U.K. Hitmaker Jonas Blue Talks About His Career As An Artist, Songwriter, Producer, Remixer And DJ, And His Hits “Rise” And “Fast Car”

Jonas Blue
Jonas Blue
(photo credit: Annabelle Sadler)

In just the past four years, Jonas Blue has emerged as a talented, multi-faceted individual who’s had an impact as a hit artist, songwriter, record producer, remixer and DJ. Based in London, Blue is involved with the full process of writing, producing and performing music. He writes & produces music in his recording studio, and then he performs his songs live to enthusiastic fans at festivals and other venues. Notably, he has been nominated for several BRIT Awards.

Blue first became known in 2015, when his electronic, dance/pop version of Tracy Chapman’s class “Fast Car” (feat. Dakota) became a big hit in the U.K. and other countries. He then followed up that single with the chart hits “Perfect Strangers” (feat. JP Cooper), “By Your Side” (feat. Raye), “Mama” (feat. William Singe), ‘Rise” (feat. Jack & Jack) and “Polaroid” (feat. Liam Payne & Lennon Stella).

All of Blue’s singles display his vibrant, dance/pop sound and excellent production. Impressively, three of his singles—“Perfect Strangers,” “Mama” and “Rise”—have videos that have been massively popular on YouTube, with two of the videos attracting over 600 million views each.

Most of Blue’s singles are contained on his debut album, called Blue, which was released in November 2018 on Virgin EMI Records/Universal Music. His latest single is “Younger” (feat. HRVY).

Besides his success as an artist, Blue has also done popular remixes for many top artists such as Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber (“I Don’t Care), Zedd & Alessia Cara (“Stay”), Ellie Goulding (“Still Falling For You”), Sigrid (“Strangers”), James Bay (“Wild Love”), Jess Glynne (“No One”) and Birdy (“Keeping Your Head Up”).

In addition, Blue is a top DJ who performs his songs at major shows in several countries. He has upcoming shows in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Netherlands and Israel.

Blue is managed by Aaron Ross of Infinite Future Management, and he has recently signed a music publishing agreement for his future songs with Sony/ATV Music Publishing U.K. Sony/ATV UK President & Co-Managing Director David Ventura said: “We are over the moon to welcome Jonas Blue to the Sony/ATV family, having been fans for many years. His talent and track record is nothing but astonishing and he has proven himself to be one of the world’s most accomplished songwriters.”

Here’s the video of Jonas Blue’s new single, “Younger”
(feat. HRVY).

Jonas Blue Interview
We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with Jonas Blue. He tells how he got started in the music business, and how he co-wrote some of his hit songs. He also discusses his DJ career and performing live.

DK: I read that you became a musician and learned to play instruments at a young age. How did you get into songwriting, producing and being a DJ?  

Jonas Blue: I have always loved music (I used to play the flute) and I play the piano. When I was around 11, I got my first pair of decks from my dad as I had seen someone DJ at my cousin’s house and knew it was something I wanted to do. Then I won a CD of production software in a cereal box when I was around 12. I started working on that and I haven’t stopped working on music production since.

DK: Your first big hit was your version of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” What inspired you to create this new version?

Blue: Growing up, it was one of my mum’s favorite songs.  I wanted to create a version I could play in sets and the rest is history.

DK: I like your hit “Rise” (feat. Jack & Jack), which has a big chorus and an uplifting lyric theme. How did you write this song with Ed Drewett & Romans?

Blue: I always start a session with an idea in my head, and I wanted to create an anthem that everyone could sing along to, no matter what is going on in their lives. I like writing positive songs with an uplifting message and I love working with Ed (Drewett) and Sam (Romans). We have written a few songs together now including “Rise”, “ Mama” and “Perfect Strangers”.  I sit at the piano with an idea of what I’d like the song to say or feel like, and we take it from there.

DK: When you’re writing a new song, do you usually create the track first and then work with a co-writer on the topline? Or do you prefer to work with the co-writer from the start, and build the song from there?

Here’s the video of Jonas Blue’s hit, “Rise” (feat. Jack & Jack).

Blue: As I mentioned, I’ll have an idea from the start; we then work on the lyrics over a basic track idea and then I’ll go back and work on production after the session.

DK: I like the remixes you’ve done, such as “I Don’t Care” for Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, and “Stay” for Alessia Cara & Zedd. When you’re remixing another artist’s song, what’s your process in trying to create the best mix and sound for that song?

Blue: My remixes are more focused on my club sound, so firstly it’s about creating something I can play in my DJ sets, and creatively I’ll always add my interpretation of what musical melodies I feel work, which is always going to have my sound to it.

DK: I saw a recent video of you performing your show at the Tomorrowland Festival in front of a huge crowd. How would you describe the feeling of creating a great song in a recording studio, compared to playing that song live in front of a huge audience?

Blue: It is a little surreal, to have something I worked on in my house, played out to such a massive audience. I still get the goosebumps when I see people singing along and knowing all of the words. These songs feel like my children, so its always nice to set them free into the world, look around and feel proud of them.

Here’s the link to Jonas Blue’s site: https://www.jonasblue.com/

Dale Kawashima is the Head of SongwriterUniverse and a music journalist. He’s also a music publishing exec who has represented the song catalogs of Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Motown Records.
Dale Kawashima