Cake By The Ocean
by DNCE

Album: Swaay (2015)
Charted: 4 9
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • What is "Cake By The Ocean"? Joe Jonas of DNCE explained: "It could mean the actual act of having sex by the ocean, or it could mean eating pastries by the boardwalk. It's whatever you want it to be. We think of it as a party anthem for any occasion."
  • This funk-filled jam is the debut single from DNCE, a band fronted by Joe Jonas. The group also comprises guitarist JinJoo Lee (who has played for Jordin Sparks, Charli XCX, CeeLo Green), bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle (founding member of Semi Precious Weapons) and drummer Jack Lawless (who was a member of the Jonas Brothers' band).
  • The genesis of the song was a misunderstanding between Robin Fredrikson and Mattias Larsson, who comprise the Swedish production team, Mattman & Robin. Jonas overheard the duo say they wanted to get some cake by the ocean, then realized they actually meant the drink Sex on the Beach. The title inspired him to craft this tune with songwriter Justin Tranter (Hailee Steinfeld's "Love Myself" and Selena Gomez's "Good For You") and Mattman & Robin.
  • There is some cake imagery throughout the song ("See you licking frosting from your own hands"), but it's not till the outro that we hear about all the different kinds of cake that would go well by the ocean. Joe Jonas sings:

    Red velvet, vanilla, chocolate in my life
    Funfetti, I'm ready, I need it every night
    Red velvet, vanilla, chocolate in my life
  • The music video features a cake fight on the beach between bikini-clad girls and Instagram comedian Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky. It was co-directed by Joe Jonas' girlfriend Gigi Hadid with Black Coffee.

    Asked by Radio.com if the cake was real, Cole Whittle replied: "It was like, half cake and half, like, office supplies and cleaning products."

    "In the first draft of the treatment, it was like a wedding cake, and we were like, 'No. We want it to be like the emoji cake, but 12 feet tall.'"
  • Joe Jonas told NME the story of the song: "We were working with some producers from Sweden and they kept telling us this story about having cake by the ocean. I was like, 'Are you guys talking about sex on the beach?' They were like, 'Well, yeah.' After having writers' block in the studio all week, we wrote this song in like ten minutes flat with Justin Tranter."
  • In the unabridged version, this song is rather profane, with Jonas dropping seven F-bombs. The edited version replaces "go f--king crazy" with "go crazy crazy."
  • There is another well-known lyric involving cake and water. The 1968 Jimmy Webb penned song "MacArthur Park" famously featured the intriguing lines:

    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don't think that I can take it
    'Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I'll never have that recipe again
    Oh no!
  • DNCE stands out with a quirky look and lyrics that are even quirkier, thanks in large part to their international team that didn't all grow up speaking English. It was their freewheeling songwriting style that resulted in this track. Jonas told Entertainment Weekly: "We were just creating stuff to create. 'Cake By The Ocean' could be free and wild, and we didn't stress too much about having it follow the rules of songwriting."
  • The line "I'll be Diddy, you'll be Naomi" is a reference to the model Naomi Campbell and the music mogul Sean Combs, who has gone by the names "P. Diddy" and "Diddy." Campbell and Combs dated in 2002 when he was going by P. Diddy.
  • The year after this song was released, the R&B singer Maxwell released a similarly titled track: "Lake By the Ocean."
  • So what happened to the missing "A" in DNCE? Speaking with New York radio station Z100 just before the song's premiere, Lee said its imperfectness is sort of a mission statement for the band, demonstrating that you don't have to be a pro dancer to show off your moves.
  • Guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers turned down the chance to produce this track. He told The Sun: "I was supposed to do that but I just wasn't available. Now I always make a joke and say, 'Don't worry dudes, I've got it next time.'"

Comments: 2

  • K T from NyI'll be Diddy, You'll be Naomi. As in P Diddy and Naomi Campbell.
  • Kathleen from MarylandDoes anyone know what the significance of "I'll be Didd and you'll be Naomi" is? Thanks!
see more comments

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