The new single by the Jonas Brothers ‘Cool’ is now available worldwide! The song sounds absolutely amazing and the music video is so entertaining. Definitely gives me some ‘Burnin’ Up’ vibes. You can watch the full music video below. You can also stream the song on Spotify and purchase it on iTunes.
Screencaptures from the music video have been added to the gallery. Feel free to check them out!
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.
WWD: Stylistically? 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.”
Kingdom fans have 10 more episodes to say goodbye to Navy St. EW has learned exclusively that the upcoming third season will be the show’s last.
The drama, which premiered on DirecTV in 2014, stars Frank Grillo, Jonathan Tucker, Matt Lauria, Nick Jonas, Kiele Sanchez, and Joanna Going in a story about a group of MMA fighters in Venice, California. The show garnered critical acclaim after its premiere, quickly earning a second season and a faithful following. In July of 2016, it was picked up for its 10-episode third season, which will bring Kingdom to a close.
AT&T Audience Network and Endemol Shine Studios released a joint statement:
“We are looking forward to the upcoming third and final season of Kingdom, which premieres on May 31 at 8 p.m. on AT&T Audience Network. We expect season three to be a great one and appreciate the hard work and dedication from creator and showrunner Byron Balasco, as well as the entire cast and crew. We could not be more proud to have worked with all of them on such an amazing series.”
Kingdom‘s third and final season premieres Wednesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET on AT&T’s Audience Network, AT&T U-verse, and the new streaming service DIRECTV NOW.
“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.
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.”
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.
Can teen idol-turned-pop prince Nick Jonas achieve that (nearly) impossible dream: Hollywood superstardom? He says Yes.
There’s a truism about passing time and shifting generational pop culture that comedian Billy Crystal once pointed to when his daughter asked, “Dad, did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?” Having emerged in recent years as a solo pop star and increasingly in-demand actor, Nick Jonas today is living his own variation on that theme. The 21st-century take might be, “Did you know Nick Jonas used to be in a band with his brothers?”
“It’s funny that that’s already happening,” laughs Jonas, who just three years ago decided, with his siblings Joe and Kevin, to end their phenomenally popular band, the Jonas Brothers, and pursue individual creative interests, leading Nick to reinvent himself as a chart-topping, critically admired musical artist in his own right. His third and latest album, Last Year Was Complicated, delivered the hit single “Close” and made his current Future Now Tour, which he co-headlines with close pal Demi Lovato, one of the summer’s hottest tickets.
Simultaneously, Jonas emerged as an actor of considerable range and charisma. He made a physically powerful impression in the mixed martial arts drama series Kingdom, deftly handled humor both subtle and broad on Fox’s horror/comedy Scream Queens, and delivers an utterly convincing turn as one of a pair of brothers caught up in a harrowing cycle of fraternity hazing in the new film Goat, out this fall.
“The less and less I’m introduced as ‘Nick Jonas, formerly of the Jonas Brothers,’ [the more] there’s just an awareness of now,” says the 24-year-old. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and patience, but it’s exciting when people start to recognize you for what you’re doing in the moment and see you for that.”
The evolution, he admits, was daunting. “I was unsure of what was going to be next,” he says. “I knew that I had a lot of music I wanted to make and a lot of acting projects that I wanted to pursue, but nothing’s ever guaranteed. I was incredibly relieved when some things started to come together. Within two weeks of leaving the band, I wrote ‘Jealous,’ which was a song that would change my life and career, and I also booked Kingdom. So it was all happening!”
“It’s exciting when people start to recognize you for what you’re doing in the moment, and see you for that.” —Nick Jonas
Much of the brothers’ blockbuster brand, of course, was built with their on-camera roles in the Disney Channel’s Camp Rock movies and Jonas series, but Jonas’s own acting aspirations had been fueled since childhood stints on Broadway in productions like A Christmas Carol and Beauty and the Beast. “Acting has always been important to me,” he says. “It was a great foundation, and then as I got older, I found some great roles that pushed me a bit. Once I read the script for Kingdom, I realized pretty quickly that it was something I would have to fight for, but that it would be worth it if I just sunk my teeth in and really tried to challenge myself.”
