EXCLUSIVE: Nick Jonas is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the Jake Kasdan-directed reimagining of Jumanji that Sony Pictures has set for a July 28, 2017 release. Matt Tolmach is producing. While Jonas is best known for his singing voice as a solo artist who started as one of the Jonas Brothers, he showed real chops in the frat hazing drama Goat, which premiered at Sundance in January and which Paramount releases September 23. He also stars in the MMA series Kingdom. Busy with music commitments, closing Jonas’ deal is predicated on scheduling. But a studio franchise seems a smart next step in a career worth watching.
Kasdan will direct a script by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, latter of whom last worked for the studio on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Their script is based on draft by original writers, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and the whole thing is based on the Caldecott Medal-winning adventure book by Chris Van Allsburg. William Teitler is also producing and the exec producers are Kasdan, Van Allsburg, Johnson, David Householter, Ted Field, Mike Weber and Dany Garcia. Shooting starts next month in Honolulu.
The original Jumanji starred Robin Williams and was released in 1995. The film grossed more than $260 million globally. The second installment, Zathura, flopped, but Sony has been trying for a while for a foothold to relaunch the fantastical world depicted in Van Allsburg’s book. That effort goes back to when Tolmach was production president at the studio.
Tolmach is separately producing Rock That Body, starring Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell and Kate McKinnon.
The day is bright and balmy, and the bustling crowd at Sweet Butter Kitchen, Café and Market, a country-style bistro in Sherman Oaks, Calif., is dressed for the heat: guys in shorts and flip-flops, girls in tanks and topknots. And then there’s Nick Jonas, in a charcoal wool Rag & Bone hat, a long-sleeve Ann Demeulemeester shirt, and Nudie Jeans. “Last night was kind of chilly,” he explains of his weather-defying look with a small laugh. “I woke up today thinking it would be the same temperature, but it’s clearly not.” How much overnight change can one guy take? Seemingly, one minute Jonas is a cherub-faced boy-bander with a head of soft curls, and the next he’s this man, a full-fledged sex symbol with a buzz cut. As an actor, he’s drawn to more mature roles. In this fall’s frat-hazing drama, Goat, he plays a morally conflicted fraternity brother. And his new album, Last Year Was Complicated, mines a transformative breakup. Still, he exudes an essential sweetness, and it’s this duality—the interplay of light and dark, pop and pathos—that makes him so exciting to watch.
You’re touring with your new album. Just how much does your onstage look match your personal look?
I go for things that pop a little bit more on-stage—you gotta bring your showmanship. But I still like for everything to be within the bounds of what I wear on the street. I think it has a lot to do with splitting my time between music and acting. Being in character 12 hours a day makes you want to be yourself the rest of the time.
What’s your favorite part of being on the road?
The food. I love trying barbecue from all around the country: Houston, St. Louis … There’s an amazing frozen-custard place in St. Louis called Ted Drewes that I always try to stop at. Also, I toured so long not being 21, so these past two and a half years, it’s been fun to go to bars.
Wait—are you saying you didn’t drink until you were 21?
[Laughs] No. But I was smart. I didn’t go out. I wasn’t delusional about the fact that people could pull out their phone and see how old I was.
How does touring with Demi Lovato compare with touring with your brothers?
Working with Demi is truly unique. She’s a strong woman. A lot of people are concerned about speaking their mind, but she’s fearless. She and I have been through a lot together over the past eight years, and seeing how far she’s come, in her recovery and as a person, has been amazing.
On the subject of recovery, you recently participated in a Reddit AMA in which you described yourself as a recovering teen star.
For a long time I chose not to accept it—the complications that come with [fame]. The experiences we had, the kind of crazy ride we were on, were going to have some effect. But I think I turned out OK, with a reasonable amount of sanity.
No swinging from the chandeliers.
I enjoy my cigar and beverage, and that’s about it. Really good Cuban cigars—Cohíba Behike 52s. I’m kind of an old man.
Have you always felt older than your years?
Yeah, I was forced to get my act together at an early age. Having a real job at 8 [Jonas played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol on Broadway] sounds funny, but, you know, they really do treat you like an adult. They expect professionalism onstage and off.
You’re getting a lot of attention for your role in Goat. How is Nick Jonas the actor different from Nick Jonas the pop star?
I become someone else while I’m acting, but music stuff has got to be completely authentic. They complement each other. I don’t think I would have been able to be as fearless in the “Close” video, where I had to do things that are by nature uncomfortable, without acting experience. I’m drawn to stuff that puts me on the edge a little bit.
Who is the first person who struck you as cool?
My dad’s friend Roger Hodges. He was this bald, guitar-playing badass. I mean, he was in the worship band at our church. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I told my parents I wanted to look like him. They couldn’t understand it. But he was a badass with his bald head.
Have your tastes evolved since then?
As I got older, Elvis Costello became a big fashion icon for me. I did one photo shoot where I wore vanity glasses. But it felt stupid—I felt like a fraud—so I just let it go.
When you look back on your style, is there anything else that makes you cringe?
I went through an Ed Hardy phase. That burned really hot really fast. But then, besides that? I’ve had a few moments, things that were on-trend years ago that now are just insane. And I’m a firm believer that men should not tuck their pants into their shoes. The relationship between clothing and a man is really interesting. You have to be confident first before whatever you’re wearing has any effect. I’ve seen people pull off some pretty bold s— because they were confident about it.
Photo Credits: Grooming by Marissa Machado/Baxter of Califorina/Art Department; Styling by James Valeri; Production by Kelsey Stevens Production.
Nick Jonas is on course for his highest-charting solo album yet on the Billboard 200, according to industry forecasters. Sources suggest that his latest release, Last Year Was Complicated, could debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated July 2. That would secure Jonas his best ranking ever on the chart, following the No. 6 peak of his self-titled 2014 album, and the No. 3 plateau of his Who I Am album in 2010 (with The Administration).
Last Year Was Complicated — which was released on June 10 via Safehouse/Island Records — may earn over 60,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 16, with over 40,000 of that sum in traditional album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new July 2-dated Billboard 200 chart is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, June 19.
Jonas was of course also part of the sibling trio the Jonas Brothers, which snared five top 10 albums, with two of those hitting No. 1: A Little Bit Longer in 2008 and Lines, Vines and Trying Times in 2009.
As for the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart dated July 2, Drake’s Views album will likely hold onto the top slot for a seventh consecutive week, with perhaps over 115,000 units.
Elsewhere in the new top 10, watch for the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton to possibly surge into the top 10 for the first time after its 11 Tony Award wins on June 12. In addition, Jon Bellion’s The Human Condition may bow in the region with over 35,000 units.
Nick Jonas remembers his first suit fondly: a green double-breasted suit that he wore with braces and a bow tie at age three. Years later, history would repeat itself at the Richard Chai show in New York, where he sat front row in a double-breasted green suit. The irony wasn’t lost on his mother, who put pictures of the kid suit and the grown-up suit side-by-side, which Jonas thought was hilarious.
At the Spring/Summer 2016 edition of London Collections Men, Jonas returned to the front row at the Topman Design fashion show, clad in a velvet burgundy blazer, stacked black skinny jeans, and burnished brown boots. An affinity for fashion seems to run in the family. Joe Jonas is a New York Fashion Week fixture, while Nick is no stranger to fashion magazines and also happens to be a Wilhelmina model. On a more cerebral level, he says the brothers have always had an interest in the fashion world. For him, it’s a way of experiencing culture through clothing.
