Superstar DJ Jonas Blue walks us through his perfect soundtrack from Friday night to Sunday morning
Las Vegas… Yokohama… Melbourne… Barking. One venue stands out on Jonas Blue’s 2023 schedule – probably because it’s the only one that’s next to an Asda. “It’s not far from my house!” laughs Guy Robin, aka Jonas Blue, the dance pop fusion DJ and super producer speaking to us between gigs in Barcelona and Bali.
“I play a lot of places around the world but it’s always important for me to be able to come back and perform for my hometown – for the people of London and Essex. So yeah, Festival People in Barking is an important one for me. It’s weirdly the most nerve-wracking too. Keeps me on my toes though…”
Breaking out in 2015 with his cover of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Cars’, featuring Dakota, Blue topped charts around the world with his own cocktail of tropical house and dance pop. Multi-platinum mixes and record-breaking residencies followed, with this year’s ‘Weekends’ teaming Blue up with Felix Jaehn to give us the ultimate summer anthem of the year before the clocks even went forward.
“Weekends mean freedom” he says. “As soon as Friday hits, your whole mood changes. It’s that sense of possibility. For me, too, weekends are my gig, so I’m always chasing feeling throughout my life.” Who better, then, to build the perfect weekend playlist – the songs that inspired Jonas Blue’s latest track as well as the ideal soundtrack for any 5 to 9 shift.
Jonas Blue & Felix Jeahn – ‘Weekends’
“It’s kind of a different song for me, because of the tempo. I’ve never done anything that fast. So it was always a risk, trying new things out, but it’s just great to see that this has really taken off. The reaction has been great – seeing that shift from a very housey tempo to this kind of Euro trance drum’n’bass style. The energy just all of a sudden creeps up.
“I first met Felix in 2016, in Ushuaïa in Ibiza. I think at the time I had ‘Fast Car’ out, and he had ‘Ain’t Nobody’, so we kind of connected from that point because it was the start of both of our careers really. They were these massive global hits and we were just these two young kids, just starting out. Felix has sent me some songs throughout the years but we just never really had a chance to make it work. It just took the right song really. It would have been easy for us to do, you know, a cover of something and make it some kind of tropical house thing, but we kind of went against all of that.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it was just meant to be with this song, really. And I’m glad it’s happened now.”
Pachanga Boys – ‘Time’
“My first memories of hearing this was, I think, Ibizia 2017. My manager, Aaron Ross, actually played it for me. Me and Aaron met because he was the first house DJ on 1Xtra, and his knowledge of dance music is incredible. We were in Ibizia in 2017 and he said, ‘have you heard this song?’. We listened to it without stopping, without talking, for the whole 15 minutes. And it really took us on a journey. It was mesmerising. And it’s just always been a staple of mine ever since. I’ll be packing for my next trip and I’ll have it playing in my bedroom, and I’ll be on a long haul flight and I’ll put it on. It’s just that song. There’s instant memories for me, but it’s also a whole weekend in itself.”
Sammy Porter and Alex Mills – ‘Reflections’
“So ‘Reflections’ is an interesting one because it came out on my on my label, Electronic Nature. And ironically, I knew Sammy from when we were kids, probably when we were 15 or 16, just growing up in Essex, trying to be DJs in bars and clubs. However, ‘Reflections’ was a song I wrote with Alex Mills, probably about seven or eight years ago. And it was just sitting on my drive as a demo. It’s always been one of those songs that I just loved, so we sent it to Sammy and asked if wanted to do something with it. And he fell in love with it.”
Mau P – ‘Drugs From Amsterdam’
“I knew Mau P before he was Mau P, I knew his previous moniker, and I was a big fan of his music. So it was just so interesting for me when he came out with this song because even with Stretch, the Tomorrowland MC, on the vocals, it just felt like such a homegrown record. He changed his whole style to do something different and then just came up with a bang. He’s so talented as a producer and that track was just great. You know, it’s a staple, and it’s so overplayed, but I had to put it in there because nothing else gets you as ready for the weekend. I play it in every DJ set.”
James Hype, Miggy Dela Rosa – ‘Ferrari (Oliver Heldens Remix)’
“Obviously this was a massive, massive hit. But the reason I didn’t go with the original, and why we’ve got Oliver’s mix, is because it has those tropical elements that I love. And obviously, that’s a kind of constant thread throughout my music. It’s just great, great remix of a great record.
“One thing I hate is when people just take the original song – whether it’s a house song, a soul song something else – and they don’t get creative with it. Just sampling it, or just putting some house beats behind it. It’s not interesting to my ear. But this record is a great example of how to do it right. Oliver did use the sample, because it’s so iconic in ‘Ferrari’, but then he merged it with these kind of marimba sounds and brought in this kind of afrobeat in the drums. You know, that was very creative.”
Vintage Culture – Agape (Original Mix)
“I put this in there as the finisher because it was a big, big song for me over in December when I was in Doha. I was playing there for The World Cup, and it had kind of just come out then, so I put this track into every set that I played. Sonically, it’s just incredible. I think it’s the groove… it kind of reminds me of that Carl Cox finishing Space set. It’s got all that energy in it, similar in vibe to the Pachanga Boys track. I wanted to end on an instrumental that felt like something special. Something that felt like the weekend.”