NICK JONAS stars on the cover and inside exclusively announces his new track, which is being released at midnight tomorrow!
Click here to pre-order The HERO Summer Zine – including Nick Jonas poster
Keep reading for excerpts from the interview below.
Here are some excerpts from the interview with Nick.
On writing the new song:
“The new track was written last year while I was on tour, which is one of my favourite times to write, when I’m constantly in front of new audiences and being inspired on a nightly basis. It was a rainy day in Maine, so I went on the studio bus and I started this track and I really liked the way it sounded. Within five hours from the time I started the beat to the time I eventually laid my vocals in with the lyrics that we’d written, it was pretty much done.”
On making music that’s more personal:
“For a while I used songwriting as a way to process my emotions, and in my head that always needed to be heavy, or the songs needed to have a darkness to them. Whereas now I am open to singing about positive things, to be able to sing with a smile on my face is a really nice feeling.”
On working with a new team on the track:
“I think like anything, with some new energy in the room, there’s an unpredictability about it that’s really exciting and scary at the same time. If you’re willing to embrace it, that sort of uneasy energy can be pretty amazing. That’s how I chose to see it, and I’ve come out with some stuff that I’m really excited about, cutting a new direction which is exhilarating.”
On releasing this song now, and the shifting way that music is released:
“Something I’m fully aware of is that I’m scatterbrained as fuck, I’m all over the place [laughs]. But I think it works to my advantage at times… it lets me really be able to do everything. I don’t want to be pigeonholed. Being able to put this song out [now], if that’s the statement I want to make at this moment, but then also feeling free to continue to be inspired by something completely different… I feel like before there was a real need for everything to be completely cohesive and be a singular thought. So I view it as an opportunity, it’s been one of the most freeing things for me creatively.”
On working on a rich mix of projects from independent film, to blockbusters, to music:
“I would LOVE to say it’s part of some big plan and that I was masterminding it, but that’s not the reality [laughs]. On the acting side of things I’ve had to work really hard the last couple of years to prove that it is a skill set that I have and also that I’m committed to the work. I think there can be that fear that, because I’m doing music and other projects, my focus will be elsewhere. But once I dive in on an acting project, I really make that the focus.”
Read the full interview in The HERO Summer Zine:
Nick Jonas arrived in comfy attire — a hoodie and sneakers — at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street on Saturday afternoon. He had just taken the red-eye from Los Angeles to make it in time for the retail debut of his Altec Lansing headphone collaboration, and was relying on the proven power of iced coffee to help him shake off the grogginess.
As hundreds of fans gathered in the women’s contemporary section to snag a pair of headphones and Jonas’ signature, the singer took a few minutes to speak about the collaboration, his love for classic style and his recent “aha moment.”
WWD: How was the Met Gala?
Nick Jonas: The Met was amazing. It’s actually one of my favorite events. That and the Golden Globes are up there for the most fun, mostly because people are drinking and having a good time. It breaks the ice. With that one, too, there’s no pressure. There’s no awards or anything like that, so it’s a fun night for everybody.
WWD: Tell me about your design collaboration with Altec Lansing.
N.J.: I’ve always been a visual person when it comes to my music. I always have to see it first. When I first heard about Altec and the possibility of working with them, I was over the moon. Once I got the product in my hands and actually felt it and listened to it, I saw there was real quality, which, as a musician, is the number-one thing you want. The idea of being able to design it and bring my own element of what I think is classic style and classic aesthetic, combined with something bold and chic and sexy, it’s really fun.
WWD: You previously did a sneaker collaboration with Creative Recreation. Is fashion design something you want to do more of?
N.J.: I’m really into fashion. Over the last couple of years, I’ve met some incredibly talented people, both in the design space but also on the creative front. The creative direction side of things, in addition to whatever design elements I can bring to the table, is the thing that I enjoy the most. I’m also willing to say I have a lot to learn. I want to continue to put myself in positions to grow and find new ways to be creative.
WWD: How would you describe your current style?
N.J.: There’s a real classic approach to it. I don’t like to go too far outside the box. I’m comfortable in both men’s tailoring and well-made garments, but also streetwear and mixing it up with some fun, youthful looks. I think that balance is so important and continuing to surprise people with what you’re wearing. In a lot of areas in my life — creatively and all that — I’m trying to swerve a little bit and do something different. That will be coming soon.