“A lot of what happens in the fashion world in general actually informs artistry on a deeper level,” he says. That’s not to say he’s a big shopper. While the idea of shopping doesn’t terrify him as it would most men, he prefers a more sniper-like approach: going to a store with a specific item in mind, zeroing in on it, and buying it immediately. When he lived in New York, he often frequented the nearby Topman, where he utilized the Personal Shopping service to make his visits easier.
“I think the great part is once the Personal Shopping stylists start to know what you like, they set the items up perfectly and you just get in and get out,” he says.
Nick’s personal style skews more casual than tailored. During our interview, he was clad in a black curved-brim baseball cap, a paneled black hoodie from Garciavelez, skinny black jeans, and slightly scuffed white high-tops from luxury sneaker label Common Projects. He works closely with a stylist, but has certainly developed some rules of his own. He attended the 2016 Met Gala in a custom Topman look that he consulted on the design of.
“I’m really all about the classic approach, but with some bold elements. That’s my style guide in general,” he says. During Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party the week after his Topman cover shoot, he puts that philosophy into practice, wearing a slim black tuxedo with peak lapels and of-the-moment Chelsea boots. He looks every bit like himself, with a healthy dose of the “Old Hollywood” vibe that’s seeped into red carpet menswear. The look is absolutely a modern classic.
“I think that the minute you put on a suit, you feel like a man. It becomes this thing where you’re locked in,” he says. “It’s really a nice thing, especially since I have a shaved head, so the clothing is really important.”
But in a men’s style landscape where the suit is diminishing in favour of casual sportswear and easy-wearing staples like jeans, hoodies, T-shirts, and bomber jackets, where does tailored clothing fit into the everyday wardrobe? For Jonas, that means injecting just enough tailoring to make a statement, and balancing it out with easy-wearing basics. Hence, the burgundy blazer with the black t-shirt and jeans, and the otherwise conservative tuxedo with old-school peak lapels.
“I think it makes a bolder statement when you can take suiting and do something really unique to your style, especially when a lot of what you wear is more casual,” says Jonas. “In those moments, I always think about how to make a big impact.”
Speaking of bold statements, Jonas’ acting career has been defined by roles that redefine uber-macho character tropes. Whether it’s gay MMA fighter Nate Kulina in Kingdom, the sexually ambiguous Boone in Scream Queens, or protective older brother Brett Land in Goat, a performance that garnered him praise at Berlinale and Sundance. Jonas is attracted to these kinds of roles because they have an element of social commentary, or the story speaks to something larger than himself.
“With Goat for instance, the hazing is hard to watch, and the relationship between the two brothers is a real tentpole in the whole film,” he says. “But at its core, you leave thinking about what masculinity in 2016 looks like.” And while he can’t perfectly define what modern masculinity is, he can certainly describe it: “It’s about feeling comfortable and confident as a man. Whether that’s emotionally or physically.
Jonas stresses the importance of community as well, and the people who have an influence on you. He credits being reared in a home with a strong moral compass and a priority to practice empathy to everyone as helping him develop a worldview that stems from acceptance. With a big fanbase in the LGBQT community, he’s a firm believer in keeping an open dialogue, especially about taboo topics like sex, growing into your own skin, and becoming your true self —whoever that may be.
For him, the Internet can be a great tool for people to find those sorts of like-minded communities, especially if they may not live in that sort of setting.
“I think there are a lot of things influencing culture, making people more aware. Anyone can look at some of the negative that’s out there and be aware of the fact that we have a long way to go, but I think we’re moving towards a real plane of acceptance—which is great,” says Jonas. “We’re making progress. Even in hip-hop culture for instance, the lyricists who are breaking through have something real to say, and it’s a broad worldview.”
An avid social media user, he’s especially fascinated with how newer platforms like Vine and Snapchat don’t just allow celebrities like himself to interact with fans—they’re viable launch pads for entire careers. He cites label mate Shawn Mendes, a Vine superstar, as bona fide proof of the power of cultivating a social fan base. Nick Jonas is fully aware of this, and boasts some 6 million Instagram followers. Some of his favourite accounts to follow provide a view into his diverse tastes – from men’s lifestyle publication Hypebeast, hilarious meme aggregator Fuckjerry to several cigar and watch aficionado accounts.
Jonas also in a place where he’s witnessed the disruption of the entertainment industry first-hand. Not just in the way consumers listen to and get their music, but how they interact with celebrities and find their own cultural figures.
“Everything has to evolve, and the world never stops turning,” he says. “So you have to be aware of the fact that as a creative person, it’s important to stay as close to the cutting edge as you can, because you can fall behind, which is scary.”
That curious philosophy also applies to how he thinks about his music. As artists like Rihanna and Kanye West—fellow members of the Roc Nation family—drop albums on exclusive platforms like Tidal, Jonas is keenly aware of the challenges current artists are facing in the new entertainment paradigm. And he’s open to adapting accordingly.
“It’s important to be creative in how you give your fans and people that aren’t familiar with the music access, because they’re not all just going to buy it or stream it,” says Jonas. “I’m not counting out that I would never do that—I might— but I feel like it’s worked for them.”
The ever-changing landscape can be tough for new artists to navigate, which is why last year, Jonas partnered with fellow pop star Demi Lovato and veteran talent manager Phil McIntyre to form Safehouse Records, a self-proclaimed “artist-centric” record label. As established artists often go on to mentor the next generation, Nick Jonas says one of the biggest lessons he’s learned is how to let go and cede control to your team.
“I was pretty controlling at the time with the brothers, and even at the beginning of my solo stuff,” he admits. “But it was actually when I took a step back and gave up some control that I was creatively free to write a song that would redefine my career.”
His advice to up-and-coming and aspiring artists is simple: “Trust the people that you work with, and even if it doesn’t go the way you planned, there’s a lesson in there that can help you next time.” Beyond starting a label, Nick Jonas is also finishing up a new album. The past few years have been sort of a musical spirit quest.
In addition to influences like Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, and Prince, he’s been embracing new artists ranging from J. Cole to Drake. Jonas says the new album will include surprising features from artists Ty Dolla $ign to Swedish songwriter Tove Lo.
“This is the most personal work I’ve ever done,” admits Jonas. “I went through a lot last year career-wise, but also in my personal life,” he continued, addressing a breakup that took place last year.
That breakup served as the inspiration for a song on the new album, the uniquely-named “Bacon.”
“The chorus is: ‘Life is so good, I might as well throw some bacon on it.’ It’s a song written after a breakup, when I finally had a moment realizing I was going to be okay,” says Jonas. . Indeed, with a new album under his belt, the Future Now tour with Demi Lovato this summer, and a critically acclaimed film, it looks like Nick Jonas will be bringing home the bacon.
Imperfectly perfect: DNCE knows a thing or two about living life with no regrets. Comprised of singer Joe Jonas, guitarist JinJoo, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle, and drummer Jack Lawless, the band exploded onto the scene with their poppy debut single, “Cake by the Ocean,” a radio hit that caters to a musical sweet tooth for sticky, saccharine pop-rock.
