Two years after the Jonas Brothers broke up, Joe Jonas formed DNCE in 2015 with guitarist JinJoo Lee, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle and drummer Jack Lawless. The latter had been working closely with Jonas as the Jonas Brothers' touring drummer before the new group existed.
The idea for DNCE first came about while Jonas and Lawless were living together. Shortly after Lee joined the band as the third member in 2015 they began working on their debut studio album. However, they still needed one more member and that's how Whittle was hired. Jonas met Whittle while the former was working on DNCE's project with songwriter Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons.
The four young musicians named their band DNCE after a song written for their album, which lyrically speaks of being too drunk to spell the word "dance." Jonas described the name as "imperfect awesome[ness] of the four of [them] together." Lee later added that much like the spelling of the word, you don't have to be a perfect dancer to dance in life.
DNCE began performing secret shows in New York City to rehearse for their upcoming tour and promotional performances. After being officially announced in September 2015, they released their debut single "Cake by the Ocean" later in the month. The song was a success in some territories, having peaked at No. 43 on Billboard Hot 100.
Its music video was directed by Gigi Hadid when she and Jonas were still in a relationship. It came out around the same time DNCE announced their debut EP "SWAAY". The set eventually arrived in October 2015 and was met with generally positive reviews.
The band then embarked on a 14-date "Greatest Tour Ever" tour in November of 2015. Following the success of their EP and tour, DNCE has announced plans to release their debut studio album in 2016.