N.J.: Stylistically, but also musically and creatively. As a whole, I’ve had an aha moment recently.
WWD: What do you mean by aha moment?
N.J.: I was struggling to find what the next thing would be on the music front and what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, the style of the music, the way it sounded. But some things clicked with some collaborators that I’ve been working with, and it’s feeling like there’s real clarity now for the vision of the next step. But that goes for everything. With a creative life, you have to be willing to adjust at any point in time and have everything fall into that as well.
Their latest single “Kissing Strangers” is about exploring sexuality with new people, and DNCE wants everyone to be able to sing along. “The point of our music is just to make people happy and to send the message that we’re all the same and there should just be one community: everybody,” bassist Cole Whittle told Us Weekly exclusively at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC on Saturday, May 6. “That’s what our music means to us, and with this song it’s the same thing.”
The band, composed of Whittle, Joe Jonas, JinJoo Lee and Jack Lawless, will continue to churn out smash hits like 2015’s “Cake by the Ocean” and 2016’s “Toothbrush” and “Body Moves,” but don’t expect the new jams in the form of a standard album. “The term ‘album’ seems to be ever-changing,” Jonas, 27, told Us at the event. “We’re going to focus on songs right now.” He also added that the band will “block off a good amount of time to bring some songwriters and friends that we really like working with and see what we can come up with — but we’re kind of always songwriting.” While he notes that the group already achieved one of their dream collaborations by getting Nicki Minaj on “Kissing Strangers,” Jonas adds that they would also love to work with Outkast and Kendrick Lamar in the future.
During DNCE’s performance at the ceremony, Whittle got more than a kiss from a very important stranger. Excellence in Media Award recipient Debra Messing, who was dancing and singing along throughout the set, grabbed the musician’s nipples when he came into the audience. The Will & Grace actress, 48, even shared a snap of the hilarious moment to Instagram. “Yes, that’s right, I DID tweak his nipples,” Messing wrote May 7. “We had a moment. 🔥 #GlaadAwards.”
Source: Us Weekly
Joe Jonas Something About SS17. You’ll know DNCE even if you think you don’t. Their debut single “Cake By The Ocean” was originally released in 2015, but is the song that keeps on giving. From constant radio play and summery advert syncs; there has barely been a moment over the last 18 months that the cheerful song hasn’t soundtracked. And even if you think you don’t know anything else about the LA four-piece, you do. Their leader is one Joe Jonas, former teen heartthrob and pop superstar for over a decade. He rose to worldwide fame as part of the Jonas Brothers, alongside his siblings Nick and Kevin, making wholesome pop-rock that earned them roles beside Miley Cyrus on Hannah Montana and their own Disney shows.
Now 27, Joe is still as capable of making whole rooms swoon with his swooped back dark hair and piercing dark eyes as when he and his brothers were household names around the world. Before the Jonas Brothers had officially split and were still on hiatus, he struck out on his own, releasing the electropop and R&B inspired solo record “Fastlife” in 2011. He’s since said he wanted it to have a “Hall & Oates meets disco-funk vibe”, but was steered by his label to work with producers who had worked with other Disney acts like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. The album was deemed a commercial failure after its release but it was a valuable lesson and gave Joe the confidence to trust his own instincts. Now, Joe is leaving his safe pop past behind him.
Along with bandmates Cole Whittle (bass), JinJoo Lee (guitar) and Jack Lawless (drums), Jonas is now making disco-funk flecked pop that’s bold, infectious and forever fun. Unusually for a major label-signed pop band, DNCE tour pretty hard. While they have not been out on a headline run for over a year, the quartet has kept itself busy with plenty of support slots (including opening for Selena Gomez on her tour) and festival dates. They’re happy to be back with fans they know have made the trip out just for them. “When it’s your own crowd it’s just a celebration with your fans,” Joe says. DNCE make music that’s both worth celebrating and a worthy soundtrack for that party.
When we speak, the band are just about to wrap up their latest US tour and are heading to Montclair, New Jersey for a homecoming for Joe. “I grew up down the street, only a few minutes away from where the show is going to be,” he explains, driving through New York.
Your debut album DNCE has been out for a few months now. What are your feelings about the record?
