Think Fast JAK
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Think Fast JAK

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Band Pop Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Thievery Brings New Album, DC Protégé to Belly Up"

Preparing for the release of a greatest hits album and a North American
tour, the lounge electronica wizards of Thievery Corporation are stopping in
Colorado for a pair of tune-up shows at Red Rocks and the Belly Up in Aspen
this weekend.
The heralded DJ pair, and frequent Rocky Mountain visitors, are set
later this month to release “It Takes a Thief,” a no-filler 16-track best-of
disc that will remind any listener of just why Thievery has been one of the
few electronic acts to break through into the mainstream.
With tracks like “Lebanese Blonde” and “Sound the Alarm,” they’ve
created a sophisticated dub aesthetic over the past 15 years that exudes the
international character of their native Washington, D.C. — not a city best
known for its homegrown music scene. But Thievery may be on their way to
changing that, as they bring another D.C. native to the stage at Belly Up:
their freshly-discovered Think Fast JAK.
Think Fast is no Thievery imitation, but instead a poppy funk-based act
showcasing the soulful, booming voice of frontwoman Jessica Sands. The
band’s been working with a rotating cast of characters — including members
of Thievery’s live touring outfit — over the last year or so, putting
together workmanlike beats and simple melodies over which Sands shows off
her chops, and her strikingly deep, confident delivery.
Sands has a vocal range that can bowl audiences over with Aretha
Franklin-esque, straight-from-the-gut soul one moment, and cool down to a
fragile whisper the next.
“We are very rhythm-centric and I have tendency to do things
rhythmically with my vocals,” Sands told me last week. “Most of what we’re
doing now is trying to explore that and enhance it.”
The band’s been building an audience gigging around DC, with an
energetic stage act where Sands — tall, blonde, beautiful and unabashed
about flaunting it — is known to channel her inner diva.
Though Sands and her band, which includes her multi-instrumentalist
brother, are recording an album they hope to complete by next summer,
they’re focusing on putting together videos for the moment — four in the
traditional MTV style, and more live clips on YouTube.
As the dynamics of the music industry are in flux and pop charts are
growing less and less relevant for artists hunting for a niche and an
audience, Sands believes “anything we do has to start with a visual
Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, of Thievery Corporation, have meanwhile
served as mentors to Sands and Think Fast JAK — hooking them up with
complimentary studio musicians and the necessary industry folks, while
helping Sands perfect their live act.
“They come to most of our shows and they are tough critics,” Sands says.
Saturday night is Think Fast’s first time opening for Thievery, and
Sands promises not to disappoint her mentors, or the crowd in Aspen, where
she lives part-time.
“We’re excited about playing at a club where we’ve seen so many
excellent shows ourselves,” she says of landing on the Belly Up bill. “It’s
going to be the best of what we do, with a lot of energy.”
Keeping the crowd warm between Think Fast JAK and Thievery on Saturday
will be Boulder’s DJ Harry. Music starts at 8 p.m. - Andrew Travers


We will be releasing a European Style 5 Song EP in September. We have several live videos and a fully produced video for "Be My Muse" Which we shot in Los Angeles Earlier this year.



Think Fast JAK is a funk-heavy rock band based around the powerful vocal talents of lead singer Jessica Sands. They’ve earned a reputation as one of the best live bands to emerge from the clubs of Washington, DC, with an energetic, all-killer no-filler stage act packed with Sands original cuts like “Be My Muse” and fierce, danceable interpretations of rhythm and blues classics like “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”

TFJ is currently recording their first studio album and Sands is producing videos with her brother and bandmate Anton Kozikowski, who keeps Sands on her toes by infusing a healthy dose of sibling rivalry into their concerts.

Sands’ soulful, booming voice has drawn comparisons to pop sensations such as Sheryl Crow and Aretha Franklin. And the stage presence of this tall, blonde, bold diva with a sense of humor captivates audiences like few female lead singers can.

“We are very rhythm-centric and I have the tendency to do things rhythmically with my vocals,” Sands says. “Most of what we’re doing now is trying to explore that and enhance it.”

With boomerang vocal range that can draw you in with a hush and then bowl you over with soul from the gut, Sands was discovered by the popular fellow D.C. band Thievery Corporation. Thievery’s Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, icons of international electronic music, have mentored TFJ as they’ve honed their sound and their live sets.

“They come to most of our shows and they are tough critics,” Sands laughs. Think Fast recently opened for Thievery at the Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado.

Sands says she’s not boxing the band’s sound into any set categories, instead developing their songs organically and through the live shows. “I don’t think stylistically we’re saying, ‘We want to be more like Kings of Leon than the Black Keys or somebody,’” she explains. “We sit down with the lyrics I’ve written, and melodies in mind. Then as we play more shows we get in touch with what we want to sound like.”

Through the live shows, Sands and TFJ have honed their high-energy pop funk tunes and their growing audience has molded them into a band that rocks. “It’s really important for us to play live to get a sense of what we can do out there, and how people respond to it.”

Sands has been writing songs and singing in choirs since childhood, and her first loves in music were the folk classics of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. While Think Fast JAK has taken on a more upbeat tempo, the band’s success has resulted from the same visceral emotional connection to listeners that all music does. “When we were starting out I kept expecting somebody to slap me upside the head and say, ‘What are you doing starting a band?’” Sands remembers. “But people just keep coming up to me and saying, ‘Whoa, you guys talented and these shows are fun.’”