each other here in this house.
If you could be stuck in one year musically what year would it be? I always said that I wish that I was born in 1948 so that I would have been turning 21 in 1969. The year of Woodstock, and everything that was going on at that time.
What else do you want people to know? Vote blue!
Where do you draw musical inspiration? It’s a tough question. Stone Roses is one, another is Fela Kuti.
What’s the most fun part about being an artist? Releasing stuff, listening to what you did and enjoying it. When you create something it feels good to watch it come to life. Creating music that’s the funnest part. I also take pictures, and I write.
How do you want people to feel when you play? Euphoric, feel good about themselves, feel good about life.
Where do you draw musical inspiration? I’m influenced by the classics. Jazz and Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd among others. I like Jazz because of the freedom of it, but if I could tour with anyone it would be Black Sabbath. I would be throwing shit everywhere!
Tell me about El Salvador. El Salvador is a country that is rich in nature. That’s what I love most about it. You can live a very nice life there. I came over when I was eleven years old. We were lucky because we didn’t leave because of hardship, but I know that some areas of the country are struggling. My mom wanted me to learn English. My last visit back was 4 years ago. Were all going to go soon. The whole band.
How long have you been growing your hair? All my life. I haven’t cut it since 7th grade. I went to a Catholic school when I was younger, and one day they called all the kids with long hair to the office. One of the teachers cut my hair. My mom was so pissed.
The band shares its name with a game. The sport “Jai Alai” originated from the autonomous country of Basque in Spain. It arrived in Miami in 1924 and has since lost popularity. The spirit of it seems to have been resurrected in this Independent band. The sport is described as visually stimulating, addicting, a team sport. One thing that stood out to me about Jaialai was their ability to joke and laugh together while being honest and listening to each other. Evidence of a solid team. Being in a band is “like having 4 girlfriends. It’s like a four-headed monster creating one thing” explains Jovi.
They are also known for their collaborations with other artists. They worked with local Miami artist Orianna Montenegro for their band’s logo, the Jellyfish, partnered with several directors for a music video, and they have Mikihumo, the “fifth” band member whose sole focus is visuals. Their advice for other artists is to always be true and to be patient. It takes time to be good. They themselves are still growing, and during our conversation, they stressed the need for more venues in Miami to play and feature artists. They talked about how it’s improved recently, gotten more diverse, and they’ve seen a lot of support from establishments like Las Rosas, but the city needs more.
Do not miss your chance to hear these gentlemen play at the House of Creatives Music Festival, Saturday, November 10th and 11th at Virginia Key Park. It’s rumored they have a special surprise planned. Other artists to play at the festival include Foster the People, M.I.A., Chromeo and many more.