DNCE is an American funk pop and dance-rock band. The group consists of members Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle, and JinJoo Lee. The group signed with Republic Records, who released their debut single, “Cake by the Ocean", in September 2015
The idea for DNCE first came about while Jonas and Lawless were living together, though the project was put on hold due to duo’s respective busy schedules. Jonas, Lawless, and Lee officially came together to form DNCE in 2015, with work on their debut studio album beginning shortly afterwards. Though work on the project had already begun, the group struggled to find a fourth member to fit into the band. Jonas began working with songwriter Justin Tranter, of Semi Precious Weapons, for DNCE’s debut album; this led to Jonas and Whittle, the former bassist for Semi Precious Weapons, becoming friends and ultimately adding him to the group. The group named themselves DNCE after the name of a song written for the album, which lyrically speaks of being too drunk to spell the word “dance". Jonas later added the group decided on the name as it described the “imperfect awesome[ness] of the four of [them] together." JinJoo later added that much like the spelling of the word, you don’t have to be a perfect dancer to dance in life. The group began performing secret shows in New York City to rehearse for their upcoming tour and promotional performances. The band made an official Instagram account in September 2015; Joe later posted a teaser video for the band on his account, tagging the band’s official page, on September 10.
The group released their debut single, “Cake by the Ocean", on September 18, 2015. Though starting out slow, the song managed to reach the top 10 in several charts. The song peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at number 7 on the Canadian Hot 100. The group released their debut extended play, Swaay, on October 23, 2015. The four-track album received a favourable review by Entertainment Weekly, with an editor writing that it “splits the difference between [Joe’s] former band’s slick power pop and the electro-kissed pop stylings of his solo album."The band embarked on a fourteen-date tour in November 2015, known as the Greatest Tour Ever. All fourteen scheduled dates for the tour sold out.The tour received critical praise, and featured unreleased songs as well as covers of older classics. The group has announced plans to release their debut studio album in November 2016.
On January 31, 2016, DNCE made a cameo during Fox’s television special Grease: Live; a live production of the Broadway musical Grease. The band performed as Johnny Casino and The Gamblers during a high school dance scene, which incorporated a 1950s-inspired rendition of “Cake by the Ocean" and a cover of The Crickets’ “Maybe Baby" alongside the Grease songs “Born to Hand Jive" and “Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay". In an interview with Rolling Stone, Jonas explained that DNCE was approached by the producers of the special following a show in New York City, and that he had always been a fan of Grease.
The band joined Selena Gomez as opening acts for her Revival Tour.
On April 22, 2016 the band appeared on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show, performing their debut song.
DNCE released their self-titled debut album, DNCE on November 18, 2016.
- Joe Jonas: lead vocals – Jonas first rose to prominence as a member of the Jonas Brothers, a pop-rock band that had much success with music and acting.The group released four studio albums from 2006 to 2009, selling over 17 million albums worldwide. Jonas released a solo debut album in 2011 to a mixed critical and commercial performance. Despite the Jonas Brothers recording their fifth studio album in 2013, the project went unreleased and the band officially ended.
- Cole Whittle: bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals – Whittle rose to fame as the bass player for Semi Precious Weapons. The band released three studio albums during their run, with their final release coming in 2014. He has also recently contributed as a songwriter, alongside fellow Semi Precious Weapons member Justin Tranter.
- JinJoo Lee: guitar, backing vocals – Lee, from South Korea, like Lawless, previously toured with acts such as the Jonas Brothers, playing the guitar. She was a member of CeeLo Green’s touring band from 2010 to 2011, and later worked with JoJo and Charli XCX.
- Jack Lawless: drums, percussion, backing vocals – Jack Lawless played drums for the Jonas Brothers from their Marvelous Party Tour (2007) until their disbandment. Lawless and Jonas were roommates, with Lawless continuing to perform with the band on subsequent tours. In 2010, Lawless became the drummer for alternative rock band Ocean Grove; the group released their debut extended play in 2011.