Next weekend, the Indonesian capital Jakarta will host one of the biggest dance music festivals of the year. Djakarta Warehouse Project 2019, which takes place at Jiexpo Kemayoran from December 13-15, features a star-studded line-up, which includes DJ greats Calvin Harris, Disclosure and Martin Garrax.
A possibly less familiar, but equally exciting act is Jonas Blue. we spoke to him by phone after he returned from his recent US tour, and he told us about working with Chinese musicians, running his own record label, and the upcoming festival set.
“We’re going to be putting on amazing lighting show and a visual show,” vows the Brit, whose real name is Guy Robin. “The great thing with Djakarta Warehouse Project is that I’ll be able to experiment. I’ve been releasing lots of new music recently, so I’ll be doing a lot of edits and mash-ups, and be a bit more creative.”
As well as this, his first Indonesia performance, and a Japanese tour early next year, Blue will delve into the Asian music world on one of his upcoming singles, collaborating with a Chinese artist.
“I feel everyone’s really focused on the Latin American market, but there’s so many other great types of music out there,” says the producer.
“I was very much inspired by a lot of music I heard coming out of China, and I just thought with my production and my songs, it could really work.” Although remaining tight-lipped about the project, he reveals the track takes a “more urban” direction while still retaining that signature Jonas Blue sound.
With a steady stream of singles following his 2018 debut album Blue, rest isn’t an option for the 30-year-old, who has also managed to squeeze in tour dates and festival sets, alongside overseeing his own record label Electronic Nature.
“I’m constantly working. At this stage in my life, it’s hard to switch off, even when you’re going to sleep, because you’re moving at a million miles an hour, and constantly inspired. I just want to keep doing things.”
But he’s prepared to put in the work to make his dreams and plans a reality. It took him four years to establish his brand, but having a record label as part of that brand was something he always wanted to do.
“It was just a matter of time, and I needed to make sure that I had that time to focus, and had the correct sounds there. It all came together on [2019 single] I Wanna Dance, and now I’ve signed other producers and artists – so it’s going to be a great platform.”
If there’s one thing that Blue is testament to, it is the power of hard work. Talking about his motivation he says, “It’s not about overnight success, it’s about being in it, sticking with it, being persistent and working harder than anyone else.
“I still picture myself as a 15- or 16-year-old, trying to make music. And I still love it; I was in the studio last night until the early hours.”
He ends our conversation with a direct message to young aspiring DJs and musicians out there, encouraging them not to give up on what can seem like an impossible dream: “Pursue music for the right reasons and good things will eventually come.”