- 06 Mar 20
We're entering Spring – and pop songs are finally coming out of hibernation. DJ/producer/songwriter Jonas Blue is behind some of the biggest summer bangers from last year and is now back with Paloma Faith on ‘Mistakes’
Jonas Blue, born Guy James Robin, has a serious knack for making exactly the right kind of feel-good pop dance that dominates the radio these days.
Hot Press caught up with Jonas before his gig in The Academy on Wednesday to find out what the charmed life of an Ibiza DJ looks like.
“Irish crowds are always up for good vibes, the crowd here is just as rowdy as at the big festivals,” says the DJ.
Jonas Blue might be an unfamiliar name to some, but the British musician is behind the biggest songs released in the last two years. It all started with his tropical remix of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ back in 2015. Since then he has released songs such as ‘Perfect Strangers’ with JP Cooper, ‘Mama’ with William Singe and ‘Rise’ with Jack & Jack. Songs that have fueled our scorching Summer months last year. The producer has now racked up a seriously solid catalogue of hits, with nine Top 40 songs so far. His most recent chart entry was a collaboration with Tiesto and Rita Ora called ‘Ritual’.
It all started for him when DJing at Harry’s Bar in London, where he was working until 2015. There he met bartender/future superstar Sam Smith before hitting it big with 'Latch'. “I haven’t seen him since, and we’re signed to the same record label in The US, which is quite crazy." Jonas has successfully taken over The States with his all time favourite gig being Miami. “There’s something really cool about that place, it’s just perfect.”
His Ireland and UK tour is currently in full swing, with him returning back home for his next two gigs before heading to Japan.
“My new song with Paloma Faith came about last year, when I was celebrating my 30th birthday in Ibiza. I got an email saying: ‘Paloma- Mistakes’ and after hitting play I was instantly hooked. It was amazing, I had to be involved in it somehow," the DJ says. "It’s really a throwback to our younger years. We both have a great love for UK garage music.”
‘Mistakes’, was written by Boy Matthews and MNEK. “All the other people I’m working with were there from the beginning and have become super successful in their own right.” Jonas clearly forged his songwriting abilities in a very nurturing environment. “Sam Romans who I worked with since the start just wrote Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone you loved’ as well as Camila Cabello’s stuff.”
On top of Jonas’ wishlist stands Cabello’s better half Shawn Mendes. “I usually try to find new artists and develop them, but Mendes would be nice to work with.”
The DJ’s debut album Blue was released two years ago and set up some high expectations, - which made him hesitant of putting a new album out so soon. “You have to take a lot of time out to make albums, I like to move quickly with songs. Albums take a long time to make and you really have to take people on a journey with it," he says. "I’ll definitely do a new one sometime in the future, but I’m back on the singles for now.”
Jonas lives a high paced life. Mental health is currently a big issue in the DJ community, how does he deal with that? "If it got too much, I would probably just stop,” he says. “Not that I could stop.” His steadfastness to have a good time shines through in his sets: “I definitely play for the crowd, I always make sure it’s a party and everyone is having fun. If I played for myself, I would probably just play jazz music all night.”
There’s no clear formula for the perfect pop song. “I think you just have to understand what people want,” which is not an easy feat in the ever changing world of pop music. “One of my biggest idols is a guy named Max Martin, who has worked with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.” It is easy to say that all current pop music follows the same tune: “But that’s just how it works, I like to DJ a lot and see the different reactions in the crowd.”
Jonas feeds off of the reactions of his crowds to take his music in new directions. In that way pop music feels very organic to him: “I change my set in the same way my crowd changes.”
- ‘Mistakes’ with Paloma Faith is out now.