In an era of slow-building careers, Jonas Blue is an anomaly. In just two years, the double Brit Award nominee has become a pop powerhouse, a globally-successful songwriter, producer and performer with more than 3 billion streams and 21 million singles sales to his name. Since his reboot of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car exploded around the world in 2016, Jonas Blue – aka Essex-born Guy Robin – has proved a musician with a Midas touch. Four further consecutive hits, all originals, two of them Top 5 single in the UK, have sealed his position as Britain’s brightest new artist and one of pop’s most in-demand producers. Having helmed Craig David’s recent hit Heartline, Jonas Blue now splits his time between producing his own material and penning hits for other artists.
The release of Fast Car is the earliest piece of information we could find on you. How did you get into producing/DJ-ing/songwriting?
When I was 11 I got into DJ-ing purely by watching Club 18-30 Reps on TV. Literally, that show was my life. The great thing about it was that it would pan to shots of DJs like Erick Morillo, Carl Cox and David Guetta. I was heavily addicted to those DJs and basically wanted to be them. I got my first piece of production software for free in a cereal box when I was 12, and it took off from there.
How much time have you spent in the studio recording both Fast Car and Perfect Strangers?
Well, generally I start with the production and melodic ideas first. With Fast Car, it was very quick and I pretty much had the production finished within 1 night. For Perfect Strangers, it was actually the initial riff you hear at the start of the song is how I started off. With Perfect Strangers it went through a few stages of the production but when I got to the final version we all listen to now I knew it was the one. Vocally I can spend up to a week just comping and really perfecting the takes.
You also co-write your songs, with the exception of Fast Car, obviously.
All my music is co-written by me. I was a producer first – that’s always been my thing – and the songwriting has come at a later stage.
How do you learn to be a songwriter?
It’s mostly come from listening to untold amounts of Max Martin. I have a really bad addiction to any of his music, so that’s where my songwriting has come from. My label in the States, Capitol, have a really good relationship with him so we’re trying to make a meeting happen. He has collaborated with dance acts before like Zedd, so who knows. I’d love it to happen.”
As an artist with a fan base growing rapidly by the hour, what has been the most challenging thing to deal with?
I would say finding the balance between making music, touring, connecting with everyone on my social media platforms and having a little time off to get sleep!
After the music and lyrics were recorded and put together with the beautiful Perfect Strangers music video, what was it like to see the final product?
It was an amazing moment getting the final video back because it was actually myself and my manager who wrote the storyboard initially on a flight back from my US tour and then having the very talented Sashinski bring our idea to life. I am so happy how it turned out and I feel we can all connect with the story.
We just have to ask this! What made you chose to cover Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car? Is this a song you grew up listening to and just loved?
When I was younger it was my mother’s favourite song and it just stuck with me as being such a beautiful song. It was later on in life when I became a producer and DJ that I wanted to be able to play it within my DJ sets and also to create something new which is how it all started.
As a child, did you ever believe that you would become a popular musician or did you aspire to be something else?
I think you always dream of it. I especially wanted to create my mark on the world and for people to hear my music. I’m very lucky that I stayed determined and persistent and now I am at that place. I’ve always wanted to do music so there was never any option.
The music industry is a difficult one to break into and a lot of our readers would love to be where you are someday, where do you find the drive to be so dedicated to the music scene?
I think if you really love music like I do you really don’t have any other option. I literally live and breathe music. I worked for years day in day out for no money just purely the love of doing this amazing job. You’ll get a ton of knock backs just like I did but those are the times that keep you grounded and drive you harder to succeed.
If you could collaborate with any three artists, dead or alive, who would they be?
Let’s divert away from music, and have a little fun…If you were stranded on an island, what five things would you want with you?
A power generator
All my friends for a big party!
Do you have any bad habits you wish you could break?
Being OCD about everything!!!