“I’m just so thrilled that it’s out now. There’s nothing better than these really intimate and personal songs that you write and then you perform them live and hear a crowd singing them back to you. It’s really special. As the music industry starts to shift quite a bit where more people are releasing singles than albums, I think it’s still special.”
Some songs are very personal to you… Is it hard to perform them every night?
“It can sometimes be uncomfortable, but you know that this could be a fan’s favourite song or it could have gotten them through something. That’s at least what you hope for. I’ve caught the eyes of certain fans on this tour. I could tell that was their song – maybe that was their break-up song or their make-up song. That’s the beauty of music – you can find ways to relate with artists and fans.”
The album got pushed back a few times because of how well the singles were doing.
“Yeah it was. At first we were frustrated because we didn’t like to see the reaction of the fans being bummed out that we were putting the album back. It’s hard to explain that it’s a good problem. If my favourite band said that, I would probably just say, ‘Oh you guys aren’t ready yet’ or, ‘The album doesn’t sound good’. But it started to become a joke for us. We’d look at each other and be like, ‘Hey, guess what guys? The album’s been pushed back again’. It got pushed back five or six times. We were joking around like, ‘Are we gonna leak this?’ But it’s a good thing and we all look back and we’re all so thrilled with how well the songs did and we’re riding that wave.”
Story by: Rhian Daily
Photographer: Michaela Winstone
Fashion: Mar Peidro
Grooming: Marissa Machado
Source: SomethingAbout Magazine
“For so many years I had a lot of cooks in the kitchen and other members of bands that I was working with. This was the first time that I was really able to say, ‘I want to create something on my own and see what this could be.’”
As rites of passage go, popstar evolution comes with a high casualty rate. Joe Jonas was born in 1989, yet he’s sashaying past “the 27 club” with a litany of chart-tracking hits, a supermodel ex-girlfriend, and a jet-set lifestyle. But it’s the omissions that stand out – no arrests, no drug overdoses, weapons charges, near-fatal accidents involving swimming pools… Yet if you’ve been paying attention there’s a liberation taking place for Joe Jonas – an emergence of a real person behind all the layers of expectation and managed identity. After years of faithful service as Disney’s golden child – the purity ring-clad proponent of abstinence and youthful faith – it’s not surprising that somewhere along the way the real Joe Jonas was a bit obscured, his identity folded in to all the things he was expected to be. But there was more to Jonas than he was encouraged to reveal: a character with edges that didn’t quite fit into the center of the Venn diagram where Christian, lead singer in a family boy band, and Disney-star overlap.
Jonas’ metamorphosis is a more down-to-earth one. It hasn’t been a completely smooth transition – comfort, stability, and routine are powerful motivators, and the breakup of the Jonas Brothers left him reeling. For the first time it was up to him and him alone to decide what was next. He traveled, opened a restaurant, sampled the joys of hedonism, embarked on a brief solo career. He began speaking openly about his sex life, about his past, and about who he wants to be as a musician.
This is the Joe Jonas that meets me at a taco joint in Hollywood. There’s a giddiness about him – the wide-eyed excitement of newfound freedom. He’s stoked about his new band, DNCE – a funk-pop/dance-rock four-piece whose sugary, shiny, and undeniably infectious debut single “Cake By the Ocean” became a surprise global smash-hit. DNCE is all Joe, and he’s savoring his newfound creative freedom. “I was trying to figure out for myself what I wanted it to sound like,” Jonas tells me, “and I was actually allowing myself to be kind of selfish about that. For so many years I had a lot of cooks in the kitchen and other members of bands that I was working with. This was the first time that I was really able to say, ‘I want to create something on my own and see what this could be.’”
Jonas is trying everything. It’s not just within the realm of music that he has been exploring the limits of his unlocked potential. He recently made his underwear-modeling debut for Guess, a task he took seriously. “A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to do their underwear on a different campaign. I was like, ‘how long until we shoot?’ And they said, ‘Oh, two weeks.’ Two weeks!” He laughs. “This was just when the band was taking off and we were celebrating every night, which means drinking and partying, staying up until four, waking up at six, jumping on a flight and then performing a show – living the rockstar lifestyle I guess,” he tells me, as if it’s a question.
“And I was like, no way. I wasn’t ready. But it kind of ate me up inside. This time I decided to do it, and it was during our insane summer tour with Selena Gomez – the toughest time I could have done it,” he tells me. “But I was in the gym every day at nine AM, learning how to box. And that became a new art form for me. It wasn’t just lifting weights and bro-ing out. It was about learning something new and putting myself through that challenge, seeing what I could do if I put in the effort.”
