You apperceive that upbeat, abundantly addictive ball clue with the simple melody that you aloof can’t advice but sing forth to? It’s apparently by Jonas Blue. Born Guy James Robin in Essex, the 29-year-old DJ and ambassador has a austere adroitness for authoritative absolutely the affectionate of feel-good pop ball that dominates boilerplate music these days, and he’s been churning out the crowd-pleasers to prove it.
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After skyrocketing up the annal with his awning of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” (who doesn’t adulation that song?), Jonas Dejected has been absolution earworm advance with absorbing velocity. Aftermost year’s big hitters included “Mama” (streamed 555 actor times on Spotify) and “Perfect Strangers” (576m), while this year’s were “Rise” with Jack & Jack (346m) and a contempo accord with Liam Payne, “Polaroid”. He’s aloof appear his admission album, Blue, and with huge audiences all over Europe and Asia, Robin has now set his architect on arise America.
GQ bent up with Robin over cafeteria at Sketch in London to acquisition out absolutely what his fail-safe blueprint for pop success looks like, advertent some absorbing things – from how he got his alpha in DJing to the actuality that he acclimated to assignment in a bar with Sam Smith afore they were both acclaimed – forth the way.
How did you get into music?
“When I was seven years old I played the flute, afresh by 11 I abdicate actuality a artist and got into DJing. It was absolutely from watching a programme alleged Club 18-30 Reps on TV. I anon realised I aloof capital to actualize beats and got my aboriginal assembly software from a atom box. I acclimated to eat Honey Nut Loops and Coco Pops and they acclimated to accord abroad the best prizes in there. One day I got a CD with a allotment of software alleged eJay on it. I haven’t chock-full aback that day.”
What were you like at school?
“I was terrible. I knew absolutely what I capital to do so I anticipation aggregate abroad was extraneous to me, alike to the point that I set up a radio base up at academy to alike accomplish my time there added beneficial. Aback aback I was 11 I had my aboriginal actual DJ job. Bethink aback you were 11, you were activity to your friends’ discos for their birthdays and they’d accept old men DJing? I saw a abeyant business there. I got business cards and a baby bureaucracy made, told my friends, and my dad acclimated to booty me every anniversary to comedy at people’s parties. I’ve still got all the affairs from every affair I’ve anytime played at. My aggregation was alleged Body Groove Discos and it was so professional. The arrangement had their name, address, deposit, aback they paid it.”
So what did you do in amid academy and ablution a music career?
“I got a job as a DJ in the City at a abode alleged Harry’s Bar through a acquaintance and it was great. I was alive there until about 2015. I met Sam Smith there; he was alive as a bartender. I bethink one lunchtime he went to the Disclosure boys’ flat and fabricated ‘Latch’, and that was it, afresh he left. I haven’t apparent him since, and we’re active to the aforementioned almanac characterization in the states, which is absolutely crazy.”
What was alive with Liam Payne like? You usually assignment with underground artists, so this feels like a bit of a step-change…
“It’s been incredible. As you say, I’ve consistently been the one to acquisition new artists and advance them, but I acquainted like now is the time to assignment with an accustomed act and this song was complete for Liam. I wrote ‘Polaroid’ with JP Cooper and beeline abroad I knew it was for Liam. Aback we got into the flat calm he was aloof an complete dream. He is the nicest guy. I tend to affectionate of beacon abroad from the celebs who are arses, but he’s not one of them at all. Alike aback we did The X Factor performance, he was aloof so bottomward to apple and alive like annihilation else.”
Did you consistently appetite to be a front-facing ‘artist’ producer, as against to addition bearing abaft the scenes?
“I’ve consistently capital to be a star. You know, growing up with idols such as David Guetta, Bob Sinclar and Calvin Harris, these guys are consistently appropriate at the advanced of their music; they were never aloof sitting aback in the studio. So that was consistently the dream for me, to be on date and performing.”
You’ve been authoritative massively acknowledged bartering dance-pop hits. Do you accept a formula?
“I try to acquisition actual simplistic melodies, which are the hardest ones to create. I consistently go for melody first. Whenever I go into the flat with songwriters, a lot of songwriters can get absolutely abysmal and go into added places, admitting I’m like a actual edgeless A&R man. I’m not abashed to say, ‘It’s terrible. It’s not hitting the mark. Let’s do it again.’ I won’t be there sitting like, ‘Oh, my God, I was aching by this babe aftermost anniversary and I charge to address it in.’ It’s not about that. I’m aggravating to address blessed music and songs that are aloof activity to accident it out the park.”
Do you acquisition that added producers in the ball and DJ apple can be aloof about bartering success?
“Honestly, I couldn’t affliction less. To bodies who are sitting there at home on their alive stream, watching me still and actuality like, ‘You’re a sell-out,’ I say that aback you’re arena in Japan and you’ve got 70,000 bodies continuing in advanced of you singing your song, absolutely you’ve done article right.”
How do you attending afterwards yourself on tour?
“I don’t alcohol or party. There’s actually no time for that. As anon as I accomplishment a show, I go beeline aback to the auberge room, do emails, I sleep, that’s it. I’m a workaholic. I’m additionally complex in so abounding added things above my own project. There’s a babe bandage I’m alive on at the moment, for which I’m controlling producer, afresh we’ve aloof started the almanac label.”
So what do you do to about-face off?
“I’ve started accepting into archetypal cars, so I adulation activity for a drive. My best contempo acquirement is a Mercedes 280SL Pagoda – I get all my cars in blue, acutely – it’s absolutely good. I’ve got three cars at the moment, including a Fiat 500, and appetite to body a little collection.”
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Jonas Blue: ‘I apparently accept 100 pairs of Nike Jordans’
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