Indeed, although some may have looked askance at the casting of the former teen idol as a closeted gay MMA fighter in one of the grittiest series of the moment, Jonas quickly dispelled any apprehension with his commitment to the material, both physically and emotionally. “So much of these fighters’ lives is played out in a physical sense—their job is to get in a cage and beat somebody up,” he says. “But also, at times, the reason they’re fighting is because they’re running from something. So I have a great time working with my coach and trying to find ways to really show each layer.”
Having been publicly perceived as the archetypal “Serious One” among his bandmates, Jonas surprised even his truest believers, as well, with his facility for straight-faced comedy as seen on Scream Queens. He admits that he chooses his words carefully in his own life, but on Screen Queens he loosened up in his bid to find his own comedic tone: “I have to read a line 100 different ways before I know the way I’m going to deliver it, and just see which one I think is funny and roll with that.”
With the critically acclaimed, James Franco-produced Goat, which garnered glowing nods for Jonas’s performance at Sundance, the actor shocked even himself. “When I first read for it, I thought I bombed the audition. I thought I did terrible! I was really relieved when I got it.” The film’s director, Andrew Neel, however, recognized the elusive but key quality Jonas was bringing to the performance. “For most of the film [Nick’s character, Brett] doesn’t approve of his brother, and Nick was able to do this while maintaining a strong sense of love and affection,” says Neel. “He drew a lot from his relationships with his own brothers.”
Identifiable motifs begin to emerge while discussing Jonas’s professional output: experimentation, challenging oneself, testing limits. “On the music front, I try to grow every day and expose myself to new and exciting things to be inspired by, whether it’s people I’m collaborating with or just new music that I’m getting introduced to. I think that you’ve got to keep an attitude of never wanting to stop growing,” he says. “Then on the acting side, I’m drawn to darker projects, things that are dramatic, intense, and really push me—but also mixing in some of these great opportunities for things that continue to show my comedy side as well. Having many layers to ‘all things Nick Jonas’ is kind of the key.”
He credits the success of his latest music to his commitment to documenting his emotional journey after a breakup that was even more shattering than parting ways with his siblings: his split with model/beauty queen Olivia Culpo after a two-year relationship.
“On the acting side, I’m drawn to darker projects… having many layers to ‘all things Nick Jonas’ is kind of the key.” —Nick Jonas
“Heartbreak is a theme that a lot of people relate to—the challenges of the next steps in your life, and when some doors close, and how you approach the next ones opening,” he says. “I saw pretty quickly that it was a lot of what my fans could relate to.” But it wasn’t initially easy to translate his personal pain into hooky lyrics. “It’s nerve-wracking when [the feelings] are as personal as the ones that I shared were. But I feel relieved when I use my writing as a way to process—it’s very therapeutic.”
These days, dating hasn’t been a priority—but Jonas is still putting himself out there “a little bit.” “I’ve been pretty busy!” he explains. “It’s been challenging to find any time on that front. But it’s also a choice I made to just have this season of my life be solo, so that I can make the most of all I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve got plenty of time, at 24. I mean I hope I have plenty of time!”
As for that other central personal relationship—the one with his brothers—the professional split was “the best thing that ever happened to us. It has allowed for us to just be family,” he says. “Joe and I live together in LA. We have a home there together—we’re very, very close. My brother Kevin and his wife have a baby and another one on the way. He’s now into his next step, which is in the tech world, which is really amazing. It’s all a really healthy change.”
