Nick Jonas interview: 'My record will surprise a lot of people'
With the Jonas Brothers splitting last year, it's fair to say band member Nick Jonas hasn't exactly rested on his laurels.
The singer and musician, whose solo material and photoshoots have created huge buzz over the last few months, is releasing new single 'Chains' in the UK on January 5 before unleashing his new self-titled album.
Pressparty caught up with the US star to find out more about his sound, moving on from his old group and that Flaunt magazine photoshoot.
Is 'Chains' a good representation of your album as a whole?
That’s right. I think that this next step for me as the overall next phase in my journey has been pretty incredible and the song does a good job of representing it. The depth of the record is a sort of darker tone for me. It will probably surprise a lot of people.
In terms of the lyrics of the song, are you speaking from experience?
I can definitely relate to the song, but probably not necessarily in a literal sense. For me it’s more about breaking free and liberation.
Do you mean then that you feel liberated from the Jonas Brothers thing by going solo?
Definitely. It’s a major thing, being able to say and do more than I ever have in the past. That’s felt really good and I'm just trying to build on that and surprise people. Every track on this record I think does that.
Speaking about the album, what influences have gone into it? I’ve read that you’ve dipped into soul a lot on it…
Yeah, I’ve definitely used some of my soul influences. From Stevie Wonder to more modern stuff like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. For me the soul element is always big.
Do you think this is the definitive Nick Jonas sound or is there more evolution to come in the years ahead?
I think this is the sound. I think I’ve really come into my own and it’s the kind of music that I want to make.
How did it feel when Iggy Azalea said there is an ‘epidemic’ of people crushing on you after you appeared in Flaunt magazine?
It's kind of hilarious. I woke up from a nap and saw that. I thought I was still sleeping and dreaming it. But I'm just trying to take it all in my stride.
Do you get frustrated that some people might be focusing more on that than your music?
Yeah, it's funny. You've just not got to take it too seriously. The reaction surprised me, but it does a great job of driving people to the music and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
Is this type of thing a representation of you getting older and moving away from the Jonas Brothers style?
Yeah, I think so. It’s a great tool to show people who I am now.
Do you think it’s unfair then that other former child stars like Miley Cyrus get criticised for being a more sexualised?
It’s their choice. It’s up to them and the ball is in their court. As far as criticism goes, there’s always going to be naysayers and you just have to do whatever is right for you.
How do you feel the industry has changed since you first started?
It’s changed in a big way. I’m still getting used to the way things work now compared to even just a couple of years ago. It’s continuing to evolve and you have to stay on top of it. Even just the way things get released is so different. I feel on board with the changes and I love being a part of that, but it is different.
As you get older are you starting to resent the Disney tag that came with the Jonas Brothers?
I don’t really worry where I came from. I learned a lot in that process, but I know what I want to do now and what’s important to me. Disney does a good job of making people have a good work ethic and making them push themselves. I grew a lot in that time but I know exactly who I am now.
Here's a couple of questions from fans. Have you got any weird rituals before going on stage or before you record? (via @JonasMusicFR)
Not really. I definitely take some time to myself to clear my head.
What is your current guilty pleasure? (via @hayleyx3jb)
There’s a show in the US called Game of Crowns. It’s a show about these older women who are trying to be in pageants. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure.
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