At only 27 years old, DNCE member Joe Jonas already has more than a decade of experience in entertainment.
He first emerged as part of pop rock band The Jonas Brothers in 2005 with older brother Kevin and younger sibling Nick.
The trio were teenage pop sensations thanks to the success of Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock and platinum-selling albums Jonas Brothers and A Little Bit Longer.
The Jonas Brothers eventually disbanded in 2013 and Joe has nothing but pride for the experience. “I am really proud of it. I always loved what I did with my brothers,” he said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently, prior to the group’s performance.
Now, Joe is looking to reinvent himself as the suave vocalist of DNCE, which he formed in 2015 with guitarist JinJoo Lee, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle and drummer Jack Lawless.
Lawless previously performed with The Jonas Brothers, while Lee was a member of Cee-Lo Green’s all-female band Scarlet Fever. Whittle came from Semi Precious, a glam rock band based in New York.
“DNCE is kind of ideal for all of us to do something that feels brand new,” Joe explained.
The band’s name came from someone misspelling the word “dance” in a text message. Joe said it just clicked and Lee agreed that it was perfect to represent this idea that nobody has to be perfect to dance. More than anything, the name also reflects the band’s brand of feel-good, funky music.
DNCE’s pop chart domination started with catchy debut single Cake By The Ocean, which was inspired by someone mishearing the name of a famous cocktail.
“Someone was telling a story about the Sex By The Beach (the cocktail) but kept calling the cocktail Cake By The Ocean. I thought it was really funny, and that’s how the song came about,” Joe said.
DNCE followed the success of that song with Toothbrush, Body Moves and most recently Kissing Strangers, a sexy pop number featuring Nicki Minaj.
In 2016, an MTV Video Music Award win for Best New Artiste established DNCE as a force to be reckoned with in pop music. No one was more surprised than the band itself.
“We never expected anything. We try to approach everything with this mindset like we’re really lucky to be here,” Whittle said.
Joe said his perspective on success has changed over the years.
“I probably care less about the stuff that doesn’t matter. When you’re younger, you were super concerned about the way you think about yourself. But as you get older, you realise that the focus should be on your music,” he said.
With that, comes a better approach to handling fame as well.
“Nothing can get in the way of being nice to people and having a great time. It’s so easy to have attitudes. We try to be the nicer people in the room no matter where we are. It takes more effort to be mean.”