With the reboot of Jumanji next on his slate—his entry into macro-budget, studio tent-pole filmmaking—Jonas realizes how rare his journey from what could have been a disposable stint as a teen idol into a formidable multihyphenate in the entertainment world truly is.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have what feels like a few shots at this, to be in a spot where it’s almost like I’ve gotten [a chance] to restart,” he says. “I was on a rocket ship to the moon with my brothers as part of a teen phenomenon. And to come back and solidify an adult career with real confidence in myself and pride in my work, I think I’ve now been able to see things a little bit differently. And that really does shape who you become as a person, the way you see the world… and the way you treat other human beings.”
NTERNATIONAL POPSTARS DNCE AND NICOLE SCHERZINGER AMONGST PERFORMERS TO TAKE TO THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY STAGE FOR RAYS OF SUNSHINE CHILDREN’S CHARITYON MONDAY 24TH OCTOBER 2016
Also performing will be Fleur East, X Factor reigning winner Louisa Johnson and rock pop band Lawson. The evening will also see a very special performance from Nicole Scherzinger singing a unique song with the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Choir, a group of brave and inspiring seriously ill children. Other acts are to be announced.
The event will be hosted by Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity www.raysofsunshine.org.uk which grants wishes to seriously ill children across the UK.
The concert is sponsored by SSE as part of a new two-year partnership between SSE and Rays of Sunshine that will see the charity event take place at The SSE Arena Wembley in 2016 and 2017. SSE’s support of the event will enable the charity to offer 2,000 complimentary tickets to seriously ill children, who have previously had wishes granted.
Tickets go on general sale from 9am on Monday 12th September 2016. Tickets from £25 plus booking fees. SSE Reward customers can purchase tickets for this show in the exclusive pre-sale from Friday 9thSeptember, in advance of general release via www.ssereward.com. You must get your gas, electricity, phone, broadband or boiler breakdown cover from SSE to become a member.
Nicole, who will be performing with the Rays of Sunshine Choir, was inspired to be a part of the event after meeting eight-year-old wish child Ella, from Lancashire, who is currently living with Renal Failure. Ella, who had her wish granted to sing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ to Simon Cowell by the charity, will be taking to the stage alongside 15 other brave and inspiring seriously ill children.
Nicole Scherzinger commented:
“I am super excited to perform at the Rays of Sunshine Concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley in October. Seeing Ella’s beautiful smile again brightened up my day and it was an absolute pleasure to meet Murad and Joel too, they’re all such brave and inspiring children.
“I can’t wait to take to the stage and help Rays of Sunshine brighten the lives of many more brave and deserving children. This concert is such a unique event, with over a thousand seriously ill children in the audience, that it’s an absolute honour to be a part of it. It’s going to be a fantastic show.”
Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity, added:
“The concert is going to be a magical event which will enable us to provide a night of distraction and entertainment to thousands of brave and deserving children. We are so grateful to SSE, The SSE Arena, Wembley and all our amazing performers for making this incredible night possible.”
Colin Banks, Head of Sponsorship at SSE, said:
“At SSE we are committed to making a difference and are extremely proud to be supporting Rays of Sunshine and to be giving thousands of children the opportunity to come and see some of their musical heroes at The SSE Arena, Wembley for the very first time.
“The work that Rays of Sunshine do in brightening up the lives of seriously ill children across the UK is just fantastic and we are honoured to be able play our part by giving these incredibly brave kids, a fantastic day out at what promises to be an incredible show”.
SSE has been the title sponsor of The SSE Arena, Wembley since June 2014. The utility company is also title sponsor of The SSE Hydro (Glasgow), The SSE Arena, Belfast and The SSE Swalec, Wales.
SSE customers get access to a number of entertainment benefits through SSE REWARD including advance ticket access, upgrades to SSE lounges and unique money can’t buy opportunities.
You may have heard their catchy single, Cake by the Ocean, that is still dominating the UK charts at its 31st week in the top 40 – but DNCE are proving that they are more than just a one hit wonder.
