Jonas Blue on his fast track to stardom

MusicBy Eddie Rowley
Jonas Blue
Jonas Blue

BRITISH DJ and producer Jonas Blue has scored a worldwide smash hit with his version of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car – and he says it’s all thanks to his mum.

Jonas reveals that the song was part of his childhood as his mother would often play it in the car.

And the affable music maker says his mother is an even bigger fan of his version. 

“She loves it,” Jonas laughs. “She goes crazy every time she hears it. Every time it comes on the radio she’s literally filming it and sending it to me.”

Fast Car was a hit for American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman back in 1988, but Jonas has taken it to another level in terms of commercial success.

He’s had a bigger chart hit, selling over six million records of Fast Car, which has also clocked up over 700 million streams.

“To top the original artist is insane,” Jonas admits. “But it does prove that I was right in what I was trying to do with that version. It’s not just a remix because I didn’t want to recreate what Tracy had done. I wanted to create something new for a younger generation, as well as the old fans.”

Fast Car features British singer Dakota, who Jonas discovered singing in a London pub. 

“I was out for a drink with my manager and we heard this voice downstairs in the basement in the pub,” he recalls.

“Afterwards I said to her: ‘I’ve done this cover of Fast Car and I think you’d be great on it.’ She was a little apprehensive, but she came in the next day and recorded it.”

Jonas, who has also smashed it with his current track, Perfect Strangers feat. JP Cooper, is now one of the hottest artists in music. 

“I’m here, there and everywhere doing stuff now, it’s mental,” he tells Shuffle.

“I don’t have a normal life right now as that has gone out the window since everything took off. When people say ‘it’s everything I’ve worked for’, well you’d better be f**king ready to adjust when it happens. I can imagine how some people wouldn’t cope, but I’m happy to be in this position.”

Jonas says his entire life has been immersed in playing and making music. He was taught the flute and saxophone as a kid, but gave it up because school pals regarded the instruments as “totally uncool”.

“The coolest thing to do was to be a DJ, so I caught that bug around the age of 11,” he says. 

He remembers being captivated by the soundtrack to a TV show called Club 18-30s. 

“The show was about the whole bad side of Ibiza, but I was inspired by the music,” he says. 

Another turning point involved a box of his favourite cereal, which contained free software to make music. 

“When I got to 12 years old I realised, ‘why am I playing other people’s music, why don’t I make my own music?’ I didn’t know what I meant at the time, but I just knew I needed to become a producer.

“Then I got my first software free in a box of cereal. That was the first thing I ever had to make music and I loved it.” 

“All the music on the software was predone and you had to build arrangements. That was a great learning curve. From that point on I’ve never looked back. I’ve been making music ever since and I’m 27 now.”

Jonas Blue is set for an Irish tour that includes The Sixth Venue in Sligo this Wednesday and The Wright Venue, Dublin, on Friday night.