With percussionist Sola Akingbola drummer Derrick McKenzie (London, 1962) forms the "the rhythmic icing on the gateau" for Jamiroquai.
Derrick was born on 27th March 1962, with drumming in his blood. His career was kick-started early with performances on his Mum's tables, chairs, telephone books and biscuit tins! After a succession of jobs to support his drumming, Derrick became a full time and sought after session drummer.
Although Derrick did not get his first drumkit until the age of 18, he first picked up his sticks at the age of 7 and spent the next 11 years seriously practicing at home. His first band was called Toyin and after a three year stint with them Derrick went on to play with different bands for several years as a semi-pro player, and continued to practice “on telephone directories” which he said built up his confidence.
In 1990 Derrick joined Candyland and played with them for another 4 years before they disbanded. Having then taken time out for a year he started to do session work for a band called Freaky Realistic and another called Urban Species before being poached by Mrs. Kay, Smith and Zender to join Jamiroquai.
Lynchpin band member and drummer supreme Derrick McKenzie joined the band in 1994 for the recording of Jamiroquai's sophomore album Return Of The Space Cowboy.
When Jay was looking for a drummer in 1994 he knew straight away that Derrick was the man. Influenced by classic soul artistes like Patrice Rushen, virtuoso musicians like Prince and his drumming hero Billy Cobham, Derrick fitted right in to the Jamiroquai family. In fact he was whacking the skins so hard and with such enthusiasm at his first Jamiroquai gig (in Paris, 1994) he had to have his aching arms sprayed with Raljex! His favourite Jamiroquai show so far has been Wembley Arena 1999 and visiting Buenos Aires with the band in 1997 was also one of the highpoints of his career. Derrick last year married his lovely girlfriend Anthea and has a son, Kai, and a daughter, Jenna.