Joe Jonas, one third of the teen pop band The Jonas Brothers, has separated with Disney once and for all as he joins with Jinjoo, Jack and Cole to create DNCE – and yes, that ‘A’ was left out on purpose. The band mates collectively each have over a decade of experience in the music industry, having toured with the likes of CeeLo Green, Charli XCX, Jordin Sparks, Semi Precious Weapons and of course The Jonas Brothers, they are no new comers to the stage.
MTV’s 2016 Best New Artist winners are currently travelling the world touring since Cake by the Ocean made its way into the charts, so we met with DNCE ahead of their sold out show at the Islington O2 in London to get to know the one year old band a little better.
You guys have just come from New Zealand, how was that?
Joe: It was great, we were in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and then the longest thirty hours to get here. We kind of hit the ground running which is probably the best way to fight the jet lag. We got here yesterday about six to the hotel, and we started at like eight or nine o’clock, so we had to keep things moving but its been a good 48 hours.
How long are you in London for?
Joe: We’re here for another fours days before we head to New York.
So it’s been about a year since you guys started, how did you get together?
Joe: Well, I’ve known Jack and Jinjoo for almost ten years and Jack I were living together and talked about starting a band; we threw around a bunch of different band names for a while. Eventually it started getting serious when I called up Jack and was like dude this is a reality, this idea that we had. Jinjoo was touring with some friends that we knew, Charli XCX and Ciara so she got off tour with them and then we met Cole through a mutual friend and had the perfect connection.
Obviously having that chemistry is important, when did you guys know that this was going to work?
Cole: The first time that we actually played together, all four of us with all our instruments, I think that movement is a huge thing; some people don’t move well together and some people move the same way. We just started moving around together when we were playing music and were just weaving in and out of each other like it was water or something, and we just all knew it was something really special.
So Cake by the Ocean is currently at its 31th week in the UK charts, how did you come about writing this?
Joe: That’s cool I didn’t know that. It was kind of an accident, a happy accident in a way. We were working in the studio, kind of having writers block with producers that came from Sweden and on a break they were telling a story about having Cake by the Ocean which was Sex on the Beach, the drink, so we were like that could be a funny idea for a song. So we started joking around, writing this fun tune and ending up creating Cake by the Ocean.
So your new single Toothbrush is out with the model Ashley Graham in the video, what’s that song about?
Cole: That song is about the beginning of a relationship when your hanging out with someone new and it’s a good vibe and it gets to that point when you start to think about maybe leaving something at somebody’s place, just to test the water. I think it could be five minutes into someone’s relationship or a couple of weeks, but it’s that cool moment where it might be something real.
How did you come up with the name, DNCE?
Jo: Another happy accident, (they all giggle) we were trying to come up with endings for a while and each one was either taken or we’d sleep on it and think that isn’t the right band name. So a late night, one eye open trying to text each other to get some ideas, and someone miss-spelt dance and ‘dnce’ was written. We liked the way it sat out, its not perfect, it kind of reminds people of moving and that’s what we want people to do with our music.
So Jo, have you found a lot of your fans have moved with you from the Jonas Brothers to DNCE?
Jo: I’ve definitely seen familiar faces. Although one thing we’ve learned a lot from DNCE is that our music lived before the visuals, so I think we were figuring out who we were before they saw a music video attached to anything. So it was really cool to hear stories about how people found our music. The song, Cake by the Ocean for example was being streamed by Spotify and Apple Music for months before the video came out, so it was kind of special how we got to watch a fan base grow organically.
Yes because you were playing secret shows in New York for a while?
Jo: Yes we did, we were playing a week worth of shows in an underground bar. Its really special to us, we still try and go back to that bar just to reminisce. I think we are going to do another run of shows there hopefully, just to go back to the roots of things.
You’ve all come from experienced musical backgrounds. Jinjoo, you are from Korea and started playing guitar, tell us about that?
