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Island inspiration from Jonas Blue & Louisa Johnson at Pacha

The Always Be There collaborators talk winter plans, shooting their music video and Pacha's rich history.

Few recording artists are as universally versatile as Jonas Blue.

In a seemingly short space of time, the producer has developed a knack for making songs equally suited for the charts, radio or the dancefloor. That uncanny ability has drawn attention from both inside and outside dance music circles.

Since bursting onto the scene with Fast Car in 2015, Jonas Blue has worked in the studio with some of the industry's top vocalists. Rita Ora, Becky Hill, RAYE and even One Direction's Liam Payne are all credited singers on his tracks. This natural skill for producing crossover hits has even seen him release alongside electronic music heavyweights MK and Tiësto. Good company.

His most recent collaborator might seem like an outside choice on paper, until you dig a little deeper. Jonas Blue and Louisa Johnson's professional relationship started in their shared home county of Essex in southeast England; later crystallising on Ibiza.

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

Past projects never came to fruition, but the mutual admiration and dialogue between both camps remained open. The studio chemistry was reignited earlier this year, resulting in summer hit Always Be There.

At the penultimate Pure Pacha date, we caught up with producer and singer ahead of a very special performance.

At Jonas Blue's final Ibiza appearance of 2022, star of X-Factor's twelfth series and the show's youngest ever winner, Louisa, was set to join him in the booth for a live PA at the club's most decadent party.

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson

How have both your summers been?

Louisa Johnson (LJ): "My summer has been really good. I've been here a lot. My highlight was doing the music video. It was so fun. It kind of summed up the summer in three minutes. Like, everything we've been doing this summer."

And that was shot here on Ibiza?

Jonas Blue (JB): "It was, yeah."

LJ: "Kind of all over the place."

JB: "I think my highlight of the summer is just being back. Full steam ahead. Unlimited amounts of gigs, all around the world. I've been in Las Vegas, been here, been everywhere. You know what, it's been good being back on the road. I missed it. It's been great."

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

Are things starting to slow down as we move out of summer?

JB: "No, definitely not. I told my manager to make me busy and he's doing exactly that."

Let's talk about Ibiza then. You've been playing for Pure Pacha across summer, both the early season run and the late season dates. How has it been?

JB: "It's been great. I haven't held a residency this year, so I've kind of been dotted around.

It's been a mixture of Ushuaia, here, bit of Café Mambo, Amnesia where I played for Steve Aoki. But it's all been great and, I mean, we love Ibiza."

"Madly, the music video was shot largely at O Beach. That was a real experience, because usually I'm there as a punter, but this time I was there performing, DJing. But I had an amazing time and I think it was one of your favourites too? So yeah, that was great."

When you're playing those gigs, supporting David Guetta or Steve Aoki, does it take the pressure off having those guys at the top of the bill?

JB: "Absolutely not. If anything, it's even worse to be honest.

When you're the headline act, you can kind of do what you want. When you're playing for them, it's a lot of pressure. But I've been DJing on this island for quite a few years now. People come to hear my music, but there's always pressure playing for the big names. Always.”

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

Do you feel like in the two years we've had off in hiatus, there's been a shift in, not only the demographic, but the sound too?

JB: "Absolutely. Throughout this whole time, I think before the world changed, it was very tribally. You know, that Tulum kind of sound. But now it's gone quite Disco-y, quite vocally. It's definitely changed. I think that's due to what happened with the pandemic.

People don't want music too dark. They want that moment of feeling uplifted and feeling happy. So there's definitely been a shift, for sure."

Has that affected the kind of music you're producing in the studio?

JB: "Even with the new single, it's definitely a newer sound compared to what people might know me for: Fast Car or Mama. It's been a conscious move towards the sound that's popular at the moment."

How did your collaboration come about?

LJ: "We worked together on a song about six years ago and it never really went anywhere, but we always stayed in touch."

JB: "We're both from Essex. We're from the same part of town."

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

LJ: "Same area. So we had that bond anyway. Jonas' team reached out to mine about June time. As soon as I listened to it, I knew I had to be on that song. The meaning, the words, the energy of it - it was perfect for me and what I'm about. The big vocal sealed it for me.

I got in. Recorded a demo. Straight from the off, everybody liked it."

