Keyboardist/producer/songwriter Toby Smith, a co-founder of influential UK band Jamiroquai, died today at the age of 46. Smith produced his first record at 17, then signed his track “Kleptomaniacs” to London Records/ffrr.
During his tenure with Jamiroquai Smith, who was a classically trained musician who gravitated toward dance music in the late ’80s, co-wrote and played keyboards on top-selling albums including 1993’s Emergency on Planet Earth, 1994’s The Return of the Space Cowboy, 1996’s Travelling Without Moving and 1999’s Synkronized.
Citing fatigue and a desire to cease touring and pursue other projects, he departed Jamiroquai in 2002 after the release of the band’s 2001 album A Funk Odyssey.
Jamiroquai issued a brief statement on their website about Smith’s death:
It is with great sadness to hear and relay the news that original Jamiroquai keyboard player Toby Smith died on 11th April 2017. He was an original member of the band until 2002 when he left to spend more time with his family. He set up a recording studio at his home, started producing cider with some friends, built up a love (and garage) of classic cars and was a keen horse rider. This is a very sad day for all Jamiroquai fans. Much love to his wife, children and the rest of his family.
In his post-Jamiroquai life Smith went on to open Angelic Recording Studios based near Banbury. He produced and managed English indie-pop band The Hooisers. In 2013, he produced Matt Cardle’s third album, Porcelain, as well as provided writing contributions to several songs.
More on this story as it develops.
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