Jinjoo: I grew up playing with my siblings and having albums in Korea, so I am used to being in a band. When I was 19 my Mum had the idea for me to go to America alone. At time I wasn’t ready, I was afraid as I couldn’t speak English and I was very comfortable making music with my family back home. But I found some courage and faith and decided to make the trip to a music school in Hollywood. About a year later I did an audition for Jordin Sparks and got the gig. Everything happened accidentally.
Jack, I hear you were in college when you first started playing for The Jonas Brothers.
Jack: Yeah, I was two months into college and I got a call from a friend who were with these guys who said (interpreting a low male American voice) ‘you gotta play with these they’re ganna be huge next year.’ I was like sweet. I met Jo the day before our first gig and we just took off on the road and had no idea what I was getting myself into, it was crazy.
Cole, were you classically trained in piano?
Cole: Yeah I was. I started playing when I was six and my piano teacher lived across the alley from me and she was really cute so I think that’s why I wanted to go every week. As soon as I realized that you got to hang out with chicks if you were in a band I was like ok. I forgot everything I knew about piano and started playing base.
So you’re currently touring, where are you going next and how’s it all going?
Joe: We are going to New York, were up for a music video award for MTV, so we’re going to fingers crossed take something home. Then were doing a couple of TV shows and just announced were doing a couple of shows with Selena Gomez here in the UK, which will be rad. We are planning the rest of the year right now; we have the album coming out for November so that will keep us really busy. We want to continue to tour, that’s where we feel the most confidant. We enjoyed the last six, seven months its been so nice to just stay on the road so hopefully we’ll get a big tour going next year and just sleep on that bus.
So is touring your favorite part to the whole musical process?
Joe: Yeah defiantly.
Cole: The reason why we are alive is to play music to as many people as possible. It’s like a drug for us. Even when we are writing that’s the vision for us, to be playing and to feel the energy.
So you’re performing tonight at the O2 in Islington, what can we expect?
Joe: Well its going to be pretty awesome to be able to play a show here, the last time we played was in a small little bar to kind of just announce the band over here. Now we put this show on sale and it sold out really quickly and so these are heard core fans that are coming out tonight and supporting. We’ve been reading tweets from all over the place to come to the show tonight.
Yes there’s already a queue way down the road outside we saw when we came in!
Jo: Yeah we’re really excited and were playing new songs off the record and a few covers, and making a few special adjustments for this show in particular and we just hope that were leaving with some memories.
Describe the band in one word
If all the records in the world were destroyed, and you could only save one, what would it be?
Jinjoo: Cake by the Ocean (giggles).
Cole: I’d do Matthew McConaughey’s Spoken Word and read by Mathew McConanughy. I don’t know if that exists, but hopefully by then.
Joe:I really like The Matthew McConaughey one… Jack, I need to think about mine.
Jack: Trying to think real answer or silly answer. I’ll go real answer, The White Album by The Beatles.
Joe: I am just going to bring an extra pair of headphones because they all said great answers, I wanna see what they got.
Eight years ago, few might have predicted that the fresh-faced stars of the hit Disney Channel musical Camp Rock would go on to freely discuss sex in their work, become outspoken proponents for the LGBT community and, this year, mount a joint tour inspired by Bruce Springsteen.
But the Boss is just who Nick Jonas said he and Demi Lovato had in mind when they conceived their relatively stripped-down road show, Future Now, which launched in June.
Specifically, Jonas explained, it was Springsteen’s run of concerts last spring at the Los Angeles Sports Arena – along with a Billy Joel gig he caught at New York’s Madison Square Garden – that made this former tween idol want to turn away from the pop pageantry with which he’d made his name as part of the Jonas Brothers.
“I left that Springsteen show and was like, ‘We’ve got to think like this’,” he said, sprawled on a couch next to Lovato in a dressing room before a show in Boston, Massachussetts.
“Just to go onstage, no theatrics, and pour your heart and soul into the music – that’s what we wanted,” Lovato added as her small black dog scampered around her legs. In truth, the Future Now tour isn’t exactly a no-frills jam-a-thon.