JB: "It's out now. It's been out for the last couple of weeks. It's still very early days. We're doing special things, like the club performance tonight. We did a live PA in the UK a few weeks back. This one feels special."

Louisa, you must have done hundreds of club PAs in your career, but have you ever done Pacha before?

LJ: "Never. Never ever! It's really weird. I wouldn't normally put me and Pacha together (laughs) But Jonas has brought us together. I'm really excited. I think it's gonna be fun. I come here often for a night out, so it will be interesting doing it from the other side."

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha by Michael Poselski

Have you got friends here supporting you tonight?

LJ: "No! (laughs) Well my manager's here - I've got her. We've got our little crew, so yeah. It will be fun."

Do you want to talk about your new project with Sam Feldt, Endless Summer?

JB: "Sure, yeah. You know everything I've always done has been quite solo. I think the pandemic taught me the importance of collaborating with other artists. With the way the DJ world is going at the moment, everyone seems to be collabing.

For me, it was just about finding the right person to do it with.

Sam's a great guy. We're definitely in tune with our sound. But you know, we're changing it a bit."

We're not just creating the music we're known for as individual artists. It's a distinct Endless Summer sound that we're aiming for. It's just a lot of fun, you know. More clubbier. Not trying to be so mainstream.

For the moment, it's just singles. It's two DJs having fun. We'e doing loads of shows together and just going to see what happens."

What's the best thing about Ibiza?

LJ: "I think it's just the energy. I can never really explain it to people. I make my friends come here and I tell them, 'you just need to experience it for yourself.' I don’t know if it's the people or the music. It's probably a mixture of everything.

It's my safe space. As soon as I get off the plane, it just feels good. The energy is there instantly."

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

JB: "I think it's the history of what's gone on here since the '80s. As soon as you step off the plane and smell the air it all kind of comes rushing back. It's everything. It's interesting, because I spent time here during the pandemic, going to no clubs and just sitting in a villa, chilling out.

I had to be here. It is kind of a calling for me. I love it. With or without music, it's a very special place. One of the most magical places on Earth."

Could you see yourself holding down a residency at Pacha in the future?

JB: "Possibly. Yeah, possibly. I mean, who knows?

I think that this year Pacha has really topped it. You know, the way it looks, the way it sounds. It's never been this good. I played here when it was the old Pacha, with the booth right at the top above the dancefloor.

The changes feel great this year. I've played a few shows here already and got a few more lined-up the rest of this month. It's a great club and I'd love to be back."

What is it about this club that makes it so special?

JB: "Definitely the history. I remember seeing the Swedes here in their early days, Subliminal Sessions, F*** ME I'M FAMOUS!, Bob Sinclar, those are the parties that have inspired me. That was before Ushuaïa and Hï Ibiza were even here. I've had great nights here."

LJ: "I'd say it's the experience. It feels different to any other club. I can't explain it in words, but there's always something different going on. Maybe it's the energy or maybe it’s the vibe?"

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

Looking ahead, what are your plans for after summer?

LJ: "For me, we're just going to keep promoting the song. We're just gonna run with it. I've got more music coming out towards the end of the year. That's all ready to go. It's exciting. This is kick-starting getting back out there again."

JB: "I think for me, just carrying on. Summer never ends.

There's always a party somewhere around the world. Two more singles this year, followed by a Jonas Blue album. That will come out around February or March 2023. I'm pretty much a full servant to that at the moment. I'll be back in Las Vegas next year and that's always good fun."

Jonas Blue x Louisa Johnson | Pure Pacha

After our chat, Jonas and Louisa made their way into the booth. Showing no signs of nerves, Louisa displayed stage presence and charisma, reminding us of her powerful vocal that wowed UK TV audiences in 2015.

The finale was a glittering shower of ticker tape, not only reminiscent of her X-Factor win, but fitting with the gleamy exterior of Pacha's self-styled party. Ever second lapped-up by the vocal crowd below them on the dancefloor, of course.

Jonas Blue will surely be back on Ibiza in 2023. And who knows, maybe the duo will have a few more collaborations under their belt by the time next summer rolls around? 

HEADER IMAGE | by Michael Poselski

PHOTOGRAPHY | by Peter Young

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