Playing full-time with a woman – lead guitarist of DNCE JinJoo Lee – has been another first in a season of new experiences for Joe Jonas. He first encountered her when his dad was auditioning players for Jordin Sparks’ band. She had just arrived in L.A. from South Korea and barely spoke English, and when she showed up for the audition she didn’t even know the song that she was going to be playing. “But she could hear people in the rehearsal room playing the same song over and over again, so she taught it to herself and then walked in, played it perfectly, and ripped a solo off the top of it,” Joe tells me, a bit of lingering awe in his voice. “I’ve known for a while that if I was ever going to put together a band that I’d want her to be a part of it.”
Jonas politely orders an iced-coffee from a waitress who is likely wondering about the two dudes sitting in a dark corner of the restaurant, eating their free chips and talking intently. “JinJoo brings this girl-power element, and I wanted her to be in front, killing it on the guitar, being the rockstar that she is. On tour we spend so much time together in a confined space, so I’ve really been able to get to know her. She’s basically our little sister, our mom, our big sister, and occasionally our drunken, crazy, evil little stepsister all rolled into one. I think it’s a really important thing for us as a band to have her in the mix because she offers a female view on a lot of different things, whether it’s music or just life in general. I had three brothers, and living with a girl day-in and day-out for the first time was different. I’ve learned quite a bit about the female perspective.” He takes a sip of his iced coffee. “We’re very protective of her. We joke about guys in a big-brother way or whatever, but there’s also these instincts that come out, where someone pushes her on accident or something and we puff out our chests and that ‘Guido’ side of me from Jersey comes out and my fists start clenching,” he says, laughing.
Jonas seems relaxed here, away from his instruments, from the studio, the cameras, away from expectations. I ask him if it’s difficult to regain creative momentum after releasing a huge hit. “‘Cake by the Ocean’ is definitely – even including the Jonas Brothers years – my most successful song.” Jonas tells me thoughtfully. “And it can be tough when you’re holding yourself to that level of success, because it is kind of one of those rare occasions. You have to realize that and understand that these are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and that you might not relive them. My manager kind of slapped me around a bit mentally, because I was starting to over-obsess about writing new music. He said ‘remember why you do this: it’s because you love music and it’s fun.’ And that is what ‘Cake By The Ocean’ is – it was kind of a joke song and we were sitting back laughing and we didn’t overthink it, and I think that is when the best music is written.”
It is in part this lack of self-seriousness and a commitment to fun that makes Joe Jonas popular with his fans, but that also makes him a target for those cliché criticisms leveled at pop-music generally – that the subject matter is frivolous, that it consists of nothing but recycled musical tropes, that it cynically exploits the human brain’s inborn hunger for pattern and resolution to sell records. But Joe is convinced of the value of keeping a light heart in a heavy world. “I wrote a song recently, and it was kind of a therapeutic, dark, breakup song. I was kind of on the fence about whether or not to put it online, and I decided not to,” he says, referring to his recent high-profile breakup with supermodel Gigi Hadid. “Partly because I was over the relationship and I got over it by writing about it, but I also thought it was too dark to showcase to our audience. I feel like especially in this day-and-age with where we are politically, there’s so much hate and sadness. To take people away from all that for a second and to offer a place to escape to is nice. Not to distract them, but to help them through this era, to give them a moment to not look at CNN and say, oh shit, what’s going on now?” To Joe Jonas, the levity of pop-music offers freedom and respite. Joe is free, and he wants you to be free too.
Source: Flaunt Magazine
Joe Jonas, the soft-spoken frontman of pop music’s zaniest band of misfits, talks about new music, finding his voice, and why the typical post-boy-band career path just isn’t for him.
Joe Jonas can trace the turning point of his career to a single piece of advice that led to the creation of DNCE, the funk-infused dance-rock band that seemed to emerge, fully formed, from an explosion at a disco-dust factory in 2015. “I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my manager,” says Jonas. “He was like, ‘You need to get this band together, do what you want to do, and just go have fun.’”