In Boston, the two performers, both 23, were accompanied by sleek visuals and wore outfits considerably more involved than Springsteen’s faded dad jeans.
And the songs, of course, were flashy in their own way: Stomping electro-pop tunes like Lovato’s Confident and moist R&B come-ons like Jonas’ Chains.
But if it’s true, as Jonas said in a freewheeling conversation, that the pop world “is pretty oversaturated these days” – packed with high-tech arena spectacles from Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Madonna – then this production, with its emphasis on live vocals backed by a muscular band, does feel like a different animal. These are excerpts from our talk.
How often do you think about Camp Rock?
Lovato: I don’t, to be honest, unless somebody brings it up.
So what’s coming to mind now?
Jonas: Schooling. We were both 14 or 15 when we filmed the movie, so they had a teacher on set, and you had to do a certain amount of school each day: four hours of school, six hours of work. By the second (Camp Rock movie), Demi and I had both tested out of high school in California, so we were riding high, enjoying life.
Does a kid in show business learn anything from an on-set tutor?
Jonas: From some of them, no. But there was this girl Laura, who actually really helped me prep for the test, because I was not prepared.
Lovato: Mine was Marsha. But other than that? Some were literally just like, “I can’t help you with anything – let’s watch a movie and say you did some studying.
Talk about moving out of the kiddie phase of your career. Is it a transition you have to manage carefully?
Lovato: I kind of cheated – I went to rehab.
Lovato: A real FastPass.
Jonas: I think we had two very different journeys. I was in my transition from adolescence to adulthood while also trying to manage being a family and having our business kind of fall apart.
So, I made a conscious effort to push myself and collaborate with different people. The word “intentional” is dangerous, but it was about intentionally doing certain photo shoots and things that would give people a better idea of who I am today as opposed to their first introduction when I was 14.
Quest for freedom
As individualised as their journeys have been, one thing that’s united the two singers is the way they’ve handled sex in their work – which is to say, the enthusiasm with which they’ve handled it.
A certain amount of lustiness is crucial for any former kiddie star looking to leave the past behind; it’s part of the script followed by Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and plenty of others.
Still, Jonas and Lovato have gone further than most, in songs like his comically lewd Bacon and in revealing photo shoots like the one Lovato did last year for Vanity Fair that had her naked in a hotel bathtub.
Yet it’s not mere titillation or shock value that they appear interested in but something deeper, something almost philosophical about the nature of desire – and of being desired.
Is it part of this overall quest for freedom?
Lovato: It’s definitely liberating. I mean, for someone who’s had body image issues to be able to go onstage in a thong – it’s not just me trying to be sexy. It’s “Look how far I’ve come – I can now show off my whole body and be confident.”
Jonas: As a songwriter, the minute you start having sex, you can totally see the difference in the writing. You become an adult – that’s kind of the whole backbone of it, really, your identity as a person and what sex means to you.
Because you both approach sex candidly, you know the experience of being ogled. The idea of your body becomes public property in a way.
Lovato: I look at it as I’m sharing my experience with my body with my fans, and that’s why they relate to me so much.
Does that encourage people to expect certain details and images from you?
Lovato: There’s an expectation today because of the access to celebrity that this generation has. When I was dreaming about becoming an artiste, there weren’t camera phones; now people get offended if you say no to a picture. The reaction people have when a celebrity enters a room, it blows my mind.
Do you think about the effect a specific act might have? “If I post X on Instagram, then Y will happen.”
Jonas: Of course. When I was younger, that used to really shake me. I was kind of living in fear.
Fear of what?
Jonas: Disappointing people. I didn’t ask to become a role model, but it was thrust upon all of us, regardless of whether you acknowledge it. You have to come to a decision as an adult and say, “I’ve got to live my life.”
There’s nothing wrong with thinking ahead and being aware of how it might affect somebody – everything from a post to where you have dinner to who you’re with. But these aren’t things you can let consume your life.