While the band formed in 2015, Jonas had been working to bring his vision of DNCE to life ever since the Jonas Brothers officially disbanded in 2013. The band’s SWAAY EP, released at the end of last year, is just the pre-party—albeit a wildly fun one—for their debut album, slated for an August release. Reminiscent of a funkier Maroon 5 or The Killers, the EP refuses to take itself too seriously… and is catchy as hell. The music feels nostalgic of that epic night when you crashed a stranger’s house party, had one too many frozen margaritas, and cherry bombed into the pool… or wish you had.
In their own words, DNCE are “the best friends you wish you could’ve met years ago.” Yeah, that sounds about right. And just like old pals, we chatted with the band about their upcoming album, their go-to DNCE moves, and about the time they performed for Barack Obama.
What is the album going to be about?
A lot of the songs will be about love and life, but as seen through giant, funky disco glasses.
SWAAY EP had a fresh sound, but also included the element of nostalgia. Which musicians inspire your sound?
Earth, Wind & Fire, and post-2000’s Nicolas and John Cage.
What do you think it is about your band that connects with people?
We’re the best friends you wish you could’ve met years ago!
Joe, what is it about the experience of creating music that is different while in a band versus as a solo artist?
It’s always been comfortable for me to work within a band, whether it be with my brothers or my friends. Everyone brings different ideas to the table for a more collaborative experience.
Describe one another’s go-to DNCE moves.
JinJoo’s is “Korean Twerker,” Jack’s is “Backup singer for The Doors,” Cole’s is “The Last Air Bender,” and Joe’s is “Elvis meets MC Hammer.”
If everyone in the band where an animal, what would you be?
JinJoo would be a hamster, Jack would be a large wild cat, Cole would be a turkey burger, and Joe would be a bald eagle.
How do you balance creative differences and collaborate as a band?
We all trust each other and always vibe to the correct destination, creatively.
JinJoo, what’s it like playing in a band of all boys?
This is basically a girl-band with three boys in it!
DNCE has so much energy on stage. What are you guys up to an hour before showtime? Any pre-show rituals?
Before every show we practice aerobics, martial arts, Olympic drinking and interpretive joke-telling.
Your shows are stupid fun. Which show has been your favorite thus far?
Every show has been memorable for us because the fans make each show different. Some standout shows were playing MSG last December, playing a soccer stadium in Nicaragua, and performing on The Ellen Show on the same show as Barack Obama.
What is something about DNCE that fans would be surprised to hear?
Obama once opened up for us! (See previous answer.)
Since “Cake by the Ocean” dropped, how many cakes have you received? Who in the band is the ultimate cake monster?
We have received many cakes, big and small, tasty and disgusting. We’d have to say that Joe is our ultimate cake monster.
MTV PUSH artists of the month DNCE stopped by the MTV offices yesterday for a Twitter takeover, and here’s what we found out…
They Have A Lot Of UK Love
Their Fans Can Be A Little Cray
Their Debut Album Is Coming This Year
Source: MTV UK
“Any time you grow up with siblings close in age as we were, there’s that sense of fraternity life,” Jonas told a festival press conference.
It turns out the Jonas Brothers didn’t have such a wholesome, family-friendly upbringing after all.
Nick Jonas on Wednesday told the Berlin Film Festival that growing up with brothers Joe and Kevin, and launching their successful boy band before a fraternal breakup was a perfect training ground for the teen heartthrob to star in Andrew Neel’s fraternity film Goat. “Any time you grow up with siblings close in age as we were, there’s that sense of fraternity life as such, plus we worked together for so long and spent a lot of time of impressionable lives together,” Jonas said.
“There’s definitely a training ground there,” he added. Goat, which debuted in Sundance before playing in the Panorama sidebar in Berlin, sees Jonas play a frat member whose brother — played by Ben Schnetzer — decides to join Greek life and undergoes hazing.
Jonas said he also prepared for the hazing ritual film by visiting a college bar in Bowling Green, Ohio, while on a concert tour around a month before cameras started rolling for Goat. “I went out to a college car and had a really unique experience that I can’t really remember, but I know I didn’t do anything too stupid,” Jonas recounted.
“I just had too may shots of tequila, which became a good training ground for the movie as well, I think,” he added. Jonas met with director Neel to discuss the part before auditioning, and recalled “relief” when later meeting Schnetzer, his co-star.
“He’s not only an amazing actor, obviously, but he has a really great heart, and he’s someone I immediately connected with. We had a limited amount of time to build our chemistry, so that’s important,” Jonas said of rehearsals. “Some were good days and some were bad days, and it was all to set up the making of this film. It was great, one of the best experiences of my life,” he added.
For director Neel, Goat called for emotional performances from his cast, and precautions on set. “We had a safe word, it was pineapple,” he told the Berlin presser.
Neel wrote the screenplay for Goat with Mike Roberts and Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green. James Franco, who plays a supporting role in the film, produced Goat along with Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa and Vince Jolivette. Robert Halmi Jr., John Wells and Jim Reeve acted as executive producers.
Paramount Home Media earlier acquired the worldwide rights to Goat. The deal is for worldwide rights to the film, which will get a day-and-date VOD release, with a third party handling theatrical distribution. MTV will get the first TV window.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
There’s something about Nick Jonas that seems to make women go weak at the knees. Over the years, he’s enjoyed dalliances with some of the world’s most beautiful females – Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Delta Goodrem have all fallen for his charms.
And since splitting from his beauty queen girlfriend of two years Olivia Culpo last June, he’s also been linked to Kate Hudson who, at 36, is 13 years his senior. It all sounds like it should be keeping Nick, 23, very busy indeed – but then he’s used to having a lot on his plate.
During his eight years in The Jonas Brothers – the squeaky-clean pop band he formed with brothers Kevin, 28, and Joe, 26 – the boys worked tirelessly and sold over 17 million albums worldwide. However, the split in 2013 when Nick chose to go solo caused a painful rift.
“[The fallout] was getting complicated,” he says, adding things “would have probably gone past the point of no return” had they not built bridges when they did.
Since then, Nick has enjoyed chart success on his own with the single Jealous, which reached No.2 in the UK last year. His hotly anticipated second album is due for release in April, and he’s also carving out a career as a serious actor, playing martial arts fighter Nate Kulina in US TV show Kingdom and starring in Fox’s black comedy Scream Queens.
As Nick reclines on the red velvet sofa after our shoot to discuss his journey from child star to beefcake pop idol, he talks with a rare depth of honesty that eludes many celebrities. No topic is off-limits – from his love life to his A-list pals. Which is just the way we like it.
What was the toughest part of being a teen star?
The pressure I put on myself to be perfect. Being in the Disney system, there was that pressure, [but] I learned very quickly that it’s literally impossible and you need to make mistakes to figure out who you are. It was hard being in the public eye, but by no means am I complaining about it.
You seem very sensible for your age. Have you always been so grown-up?
I feel like I’m catching myself up. At 12 or 13 I was probably 23 in mentality. I’ve learned to have a good time, loosen up and really enjoy myself just as much as taking my work seriously.
When was the last time you did something naughty?
I was in Vegas last weekend, and that was a fun trip…
Was it like The Hangover?
There was no tiger, but there were one or two women! The friends I was with are grown-up people over 40. Most of the people I hang out with are quite a few years my senior.
Ahem, we know… Come on, are you dating Kate Hudson?
No. We weren’t in a relationship. It was obviously publicised to a degree where it was impossible to deny that something was happening. She’s amazing, and the time we shared was really special. I care so much for her.