Judging by DNCE’s first single, the freewheeling dance-pop confection “Cake by the Ocean,” Jonas and his bandmates—bassist and keyboardist Cole Whittle, guitarist JinJoo Lee, and drummer Jack Lawless—took that decree dead seriously. The music video, directed by the creative team Black Coffee and Jonas’s then-girlfriend, supermodel Gigi Hadid, takes the song at its word. There is a massive, 12-foot-tall slice of cake—based on the strawberry-topped emoji cake, naturally—set up on a beach for a cake-fighting competition that seems to take its rules from dodgeball. A crowd of pretty young things in swimsuits gathers on makeshift risers. Social-media influencer Josh Ostrovsky, aka the Fat Jew, makes a slow-mo, Baywatch-style entrance looking like a gonzo sumo wrestler in tiny swim trunks, his ponytail sticking up from his head like an antenna. He faces off against a bevy of models and proceeds to clobber one after the other with cake and frosting as he dodges their volleys, graceful as a dancer. Someone in the crowd swipes through the dating app Bumble. Ostrovsky pours White Girl rosé all over himself. The members of DNCE bounce around antically on a bandstand.
The entire enterprise is so self-aware and fluent in millennial culture that it practically defies criticism—it’s too in on the joke. Even the name of the song is a goof: Swedish producers Mattman & Robin kept confusing “sex on the beach” with “cake by the ocean” in the studio, and the band ran with it all the way to the top of Billboard’s Adult Pop charts and a win at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist.
With a fun and fresh new album, the self-titled DNCE, and a 2017 calendar filling up with headlining tour dates, the 27-year-old Jonas is coming into his own, but it took some time for him and his eventual bandmates to arrive at DNCE’s impetuous, carefree style. Joe and his brothers Nick and Kevin found fame as the Disney Channel-assisted boy band the Jonas Brothers, and tapped into that unstoppable force known as preteen- and teen-girl fandom, which rises like a wave every 10 years or so to carry bands of young men to stardom. The story of the group’s breakup, in 2013, is well known, with Nick, the youngest brother in the group, initiating it. “It was startling at first,” recalls Jonas. “I needed a week or two to process it. It was such an important changeover for me. I felt like it was time for us to hang up the hat, but we were holding on to it for so long.”
For his part, Nick seemed very ready to move on, and he swiftly found success as a solo artist. “I’m envious at times, watching his artistry and how he went so quickly into creating music and an album,” Jonas admits. “But I also knew that it was important to take time for myself to be able to figure out what exactly I wanted to do next. It’s so easy to just jump right into something and release more music, and it might not be the right fit. Now we’re able to support each other from afar.”
Jonas is speaking from experience: He had already tried out the solo thing himself with the album Fastlife (2011) while the Jonas Brothers were on hiatus in 2010/2011. While it was a respectable pop/R&B effort, the album didn’t exactly break new ground, and it passed under the pop radar. “I’m very proud of the music that I was able to create,” Jonas says, “but I think at the time it was a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it came to making the music. I look back now, and I’m glad I went through that, because I would be in the same position [now] that I was then, where I’d be trying to go the Justin Timberlake route. It wasn’t what I felt most comfortable doing. I always loved being in a band surrounded by great musicians and people that love it as much as me, and being able to perform onstage with a group of friends and have a blast. That’s at the core of what DNCE has been for the last two years—just pure fun for us.”
It’s an approach that has largely worked, with a crucial tweak: For all the band’s youthful energy—best embodied by mohawked bassist Whittle, who ricochets around the stage like a punk-rock pinball—the music they make feels compellingly adult. “Toothbrush,” the second single, is an easy-breezy track, in which Jonas croons, “Baby, you don’t have to rush/You can leave a toothbrush/At my place.” It’s a plotline that would have required a three-episode arc on Sex and the City and sent Carrie into a tailspin, but the song is effortless, upbeat, and even offhand. It’s not exactly teenaged stuff—and that was the point. “We were encouraged, especially with ‘Cake by the Ocean,’ to write a song that has this funk-influenced pop, but lyrically to put a spin on it that’s not the norm. It does feel freeing to be able to write songs about things that people our age are really going through,” says Jonas.
He seems to be following the artist’s edict that if one is honest with his art, the fans will follow. “We were playing a show,” he recalls, “and the song [‘Almost’] was one I wrote about getting over a relationship, and it was a difficult song to put on the album, because it’s very personal. In the crowd, this girl was just crying her eyes out, and she’s by herself, and you could just tell that it’s her breakup song. If I could help that person or somebody else get through a certain situation, then it’s all worth it.”
