10 minutes with DNCE's frontman, Joe Jonas

10 minutes with DNCE's frontman, Joe Jonas

Electric power

Text: Clara Tan

Image: Universal Music

Joe Jonas of DNCE talks music influences, what it's like singing in another band and his signature dance move

Joe Jonas is no stranger to playing for big crowds. After all, he was performing for stadiums of screaming tweens together with siblings Kevin and Nick as the Jonas Brothers. The trio made up one of the world's biggest boybands with 13 Billboard Hot 100 hits and a Grammy award. But things are looking a little different now. After their split in 2013, the second Jonas found himself starting from scratch again as the frontman of disco-funk group, DNCE.

Ahead of their show in Singapore this month, we called up the 27-year-old singer last week right after DNCE finished a show in Los Angeles. Within seconds, he shared of DNCE's current plans apart from touring — they're working on new music and are trying to take time off to write whenever they can. Though anyone would easily think that Jonas could ride on his past fame to break into the industry, he took his newly formed band and embarked on it like any fresh musician would. Alongside bandmates Cole Whittle, JinJoo Lee and drummer Jack Lawless, the eclectic foursome are instantly recognisable for their highly infectious 'Cake by the Ocean', which also happened to be the single — with over one billion streams — that introduced them to the world.

From the days of following Selena Gomez and Bruno Mars on tour and endless of hours in the studio, DNCE is now on the road with full shows of their own and a 14-track album under their belt. They've also won a MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, raking in views for other smash hits like 'Toothbrush' and 'Kissing Strangers'. With all that they've achieved in just a span of slightly under two years, we can't wait to see what this dynamic group brings.

Where is DNCE at, at this moment in time, in terms of writing, recording, and touring?
We've been working on lots of new music so I think we just try to take a bit of the time we have off when we're not touring. We love to be able to just really write and record. There's a handful of new songs that we're really excited about, so keep your ears as clean.

You're inspired by a lot of funk and disco bands, both classic and garage. Do any contemporary artistes inspire you as well?
Absolutely. There's this artiste called Soan that I really like. The new Bruno Mars stuff is fantastic as well, i
t reminds me of a lot of funk music I grew up with.

We have to ask: Besides the ocean, where's the best place to get cake?
In L.A., one of my favourite places is this restaurant called Hot Cake. They have an amazing chocolate cake. 

Who's the best and worst dancer of the group?
Well, I think we have some weird and interesting dance moves, but we're really great all the time. So I think there are moments that can be embarrassing.

What's your signature dance move?
I used to be able to do a split, I don't know if I can do it now. 

How easy or difficult can it be to work and be in a band with your friends, as opposed to some band models where people are being put together?
The decision-making is where we get to decide for ourselves that we want to do this. For artistes that are put together, they have to learn to liaise a bit. So it's nice for us to have opportunities where we can really be able to get to decide how we want it to be, and I think that's the most unique special thing. 

Where's an ideal place you like to write and get inspired? Where do you usually write your songs?
Well, we usually write the songs in different places. We've written songs on tour, and the ideal place for me is somewhere with a beautiful view.

Listen to DNCE's album on Spotify, and buy tickets to their concert in Singapore on 15 August at Suntec Convention Centre here.