Could there be a future for you and Kate one day?
I don’t know. I think the brilliant position I’m in at this moment is that I’m learning how to be casual with people in a dating setting. It doesn’t always have to be the picket fence and the dog.
Does that mean you’re playing hard to get?
It means I’m really excited to experience life with people. My last relationship [with Olivia, 23] was very intense, and I think I looked up and realised that it’s important to not take it too seriously.
And do you like older women?
It makes sense that I’m attracted to older women because my personality matches that.
How did the end of your relationship with Olivia affect your music?
This new album was heavily influenced by my break-up. It’s my best effort to lay it all open and not be afraid to say how I feel, what I’m going through. I have a fear of being vulnerable, which a lot of guys have.
Which exes have you not stayed on good terms with?
I’m back and forth with people. There are people I don’t talk to, but not because we’re on bad terms – just because it’s easier for us not to do so.
Do you think Selena Gomez was the right girl but the wrong time?
That one is way more complicated than that. She’s incredible, and the best way for me to go about processing that relationship is letting my creative life be the thing that helps me understand what it is.
You were spotted out with Kendall Jenner last year. Why did that not turn into a relationship?
With Joe and Gigi [Hadid, 20, Kendall’s best friend] dating, it was natural that we would meet up. I guess I wouldn’t really close the door in general. She’s very sweet and if something happens, it happens.
Will we see you on Keeping Up With The Kardashians?
Definitely not. My brother did that [Kevin starred in reality show Married To Jonas in 2012-13 with wife Danielle Deleasa, 29] and it was something that I really did not enjoy. Watching him… it was complicated.
Did you worry your relationship with your brothers would never be the same after you split?
There was definitely that fear. It took a couple of months of rebuilding and I feel that we’re closer than we’ve ever been. It was time for us to close that chapter and, naturally, it was very tough. Our family dynamic was built around the band, so we had to relearn to be family without it.
You’re pretty buff these days…
I’m very comfortable and confident with my body, but have moments of insecurity. I have a broad back for my size so I have to work hardest at my chest because it gets swallowed by my back.
Do you have a celebrity body idol?
Daniel Craig, of course. He’s a life idol.
It looks like Daniel’s hanging up his 007 hat – maybe there’s room for you to take over?
I think I’m a little young and a little American, but I hope Idris Elba does it. I think he would be amazing.
Ellen DeGeneres is your landlord in LA. Does she come round and fix the washing machine?
She doesn’t do it, her people do, but she’s been very kind and let me use some of her really beautiful, old wood dressers, which I’m taking really good care of!
When were you last wowed by a celebrity?
Any time I meet Beyoncé I’m just blown away. She’s like a queen. I played at Made In America festival [last year] and had a really good conversation with Jay Z.
What was that like?
Incredibly inspiring. He really believes in me, which makes me feel great. Between him and Taylor [Swift], who’s a great friend to me, I’ve got two pretty strong allies.
Does Taylor always tell it to you straight?
She doesn’t beat around the bush… with anybody!
Source: Fabulous Magazine
Singer, songwriter, actor Nick Jonas, 23, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago. As a fellow type 1 myself, and a regular blogger for DiabeticLifestyle, I was thrilled when I got the call about the chance to interview Jonas! He’s been my dia-crush (person with diabetes who has a crush on another diabetic) ever since I heard him croon with his brothers. Even cooler in my mind (other then his global superstar status) is that he’s down-to-earth and actually cares about raising diabetes awareness. So how does he hope his non-profit, Beyond Type 1, will help people with diabetes? What does he look for in a ‘type 3’? What’s the nicest thing someone has done for him to support his diabetes? Read my exclusive interview with this bright star (and dia-badass!) to find out.
Tell me about your type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
Ten years ago when I was 13 and touring with my brothers, I noticed a dramatic change in my body and my mood. I’ve always been a very upbeat person, but suddenly, I was irritable all the time. I was constantly thirsty and always needing to use the bathroom. I also started losing weight rapidly—20 pounds in two weeks! Something was very wrong. I felt sluggish, drained, like a balloon losing air. I was struggling to get through my tour and finally decided to make an appointment to meet with my doctor. She ordered several tests, including my blood glucose. My level had spiraled out of control to over 800—I was immediately rushed to the hospital. It was absolutely terrifying. The doctors told me I had type 1 diabetes.
How did you initially handle the news?
It was truly one of the most frightening moments of my life. I was shocked at first. And my family was just as panicked. But the real scare was I had to quickly learn so much. It was completely overwhelming. Looking back on it now, I guess in some ways it was better to be just thrown in and given everything at once. Knowing that everything was possible to live your life while you have this disease—it was a real shock and also a bit of a relief. I knew that something was wrong physically and it was a relief to be able to put our finger on what it was.
How long have you been wearing the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), and have you seen a difference since making the switch?
I’ve been on the Dexcom for two years now after being introduced to it by a good friend Sam. He was wearing it and told me how great it was for him, so then I jumped right on it and soon realized how simple my life became. With my schedule, getting my blood sugar sent to me every five minutes made it a real ease.
Have you seen a difference in your quality of life by making the switch to Dexcom? If so, what?
I’ve seen a major difference and just recently had a check-up with my doctor and my numbers were excellent. Actually, they were my best since having type 1 diabetes. That was really encouraging.
Do you do insulin injections or do you wear an insulin pump?
I’m on a pump.
What advice would you give to someone hesitant to wear a CGM and/or pump because they’re afraid of having a physical medical device on them that people around them can recognize?
I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends and people that come up to me and share their stories at my shows and want some advice on this. Best advice I can give is looking at diabetes in my experiences has always been about how simple I can make my life and how focused I am on not letting it rule my life. That sums up my mentality. There can be fear at times to break from what they’re used to and do something that steps outside of their comfort zone. I always say that I think you’ll immediately see a difference in your numbers and knowing that you will feel better. The appearance side is more overwhelming thought than a reality. There’s always a way to go about being discreet, especially for women. Know that you can be creative and find a way to handle it so that you’re not uncomfortable.
How do you hope your new non-profit Beyond Type 1 will help educate people?
I think the main goal for Beyond Type 1 is about raising awareness around the differences between type 1 and type 2 and to specifically build the community for type 1 diabetics. To build up comfort and a safety net for people. When I have hard days, I reach out to my type 1 friends because we speak the same language. Our website was designed to show diabetics living their lives out the way they want to live them because there’s a real encouragement to that on a day-to-day level. And yeah there’s speaking out when people talk with ignorance and aren’t completely aware of the impact of what they’re saying on so many people’s lives. Eventually we need to do all that we can to raise money for a cure.
One of our readers, a mom of a little boy with type 1, wants to know: “How does Nick carry his supplies and does he feel free to test everywhere or does he prefer to test in private?”
I carry my supplies in my backpack that I take everywhere I go. If I’m on the road and I’m walking into dinner or an event I’ll leave it in the car, knowing that it’s near by. My whole secutiy team and my assistant carry supplies as backups. The CGM makes testing in public easier because I can just look at that and if I need to test with a meter I’m not really shy to pull it out and do it in public because there’s been freedom speaking about living with diabetes and sometimes it’s a conversation starter (chuckled) in a weird way. I’m not really uncomfortable about it…I let the flag fly.