As with “Cake by the Ocean,” the music video for “Toothbrush,” which stars model Ashley Graham as Jonas’s gorgeous girlfriend, adds another layer of appeal to the song and burnishes the band’s casual-cool image. “It was quite funny on set,” says Jonas. “Cole was pretty mad at me—he didn’t even want to be around the filming process— because he was pretty jealous. [Ashley] was great and so much fun to work with. Of course, there’s like 10 camera guys in a room with you when you’re lying on a bed, but she made it really funny and kept me laughing, which made it really comfortable.”
“I’M ENVIOUS AT TIMES, WATCHING HOW [NICK] WENT SO QUICKLY INTO CREATING MUSIC. BUT I ALSO KNEW IT WAS IMPORTANT TO TAKE TIME FOR MYSELF TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I WANTED TO DO NEXT.”—JOE JONAS
While having big-name models in music videos is nothing new (see also Zayn, Taylor Swift, et al.), Graham, the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue, also happens to be the very beautiful face of the body positivity movement. “We didn’t really think it would be as big of a talking point as it was,” says Jonas. “I think she is definitely changing the game for that profession, and it’s really incredible to see. I didn’t realize until the video came out afterwards why it was such a big deal. Hopefully through this music video—and, obviously, through Ashley’s career—she’s definitely making a difference. For us, we were happy to have her in the video, and that was the key thing. Maybe people will stop making a big deal about certain things like that. She’s awesome. She’s incredibly intelligent. She’s done amazing TED Talks, and anytime we get to hang with her and her husband, it’s a great time.”
Of course, there are elements of his Jonas Brothers days that he just can’t shake—namely, the celebrity gossip that seems to cling with particular fervor to former kid stars and Disney Channel alums. A few days before our interview, as DNCE’s tour was starting up, Jonas’s personal life was once again making headlines. In one news item, he was photographed out and about with Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, and in another, Instagram lurkers were analyzing his decision to double tap an image of ex-girlfriend and fellow rocker Demi Lovato with her new boyfriend, MMA fighter Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos. Both items mentioned the band’s tour, of course. It was hard to tell where the tabloid fodder ended and the music news began.
“It kind of comes with what you do,” says Jonas with good-natured resignation. “I think you never get used to it. You get a little better at it when there’s rumors or you have to deal with random drama—[like] old exes that are dating somebody new. I try to just focus on the good stuff and not obsess over it. It’s not as bad as it used to be. On the Demi thing, I see she’s happy and I’m happy for her. I met Bomba. He’s a good guy.”
Still, Jonas has no regrets about his boy band days—even the Disney musical Camp Rock, which got him teased on Twitter by Tyler, The Creator. “There’s moments where I look back and I have to laugh,” he says with a chuckle. “I don’t really want to hide anything from my past, but I easily could have done with a few less hairstyles back in the day. Other than that, I’m really proud of everything. I grew so much from it. We actually have a plan as a band—because I don’t think Cole has seen it yet—to get pretty drunk and watch Camp Rock and see what it’s like now.
“For all of us, it’s like a new life in a way. The music industry moves so quickly and everyone is listening to the next thing that’s coming out, and it’s always the goal to find the next song or next band, and so we feel very lucky to be able to have a life in the music industry again and have fans out there. We really appreciate it, and we know it’s not easy. We’re just having a blast and enjoying every minute.”
Source: Gotham Magazine
Whether it’s recording albums as a solo act or appearing regularly on best-dressed lists, Nick Jonas knows exactly what he’s doing. The singer has managed over the last few years to cement himself as a real fashion player. And nowhere is this more apparent than with his new 1410 collaboration with upscale sneaker brand Creative Recreation: a collection of six sneakers (dropping soon) bolstered by two new videos that we’re sharing with you exclusively.
We spoke with Jonas about designing the collection, how he got into sneakers, and why you should absolutely get your suits tailored.
On working with Creative Recreation:
“I decided to work with Creative Recreation because I’ve always been a fan of the shoes, and when I met with them they had real enthusiasm about the idea of collaborating on something. [I’m] giving my fans, people that were familiar with my work, a piece of who I am through this sneaker collection.”
