British electronic star Jonas Blue has become sort of a master curator, taking some of the hottest up-and-coming voices and elevating them to new heights with his sleek, modern brand of electro-pop. His debut studio album Blue, released in 2018, features a plethora of mainstream pop talent… a mix of both established names (Joe Jonas, Rita Ora, Liam Payne) and stars who were on the rise (Jack & Jack, Sabrina Carpenter, RAYE). Since the release of the album, Blue has released an impressive string of singles, including “Don’t Wake Me Up” with boyband Why Don’t We and “Hear Me Say” with LEON, while also serving as co-producer on the Ava Max track, “My Head & My Heart.” Now, he is back with “Weekends,” a raucous, dance-heavy collaboration with German DJ Felix Jaehn that came about while the pair were performing in Ibiza.
“It’s quite interesting… we kind of came out, musically, at the same time with our projects,” said Blue, on his relationship with Jaehn. “I think back then when he had ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and ‘Cheerleader,’ that was kind of the start of when I was releasing as well with ‘Perfect Strangers’ and ‘Fast Car.’ We had always been a fan of each other’s music and a collaboration was a long time waiting to happen.” After multiple projects discussed between the two just didn’t hit the mark, Jaehn sent Blue a portion of what would become “Weekends,” and Blue was hooked instantly.
“This is different, and it’s fun,” he said. “I’d been wanting to do something with those kind of rock, emo-type guitars on dance music for ages. We took the tempo quite fast… it’s well over 100 BPMs, it’s really fast. I just played with lots of different things while I was making it… the type of rave sounds I wanted on it.” The song, from start to finish, came together in just about three months. One of the songwriters, who asked to be uncredited, serves as the main vocalist. “I think there were six of us in the end,” said Blue, on how many people had hands in the project. “It took a lot of people to write a very simple song, but I think that’s part of the beauty of it as well… that it took x amount of people to just say, ‘No, let’s not overthink this. Let’s not overwrite this.’
The hook of the track is, simply, “I miss you the most on the weekend.” Written from the perspective of being at a weekend party without someone you care about, the idea is to just dance the night away to try and forget about it all. Blue views it as a universal idea, despite having had experiences that made the song hit close to home. “It definitely relates to times I’ve had in a relationship where I’ve been traveling the world, and I miss that person the most on the weekend,” he said. “Then, you always see that ‘FOMO’ comment. The fear of missing out. That kind of triggered me and I thought it’d be really cool to write a song about that. So, there’s kind of two spins to it, really.”
Whatever the response, Blue hopes the listener finds the good in the bad. “My outlook on all of my songs is positivity, togetherness, and being uplifting and energetic,” he said. “With this song, I think the emo, kind of rock guitar makes you want to feel quite sad and dark, but I just kept making sure we added a positive spin on it.”
Going forward, Blue has his eyes on megastars like Max Martin, Alesso, and Justin Bieber as potential collaborators, but is open to working with artists of any stature. “When it comes to features, I feel like I don’t hunt for it too much,” he said. “The ones on my records just come to me naturally. Sometimes I like using new people or ‘underground artists’ that no one has ever heard of, then sometimes I like the celebrity-type artists because of what they can bring to a record.” He has learned to do this masterfully, elevating a plethora of names, established and up-and-coming, in his music.
With the David Guetta and Bebe Rexha track “I’m Good (Blue),” which samples Eiffle 65’s 1998 single “Blue (Da Ba Dee), currently in a multi-week run in the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100, it seems we could be in for a new renaissance of electronic music making major waves the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 2010s with songs like “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia. “That’s a whole missed culture now,” said Blue. “What people experienced during the ’90s and even late ’80s with some of those songs. A lot of the new generation of today has never heard those originals. If you interpolate it in a different way to how the original was, it introduces that new audience to a time of music they would have never heard before. Similar to what I did with ‘Fast Car.’ I wasn’t trying to take over from what Tracy Chapman had done, I was trying to bring it to a whole new generation.”
Blue cites Calvin Harris and Tiesto, both megastars in the world of electronic music, as his main sources of inspiration. “If it wasn’t for Tiesto, I doubt half the DJs would be doing what they’re doing now,” he said. “If it wasn’t for what he did in those early days at the Olympic Stadium and that gig, and bringing the DJs up there. We’re kind of looked at as the rock stars now.” Rock stars who, at least for some, live in a constant state of shows, lights, the adulation of the crowd, and everything that comes with the touring lifestyle. The life of Avicii, the young legend who passed away in 2018, is well-documented now, and one can only wonder how the stars of today attempt to live up to his legacy musically while maintaining themselves in mind, body, and spirit. “I’m not here to get off my vice,” said Blue. ‘I’m trying to help you have the best night possible, or create the soundtrack of your summer. For me, my outlook is quite strong on getting involved in the scene of partying and the life that is easy to fall into when you’re a DJ. I definitely treat this, as much as it is a passion, it’s a job. I just keep super focused every day. When I’m gigging, I don’t drink, I don’t get involved in anything else. It’s a job, and I’m there to make people have a good time.”
Blue is set to enjoy a bustling 2023 with a Las Vegas residency, more shows in Ibiza, and, once “Weekends” has enjoyed its time in the sun, a steady release of droplet singles ready to follow up the massive tune. You can listen to “Weekends” on all streaming services now.