I think that’s great. You and I are probably very similar in that (letting the diabetes flag fly)! We both know as T1’s you don’t get to take a day off from having diabetes. What secrets have you found that help you better manage diabetes?
I think the biggest piece has been really trusting my doctor. I have a great doctor and I rely on her in a big way. Outside of that, I think being transparent with your friends and family is important. Some of the pressure that I feel at times is about keeping face even when I’m feeling high blood sugar or low. It’s ok to be in that moment and make everyone aware, especially if they feel like something is off about you. There’s nothing worse than having to hide a low or high blood sugar. (When you tell others what’s going on) It gives you time to manage it. I also think it’s just being aware of your body. Knowing that everyone’s life with diabetes is their own life with diabetes and it’s very individual to them. The way their body will react can be different. Try to be aware, take mental notes of how your body reacted in different situations and if a complication happens, do everything you can to go about it in a different way and just learn from the experience. Don’t get down on yourself.
When it comes to dating, I’m sure you’ve made a couple headlines for who you’ve been out with. How would you define a good type 3 (a diabetic significant other)? Are there some specific traits that you look for and/or stay away from?
(Jonas chuckles). Definitely found more to stay away from at this point! I think it’s about learning from each experience. What I look for is someone who can be a support system for your diabetes; someone who is willing to learn as much as possible. Willing to be helpful with situations where they need to be helpful but then also give you space when you need space. When I’m taking care of a low I prefer to be on my own and not really be talked to that much. I just want to get it up and figure it out. I need someone to understand that. There’s that real desire to want to support the person who is not feeling well—but sometimes the best thing to do is just to give them that space. Someone who can understand that is really great. I want someone who wants to get involved in the foundation and other diabetes related organizations…that means the world to me.
What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done to support you when it came to your diabetes?
My brother Joe and I live out in California together and spend a lot of time together. He’s very aware of when I’m feeling off with diabetes. He’s really learned to manage different scenarios, which has been great. I try to be a pretty controlling person but there are times, like you said, you don’t get a day off from diabetes and so there are days when you just have to handle having diabetes, and over the years of touring with the band, he would handle it for me. He’ll tell the team, “We need this and that.” I think that kind of brother love—there’s an understanding that goes unspoken and is a really incredible thing.
What is the biggest positive and negative to living with diabetes?
I think the biggest positive for me is that it’s my story to encourage people, to give them that faith that I so desperately wanted when I was first diagnosed. Hopefully they can look at my story and me and see that it’s possible to do whatever you want to do with your life; to be free, while living with the disease. I think the negative is just that we still have such a long way to go until people are really educated and you stop getting asked the questions that are the eye-rolling questions. The eating sugar questions. What did you do to get diabetes? Those questions are hard…I’m not going to lie. It’s annoying and hard and I know that a lot of diabetic friends of mine feel the same way. But we are getting there. It’s just a process before people really start to understand. I think we just have to be patient. If that’s the worst thing about it then we’re in good shape. I think the road ahead is exciting. We also have technology pushing us forward. Hopefully we’re in a place in a couple years where it’s even better living with diabetes.
We’re incredibly appreciative of the work that you’re doing to put a face on the disease and to be such an outspoken, positive advocate. I know it’s a choice of yours where you put your resources. Thank you for that.
Thank you, I really appreciate that.
Source: Diabetic Lifestyle
Nick Jonas is a recovering teen idol, and now a thoroughly adult solo artist, and tonight he’s going to outdrink me. In the parking lot of Pinches Tacos, he tells his bodyguard we’re going to Bar Marmont, like he’s checking in with his dad, and we jaywalk across a strangely deserted Sunset Boulevard.
A bit later, over our second or third round of drinks, I ask him if he ever feels trapped.
“No, I feel really free,” he assures me. “The most free in my life that I’ve ever been. Career-wise I don’t feel trapped. I feel great. And as far as me, Nick, as a person, I feel the most free.” We tipsily clink our glasses: “Here’s to free Nick,” we say, toasting his liberation. Jonas adds, with a slightly mischievous smile, “He’s way more fun to be around.”
And he’s not wrong. Twenty-four hours earlier, all my notions about Nick Jonas were rooted in nostalgia for his Disney years and further complicated by his current breakout, a three-tiered career track that has him dabbling in acting, singing, and producing, seemingly trying out all the professional hats a 23-year-old megastar could. He’s always been seen as the “serious” Jonas. Maybe because he’s quieter, more reserved, even a tad world-weary. Tonight, he seems to want to break out of that mold, too, and be a touch more spontaneous, which means talking about dating, drinking tequila, and abandoning his bodyguard, with permission, of course. These seemingly small actions might mean a change of attitude—being a little more vulnerable, maybe not giving a fuck, and leaning into who Nick Jonas, as an artist and a man, is becoming.
By the time Jonas was a teenager, he already had a career that working actors could only fever-dream about: being discovered in a hair salon when he was 6 years old, performing on the Broadway stage, and starring in a series of Disney TV shows and the Camp Rock movie franchise. Of course, he was also one-third of the mass hysteria-inducing boy band Jonas Brothers, with brothers Kevin and Joe. He describes the Disney experience as strange—as if you were attending high school in front of everyone. “It was a job. It was a lot of responsibility. It was also excellent training for what I’m doing now,” he says.
Experiencing that magnitude of fame as a barely pubescent teenager—the kind where your face is plastered over lunch boxes, T-shirts, and television screens—made him nervous. The pressure to be perfect, lest everything disappear, was a legitimate and real fear for him. Fans did crazy things, like sneaking into the back of a tour van in Germany. One time he walked into his dressing room to discover a mother/daughter pair he’d never met just hanging out. The brothers even once received a dead baby shark in the mail. “That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen,” Jonas says, with a laugh.
Still, though he spent his teen years in an invisible cage, watched by millions of other teens everywhere, Jonas insists that things were pretty normal for the most part (except dating Miley and Selena). In truth, his life felt like it was fractured in two: There was Real Teen Nick, and then there was Disney Nick. “This isn’t real,” he remembers thinking. What was real to Jonas was all the IRL teen drama he let into his life: the angst about girls, hormones, growing up—the usual. “I was preoccupied with that shit.” The brothers rode the high highs and the low lows until they finally split in 2013, after a 2010 hiatus, to explore solo projects. It was difficult and emotional for all of them, Jonas says, but he acknowledges that “it would have ended badly if we hadn’t ended it when we did.”
He looks exactly as I expected him to. That’s my immediate thought when we meet for the first time, at the photo shoot. He’s the boy next door but grown up—all buzzed hair, bedroom eyes, and a slight tilt to his teeth. He’s dressed in dirty fatigues for the shoot and is incredibly polite as we make small talk and he shows me a video on his phone of a stuntman being set on fire.
Still, I feel slightly creepy watching him smolder, mug, and flex at the camera, bopping along to his impressive, R&B-heavy playlist. (I later learned it’s called “Hot Jams.”) But the atmosphere relaxes soon enough when we meet up afterward at his favorite taco spot to talk.
When I arrive, he’s already sitting at a small table, looking very James Dean in a white T-shirt, black motorcycle jacket, black pants, and boots. He immediately offers me a beer from a bag on the chair next to him. It’s safe to say that the relaxed Nick Jonas sitting across from me, swigging Pacifico, and devouring corn on the cob, is a much different guy from Disney Nick or even Photo Shoot Nick, a consummate professional, whose politeness and professionalism could be easily mistaken for uptightness.
