In a short period of time German producer Jonasu’s joyful blend of tropical house beats and an ear for an uplifting melody have established him as one of pop’s rising stars. His songs, streamed millions of times, are international hits but much of his work is born from the streets of Amsterdam. Jonasu has called the Dutch capital home for over a decade after moving from his German hometown Mannheim to study music at the prestigious Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Jonasu cites the city as an influence on his sound for more than just his musical education. His music is inspired by the people and stories, both real and imagined, that he comes across on his daily bike roads across the city. “Everyone in Amsterdam cycles,” he says, explaining his unique creative process. “It’s a big influence on my life. In 20 minutes I can come up with a new melody or lyrical concept. Often I’ll arrive in the studio and have ideas ready to go.” Take “Lost In Amsterdam,” for example. The Möwe collaboration is an escapist’s dream, Jonasu’s country-tinged beats setting the tone of wanderlust and tales of “one way tickets and zero fucks given.”
The journey to this point began after a time spent performing in bands and DJing, slowly working towards producing and songwriting full-time. He took the name Jonasu, a moniker he picked up when his real name, Jonas Kröper, was translated into Japanese by a record label.
In addition to making his own music, Jonasu has written with, and produced for, other artists including Sam Feldt (multi-platinum selling single “Post Malone”) and Alok & Dynoro (smash single “On & On”). He’s spent time recording in London, Stockholm, Berlin and L.A., including sessions with legendary writer Cathy Dennis. Meanwhile, recent events have forced him to adapt and conduct lockdown sessions via Zoom. He has previously worked with artists including Conor Maynard, WEISS, and Don Diablo and says the key to crafting a hit is conversation. “Writing songs is like speed dating or therapy,” he laughs. “Everyone opens their heart without fear of shame.”
While he has established himself as a versatile figure behind the scenes, Jonasu knows the time is right for him to make himself known as an artist in his own right. “I think every producer and songwriter has felt like, ‘Why am I giving this song away?” he says while explaining that he has over 200 tracks written and recorded under his own name. “Black Magic” which features ‘Post Malone’ vocalist Rani is a relentless banger destined to become another sparkling Jonasu hit. “It’s about someone who has control over you to the point that you can’t function,” he says of the twisted love story behind the song. “It’s full of tension but also a lot of romance. It’s really vibey.”
Jonasu’s love of classic pop and unique vocalists also brought him to British singer Felix Samuel for a cover of Tove Lo’s dark pop hit “Habits.” Jonasu has form for an unlikely pop cover, having previously put his spin on hits by The Spice Girls (“Wannabe”) and Fleetwood Mac (“Everywhere”) among others, these reworks are fast becoming a staple of his sound. “I don’t ever want to do a straight cover,” he says of the process. “I make modern versions of classic songs.” Whether he’s reinventing yesterday’s hits or crafting tomorrow’s anthems himself, Jonasu boasts an innate ability to make people move. It’s something he learned early on when he first started making music, “The reason I loved playing drums was that people started dancing,” he explains of his days studying in Amsterdam and drawing of a life making music. “There’s a million ways to dance but everyone does it for the same reason – joy. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a club or wherever, it’s about expressing yourself.” The mission, then, is simple: make people move and spread joy wherever you go. Jonasu’s got this one covered.