On getting into sneakers:
“I’ve become a sneaker guy more so the last couple of years. My stylist, Avo, has done a great job of introducing me to a lot of great stuff—kind of putting a collection of things I like together, showcasing my personality through that.”
On Milan Fashion Week favorites:
“I was with Armani in Milan and it was a great trip; their whole team is incredible. They took great care of us and showed us the history of the brand as a whole. Just incredible to go there and see what a staple Mr. Armani is not only in the city but the fashion community in general.”
On how to wear a suit:
“Great tailoring is the key to suits: knowing the cuts that you like and the things that look good on you. The key for me is always just making sure that it’s tailored right so that I feel confident.”
On how to upgrade a casual look:
“I think that the way that I elevate the dressed-down looks is by adding elements of bold statements within what are pretty classic statements for menswear. You know, little pieces just to mix it up and keep people on their toes, but also to showcase personality in a different way.”
Nick Jonas flew in to Milan to sit front row at the Emporio Armani show this morning. Before the Armani Teatro curtain came up, Vogue Runway grabbed an espresso with Jonas backstage. After admiring his narrow shawl-collar jacket, almost ceremonial judo, and learning that his last wheels down was at a golf tournament in Hawaii, we asked the roving Jonas how he gets dressed, plus some other trifles, too.
“I really like a classic look no matter what it is, whether it’s tailored and buttoned-up or loose and casual,” said Jonas. “But I do like real classic elements to menswear: some bold statement pieces but within something that keeps it grounded and that feels like a representation of my personality as well, which isn’t too over the top.”
Do you find it hard to source clothing that represents your personality?
It’s not easy. It took me a number of years to figure out what I liked, first of all, and what looked good. So now I work with Avo Yermagyan, my stylist, and I have for about four years now.
How was your night at the White House for the Obama farewell party?
It was beautiful. One for the books. A night to celebrate a beautiful family and someone I’m a huge fan of and am blessed to call a friend. It was really special.
And you have a new song coming out on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack?
Yeah! They just announced it like two days ago. The soundtrack is stacked with amazing performers. Nicki Minaj and I teamed up for a song, and it’s a fun one! I haven’t seen the film yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s in a really good spot at the movie . . . at a moment where two characters have a real sexual moment, as it were!
As you’d expect in that franchise! What are you up to with the rest of your day in Milan?
Well, I’m in the process of shooting the series Kingdom, which I’m on the third series of. So while really enjoying amazing Italian food and fun times, I’m training pretty hard for the show. I play a fighter. I’ve been in the gym this morning already, and I’ll be in the gym later today. So a decent balance of fun but also some work.
That sounds grueling. Any opportunity to eat carbs?
A little bit. I do eat some carbs. But nothing too intense, nothing fun, no bread or pasta.
Povero! No pasta in Milan? That’s dedication.
The 24-year-old singer-songwriter Nick Jonas has called Shania Twain his first celebrity crush and thanks her for “breaking barriers of genre to allow other people to think outside the box and push the envelope.” Here, his favorite tracks by the woman he calls a “true inspiration.”
“Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)” 1997
This is the first Shania song I ever heard. I remember the country-pop feel of the song was unlike anything else out there at the time, and I became a lifelong fan in that moment.
“That Don’t Impress Me Much” 1997
Shania was always so incredible at making iconic visuals for her music, as well as being cutting-edge production-wise. This video and song are, in a word, legendary.
“Forever and for Always” 2003
This song has been a major source of inspiration to me melodically. Back in the day, my brothers and I would warm up to this with our band, getting our harmonies locked in before the show.
“I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” 2002
The production and vocal performance on this are next-level. My brothers and I covered this song in 2008. I played drums and sang my favorite part, the pre-chorus, so the rest of the time I could rock out.
“You’re Still the One” 1997
I got the chance to see Shania’s Vegas show, and when she performed this song onstage with a white horse at her side, it really sealed the deal for me: Shania Twain, lifetime crush.