In the last couple of years, Jonas has worked hard to reintroduce himself to the world. He explored new sides of himself with 2014’s self-titled album, Nick Jonas, an R&B-infused pop confection that’s Timberlake-esque—Jonas cites JT as both an influence and a friend. It features the hit single, “Jealous,” which everyone in the known world has heard a version of, whether it be the gospel version, Tinashe remix, or the original.
Jonas has also kept active in TV, playing a gay MMA fighter on the DirecTV drama Kingdom and flexing his comedy skills on Fox’s horror spoof, Scream Queens. Jonas’ path to an EGOT puts him squarely in the viewfinder of all cameras, so it’s no surprise that he’s been in the tabloids for just about everything ranging from his 2015 breakup with long-term girlfriend Olivia Culpo, to speculation about his sexuality, to gossip that he’s been hooking up with Almost Famous’ notorious band-aid Penny Lane herself, Kate Hudson.
As we crack open a couple more beers, Jonas talks about pushing himself to do more, especially in his acting—a process he can pour himself into with his role in Kingdom, where the dramatic role of Nate is helping him feel like he’s growing every day.
At the other end of the spectrum is his Scream Queens role as Boone, a likely gay frat guy who is also a serial killer. Working with showrunner Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story) and a cast that includes Emma Roberts and Lea Michele, Jonas has been able to hone his comedy chops. He has nothing but praise for Murphy’s work. “He’s a visionary and someone who has his finger on the pulse of pop culture.”
Jonas isn’t stopping there. He recently wrapped his first leading role in the indie Goat, which will premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Based on a memoir by Brad Land, the film centers on a young man, Ben (Ben Schnetzer), who survives a harrowing assault and then follows his more confident older brother Brett (Jonas) to Clemson University, where he experiences fraternity “brotherhood” and hazing pushed to the extreme. Jonas has lately been drawn to complicated depictions of masculinity. For example, neither of the characters he’s playing is really out of the closet. “My character on Kingdom deals with so much,” he says. “There’s a responsibility that I feel to tell that story as honestly as possible and not be afraid of it. He’s living in an incredibly macho world and isn’t able to be who he wants to be or who he is.” In his own life, Jonas says, he’s never felt like he’s had to prove himself. “I don’t let it stress me out. I am who I am and I can’t change that. It’s not something I’ve labored over.”
Unsurprisingly, Jonas has attracted a fervent gay fan base that isn’t just checking for his TV roles and music, but his frequent appearances at Pride parades and gay clubs, as well. Equality is a very important issue to him, he insists, explaining that his theater background and exposure to the community at an early age heightened his awareness. Publicly, it appears as if he’s been carefully toeing a line, maintaining his heterosexuality, but still playing coy about any possible relationships with men. At the same time, it feels like a new frontier to see a mainstream, very straight–seeming male pop star unabashedly catering to the gay community without fear of stigma.
“Career-wise I don’t feel trapped. I feel great. And as far as me, Nick, as a person, I feel the most free. ”
Asked about recent comments in which he wouldn’t confirm whether or not he has been with another man, Jonas says, “It’s funny. I play a gay character on a TV show. Whether it’s me or the character, at the end of the day it’s still my body, it’s still telling the story. It’s the character and his journey, but it’s my body, my lips, my hands.” It frustrates him that some people think he’s exploiting the community for his own ends, dropping winking hints about his sexuality either way. “There’s always going to be negativity toward anything that is a positive effort toward change,” he says. “As a heterosexual male, [I am] open and comfortable about loving my fan base, gay or straight, because to me there is no difference, it is my fan base. Your sexual preference does not matter to me and it shouldn’t matter to anybody. I thought [the criticism] was kind of dumb, considering I play this gay character on a gritty show. There’s a gay sex scene. I kissed a man.
“The goal is acceptance on all levels— that should be the focus,” he continues. “I’ve gone to normal clubs, straight clubs, and I’ve gone to gay clubs, to party with my friends and fans. There’s no difference. I have nothing to prove. I’m very comfortable in my own skin and I’m thankful to have as many close gay friends as I have, people who have been so supportive in my life, and have always been there for me.” Jonas gets up to go to the bathroom. He leaves his wallet on the table, an odd move that feels weirdly intimate, but not before offering to bring back two more bottles of Pacifico. (Of course I say yes.) We’ve been sitting outside on a chilly L.A. evening; people have definitely recognized him, but no one has approached him. It seems like a good time to shift topics to something a bit less heavy—or not, depending on how he looks at it—namely, his music.
Nick Jonas dropped last year (a re-release of the album including the new single, “Levels,” came out in November 2015), with the aforementioned “Jealous,” “Chains,” and a batch of R&B–tinged ballads, including a collab with BFF Demi Lovato. When we start talking music, Jonas lights up. He’s now in the last stages of putting a new album together, which includes a surprising collaboration with Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick. After a year of professional growth and personal upheaval, Jonas is using the new record to document his evolution—emotionally, vocally, and instrumentally. “I think personal life and career have to kind of line up in the sense that my career changed so dramatically,” he says, “and then I think I had some catching up to do.”
The word “vulnerable” comes up a lot when he talks about the project. By that he means not just in the songs, but in his musicianship. “I play drums, guitar, keys. That’s a huge part of my artistry, and I’m going to make an effort to show more of that,” he says. He mentions new songs—“Chainsaw” about his breakup with Culpo and “Don’t Make Me Choose”—that he feels are showcasing this more vulnerable self. Most of the album was recorded at Jonas’ house in Mammoth, Calif., a place he considers therapeutic and that helped him after his breakup. He doesn’t hide the fact that the split is a large influence on the new songs. “Naturally I’m going to pull a lot from that,” he says. “Not even so much about that relationship in particular, but about my state of mind, who I want to be. I’m meeting new people, and what that has been like. Also, just as a general change in my life. This year has been kind of nuts.”
The new album will come out under Safehouse Records, the label he founded with Lovato (and their manager Phil McIntyre), which was borne out of their frustration with what he calls “the industry bullshit” and “the old-school mentality of how people measure success.”
“That can be exhausting, just because I really care quite a bit. I’m working toward caring less actually,” he says. “The world of music is changing so dramatically every day, the way people hear music. It’s different. It’s a new day and requires new thinking.” They formed Safehouse to provide “a safe place for us to create and be who we want to be. There have been times for both Demi and me in our careers when we didn’t feel protected, didn’t feel safe,” Jonas says. “It’s important for us to transition, not only as artists, but as business people. To take that next step.” He’s excited to help find and develop artists under the label. “I’ve learned so much over my career,” he says. “I certainly haven’t learned it all and don’t feel like I know it all, but enough to help someone else who is starting out. I’ve also produced and written music for other people. There’s a joy in being able to do it. It’s something you believe in and want to succeed.”
Jonas is forging something that’s bigger and more permanent than early boy band fame. “You never know what’s going to happen, but the goal is to build something that becomes equally as important as my career—something that not only has value, but also matters to people, that really curates the moment,” he says. “Quality. That’s the key. Everything I do, I want it to have that stamp that people like Jay Z, for instance, have on all the things they touch.” Jonas spent the day with Hov at last summer’s Made in America festival, and his manager McIntyre’s company Phillymack has partnered with Roc Nation. Now Jonas reaches out to Jay Z when he needs advice. “I’ll throw things off him when things come up, music-wise, or when trying to come up with a name for the tour,” says Jonas. “It’s amazing to have someone like him around. I’ve been incredibly fortunate with that. The partnership already is great.”
More than anyone else, Jonas’ greatest partner and rock is Lovato. In an email, Lovato tells me about her love for Jonas. “He’s so driven and it inspires me to work harder as an artist. To every last detail, Nick will work and work on a song or idea until it’s perfect. So not only I am thankful to have him basically as my twin brother but also to have him involved in my career and as a brilliant business partner as well.” They’ve known each other since they were both Disney kids, and have grown up together in the spotlight. His love and respect for her is wildly apparent: “I love Demi to death. She has gone through her journey, which was complicated. I think she’s one of the most talented, passionate people I know. I’m grateful to have her as a friend and also as a business partner.” Jonas and Lovato will be hitting the road together for their worldwide 2016 Future Now tour. He says that it was the right time for them to go on tour together—to celebrate both their business partnership and their incredible individual accomplishments—and to keep an eye on the future.
By now, I’ve begun to get a feel for Nick Jonas. (But it could just be all the Pacificos.) We’ve been together for a couple hours, talking closely, our beer bottles touching. We’re chatting about music and some of our favorite songs—he promises to send me the playlist from the shoot. I ask him about influences no one would expect, and his answer is a complete surprise.
“Shania Twain is one of my biggest influences,” he says. “I love her. Her ex-husband [Robert “Mutt” Lange] is one of the greatest record producers of all time, specifically with that crossover pop music thing. Melodically, vocal arrangements, the songs—I think it’s all brilliant.” Twain was one of Jonas’ formative crushes, and when she followed him back on Twitter he felt like he’d really made it. He even remembers the yellow scuba outfit she wore during a CBS special he saw when he was 10. We decide to switch locations. I jokingly suggest that we find Shania Twain karaoke.
Bar Marmont is fairly deserted on a Sunday night. We sit at a corner table in the dimly lit bar, and Jonas orders a tequila on the rocks with three limes and a half rim of salt. He’ll proceed to have three of these specific orders. The real Jonas is a guy who drinks straight tequila and unabashedly loves Twain. Whatever reticence I felt earlier in the day has completely evaporated (again, it could just be all the Pacificos), and the conversation turns personal.
“The real Jonas is a guy who drinks straight tequila and unabashedly loves Shania Twain. ”
He tells me he and Culpo were together for two years, and that ending the relationship was the best thing for both of them, even though it was difficult. Being single felt bizarre to him, but has allowed him to explore himself. “It was first excitement to have freedom to be whoever I wanted to be, be my own person. Then the feeling of being disheartened by what’s out there. Then getting into crazy artist mode and throwing it all out, the good, bad, and ugly,” he says. “Then meeting people, making a real effort to open up and be free as a person. I’ve met some people that are amazing. And my current situation is that I’m very much single, but I’m trying to be as open to people who can inspire me in some way.”
You won’t see Jonas on Tinder anytime soon because it freaks him out, but you might find him sliding into your DMs—he readily admits that he’s sent some Instagram DMs to ladies. “Slide right in there sometimes,” he says. “And then you’ll text the person and finally meet the person. It’s like online dating. Even that freaks me the fuck out. I’m like, should it be a group? Just the person? It’s scary.” Navigating the dating world for a regular person sucks, so adding celebrity to the mix, knowing that everyone is going to be in your business must be insane. As of late, Jonas has been linked to Jade Thirlwall of the British girl group Little Mix and, more scandalously, Hudson, who is nearly 10 years older than him. He assures me that he’s very single. Bucked up by my second Old Fashioned, I go for the question.
“Are you having sex with Kate Hudson?”
“Umm,” he laughs. “You know, it’s interesting. You’re allowed to ask me whatever the fuck you want and I’ll answer it, or not.”
“You’ll answer it in whatever ways it fits.”
“Kate’s incredible. We had an unbelievable connection as two humans who just admire things about each other, and see something in each other that’s beautiful. Out of my best effort to respect her and her privacy, I’m not going to say if we had sex or not. But we did have a beautiful connection. Even now I have so much admiration and respect. She’s amazing.”
His face says it all. My face flushes afterward and I apologize for asking a shitty question. Jonas laughs it off, saying that I have a job to do. “It doesn’t shock me or surprise me. I don’t get pissed off about it. I’ve come to accept it. With that in particular. It’s a bizarre matchup to a lot of people.” We start talking about people’s sex lives and he shares a few of his crushes: Emilia Clarke, Amy Schumer, and a conflicting one. “I know they are besties, so I can’t really say this, but Jennifer Lawrence, too.”
His crushes stem from being a fan of those ladies’ work. He just binged Game of Thrones and “The Red Wedding” fucked him up like everybody else. He loved Trainwreck and is excited about seeing Joy. He asks me if I’ve seen the underrated Take Shelter, which surprises me. Stoner bro comedy This Is the End is one of his favorite movies, and he teases me for not having seen it.
We’re beginning to wind down. He’s gonna go home and watch This Is the End. “After this interview, I need a good laugh tonight,” he says. “I’ve had to open up about too much.” Since that movie has a very specific demo, we talk about weed. Jonas doesn’t smoke that much but he mentions one time when he had a bad high. “I had voices telling me I was going to die. It was like, ‘That’s it.’” He’s never done any other drugs. “I don’t like being out of control,” he says. “I don’t like that feeling. I like being in the driver’s seat. Putting myself in the position where I feel like I would be out of control scares me.” I ponder this, and consider the many different Nick Jonases I’ve met during our evening together—the artist, the actor, the musician, the former boy band member, the Disney star, the single guy, and “free Nick.”
Earlier in the evening, I asked him if he feels like he’s lived 70 different lives, been 70 different Nicks. He thinks about this, noting that he’s known nothing else other than this life. He never pursued some of the other paths he thought he might—the baseball player, the English major, or the review writer (which he wasn’t good at). Like everyone, he’s waiting for his truest self to be seen while he’s figuring out who that is. “I think I’ve loosened up quite a bit. I’m very fun. I’m just waiting for other people to see it, too.”
Cardboard cutouts of everyone from Darth Vader to Harry Styles dot the stage at Webster Hall in New York City, along with bright metallic balloons spelling out dnce. Once the pop-rock band hits the stage, the surge of energy in the room is palpable—even before singer Joe Jonas, guitarist JinJoo Lee, bassist-keyboardist Cole Whittle, and drummer Jack Lawless play a single note.
“Our shows are like Animal House, the musical,“ explains Whittle earlier in the day when I meet up with the band at La Esquina in SoHo. Dressed in a long denim coat and a matching button-down jean onesie, Whittle’s daring ensemble makes him stand out, even among the taqueria’s usual sceney lunch crowd. Lee is sleek-with-an-edge in black overalls and a black tee, while Lawless has the rock drummer look down with his long blond hair and black leather jacket. Jonas, meanwhile, oozes the quiet confidence of a superstar.
Over lunch, they share their pre-show ritual: First, the group warms up by belting out Green Day and Weezer songs, then they gather for a quick huddle. Next, it’s workout time: push-ups and a little shadowboxing, all to the tune of a house song that samples Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “Down, up, more energy.“ As for those cardboard cutouts, they’re piled up in a corner, purloined from countless radio station visits and in-store performances, they tell me.