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 10 issue of Billboard. Billboard’s Women In Music event takes place on Dec. 9 in New York City and airs on Lifetime Dec. 12
One month and one day before the November 18 release of their eponymous debut album, DNCE are huddled together in Manhattan’s Root Studios. Since releasing their debut single, “Cake by the Ocean,” in September of 2015, they’ve been moving nonstop, hopping around the United States and Europe for a string of headline shows and opening performances for Selena Gomez’s Revival tour, infecting small towns and big cities alike with their own brand of funk. Now, the four-piece band—composed of frontman Joe Jonas, bassist-keyboardist Cole Whittle, guitarist JinJoo, and drummer Jack Lawless—finally has a chance to sit down, but not for long. In an hour, they’ll head to a photo shoot and then straight to their album release party, where they’ll finally play DNCE for friends, family, and label execs. In the greater scheme of their lives, and possibly the pop-music landscape, it’s the calm before the storm.
“When I listen to it, I think of it like a house party,” says Whittle of the album. “You go in and you walk around, and you go into all the different rooms. Some of them are dark and sexy, some of the rooms are crazy, and some of the rooms have locked doors and some real stuff going on inside.”
Adds Jonas: “It’s a feel-good record that has some quirky lyrics, and may bring you back to an era of music that you grew up with or your parents played in the house.” DNCE melds sonic elements from the last 50 years, from ’70s funk to ’90s pop. Similarly so, the band’s cited influences—Hall & Oates, Earth, Wind & Fire, Weezer, Led Zeppelin, and Prince—are across the board.
The one constant, though, is that their music will compel you to jump around (or, at the very least, sway from side to side). And that’s exactly what has led to their instant appeal. “Last year around this time, the music was just starting to connect,” says Jonas, recalling the virtually overnight success of the band’s first single. “We all kind of felt it. We weren’t even sure what the lyrics meant, but the world seemed to react to it. People were falling in love with the music before the band.”
At that point, they were as fresh-faced as a band of mischief-makers with impressive résumés could possibly be. Lawless was the drummer from Jonas Brothers; JinJoo was playing with the likes of Charli XCX, CeeLo Green, and Jordin Sparks; Whittle was in Semi Precious Weapons—and Jonas had gathered them all to concoct DNCE. “From that moment on, we knew it wasn’t just a project,” says Whittle.
The swift nature with which the band originated likely contributes to its explosive energy. No matter the setting—a small, overcrowded basement of a hidden venue in New York’s Meatpacking District or an arena in Cincinnati—DNCE always bring a contagious, entropic enthusiasm to every performance. They enter the stage to Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” litter venues with balloons and cardboard cutouts of various celebrities, run directly into the crowd, and shred their instruments to bits.
While their live shows haven’t cooled since their debut, they certainly have developed. “We’re still as wild and crazy as you saw us on the first day, but I think we kind of lock it in now, too,” says Jonas. “On top of being able to run around like maniacs, we also want to be great musicians.”
The group’s liveliness could also stem from its dynamic. “We’re like superheroes who came together from different backgrounds of life to bring some funky rock to the world,” the lead singer says. And, as Whittle suggests, it’s the wide range of their personalities that allows them to explore all of their creative outlets: “Some days, we’re like four grandmas going on a cruise together and Cuba Gooding Jr.’s there. Some days, we’re like the new Ninja Turtles movie. Others, we’re like The Goonies—a bunch of 11-year-olds that don’t know anything and just cause trouble all day. And then sometimes we’re like Striptease—really sexy.” After spending nearly every moment together for the better part of 16 months, their bond has only grown stronger. “I can’t even imagine life without these guys,” says JinJoo. “Sometimes I ask myself: ‘How did I live without these three guys, like, around me all the time?’”
But maybe the reason behind DNCE’s infectious energy is even simpler: “There’s no ego involved,” says Lawless. “We’ve all been in bands our whole lives, and we’re all really happy to still be doing it. That’s why when we go on stage, we give it 100 percent every time.”
Their debut EP, Swaay, caused a frenzy among fans. The accompanying videos for their singles “Toothbrush,” a sweet ode to the beginning of a relationship, and “Body Moves,” an innuendo-riddled song that Maroon 5 probably wish they had written, both racked up eight-figure views on YouTube. Plus, they were awarded best new artist at the VMAs, an honor previously given to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Tyler, the Creator. But while expectations for their debut album have inevitably been high, DNCE aren’t sweating it. “Starting this [band], we had the great support of just working on music without any pressure,” says Jonas. Instead of nerves, there are troves of excitement. “We’ve always had a blast together,” adds Whittle. “The only difference is that in the beginning we slept six hours a night, and now we sleep two hours a night.”