The reason for the exuberant warm-up? DNCE are always ready to party, hence their name. “We wrote a song about being too drunk to spell dance,“ explains Jonas. The Prince-inspired tune, off of their recent EP Swaay, always kicks off their sets. “DNCE is dance without an A, which is not a perfect word, but you also don’t have to be a perfect dancer to dance,“ says Lee. “Life is never perfect, but you can still enjoy it.“
You get the sense DNCE do enjoy life very much. That energy is captured in their single “Cake by the Ocean,“ which Jonas says “embodies the whole EP.“ The quirky title came about when he overheard a couple of Swedish producers talking about the cocktail Sex on the Beach. “They kept calling it Cake by the Ocean,“ says Whittle, laughing. “Joe has funny-shit-alarm radar all over him, so he grabbed that and we just wrote this wacky world around it.“ The video, directed by none other than model Gigi Hadid, who also happened to be dating Jonas at the time, features a crowd—including Internet celeb The Fat Jew—frolicking on the beach.
The pop song perfectly sums up the varied backgrounds of the members. As the former bassist of Semi Precious Weapons, Whittle spent two years opening for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour. Lawless drummed for the Jonas Brothers, as well as Night Terrors of 1927 and Soft Swells. And Lee got her start playing in a band with her family. She picked up a guitar at age 12 in hopes that her four siblings would let her join; after practicing for “27 hours a day“ it worked. Later, she landed gigs as a touring musician with Jordin Sparks, CeeLo Green, and Charli XCX. And we all know where Jonas got his start.
But make no mistake—this isn’t a rehash of the Jonas Brothers, in case the blue streak in the singer’s hair doesn’t give that away. The songs are undeniably poppy, but they also incorporate twinges of funk, disco, pop, R&B, rock, and even hip-hop. So it’s no surprise when the band cites a wide swath of influences including James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Hall & Oates, the Bee Gees, the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Radiohead.
While the band may be new, Jonas had a notion to form this kind of group ever since he and Lawless began experimenting on a few side projects years ago. Then the Jonas Brothers split, and each brother began persuing his own projects. “My life shifted,“ says Jonas. “I was taking time to figure out if music is what I wanted to do.“ The answer was yes, of course, and once he started working with producers and songwriters, the new band came together quickly. He called up the other three members, whom he had met on the road or through friends, and asked them to join. “I was like, ’Are you cool with doing this for the rest of your life?’“ recalls Jonas. “For a lot of musicians that walk into a new band, it’s a challenge,“ he continues. “You want to create something that fans of your past can enjoy, but you have to be selfish and say this is music for me and I want to have freedom as an artist. But I’m happy if someone wants to listen to my new music who used to listen to the Jonas Brothers—come along for the ride.“
If being pounced on by three twentysomethings as I leave the restaurant is any indication, Jonas’s fans are likely to follow him anywhere. “Is he done eating yet? I didn’t want to interrupt his lunch, but do you think he’d take a picture with me?“ one devotee asks, phone in hand. With her black suede shorts and over-the-knee boots, she’d easily blend in at the DNCE show later on tonight, but it’s pretty obvious that her intense Jonas jones—much like his new band—has been years in the making.
There was a JoBro in Toronto but it had nothing to do with winter storm “Jonas” that pounded the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
It was 26-year-old Joe Jonas, late of the sibling boy band Jonas Brothers, who arrived with his newish dance-pop quartet, DNCE (pronounced D-N-C-E), to play an intimate and acoustic Virgin Radio show at Casa Loma in front of 100 fans and then open for Kygo at the Enercare Centre.
“Comin’ in hot,” he jokingly tweeted of the Jonasnamed blizzard.
On Friday, he superimposed his face over Frozen’s animated character Elsa with the words: “Here I come. #WinterStormJonas.”
24 Hours caught up with the middle JoBro to talk his new band DNCE, who released their debut EP Swaay last October including the first single Cake By The Ocean, and what he makes of today’s increased social media in light of his much-scrutinized love life (exes include Taylor Swift, Camilla Belle, Demi Lovato, Ashley Greene and Gigi Hadid).
What do you think of Casa Loma?
It’s a little spooky. They’re probably a few ghosts.
Will DNCE eventually produce and entire record and tour properly?
There are a few opportunities for us for summer touring. We’re in Europe a little bit. We have this thing for Greece that we’re doing. The album is coming out in summertime so we’re just taking our slow time to finish it up.
The last time I spoke with you, we were backstage with your siblings Nick and Kevin at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre and you were about to go on stage (mere months before your 2013 breakup). Did you personally know then that DNCE was your next project?
It was something that took awhile for us to really decide on. For me it was creating music on my own, finding a different sound and taking my time with it and eventually just stumbled upon a cool little song (Cake By The Ocean). That was the first one that kick-jumped everything.
How do you view your boy band past now?
It’s a pretty incredible run and over 10 years of doing it … just enjoying every minute and learning a lot about myself and my music. It can be difficult growing up around the industry but we had good people around us. It helped we did it with family. It really showed me how much I loved music and in the time off especially. How I missed it. It feels good to be able to have a second chance again in this music industry.
Do you have a friendly sibling rivalry with your younger brother Nick, 23 who is doing so well as a solo artist, touring with Demi Lovato this summer, and getting respect as an actor (on TV’s mixed martial arts drama Kingdom)?
It’s very friendly. For us, we’re just very supportive and happy that we all get this chance in music. He comes to our shows. We go to his shows.
And what is older brother Kevin, 29, doing these days?
He’s focusing more now on his own career in app development and being a dad.
I heard that older acts ranging from Earth, Wind Fire to Hall Oates influenced DNCE’s sound? How’s that even possible given your age?
We all loved growing up listening to funk music whether it was (our) parents playing in the house or discovering it on our own and it was something that we all agreed on.
Kudos for having a female lead guitarist (South Korean-born JinJoo Lee, who previously played for Jordin Sparks) which seems fairly rare?
You don’t (see it). And she is a total rock star and really gifted on stage.
You and your new band have your own Twitter handle. So is social media your friend?
I’m pretty active in it and I think it’s a good way to reach an audience that sometimes you can’t go toward to or be able to see that often.
And it wasn’t really a factor when the Jo Bros started?
When I was first getting started in music, Twitter wasn’t even a thing yet. Pretty unbelievable to see now that 10-12 years later we have multiple things that everyone is a part of and are happy to be able to join.
Does it ever feel too invasive, like if you’re just going for a cup of coffee and fans take video and tweet about it or post it on Facebook?
I don’t know if you ever get used to it but you get better with it and its something that comes with what I do and I’m never really trying to be behind a curtain. I don’t try to hide what I’m up to so since I don’t do that it makes it a lot easier.
Do you feel like you can have a private life away from it?
I live my life. And I’m really enjoying travelling and doing new adventures so I don’t ever really turn it off. I love sharing my personal stuff. I think it’s one way for fans to feel more connected to you. I think it’s important. Your music is obviously a reflection of your personality, and your personal life, and I think social media is a great way to even evolve that into a closer relationship in a way with fans. I think there’s a balance where you want to be able to have your private life that I think you’re able to balance it. So far, so good.
Source: 24 Hours Toronto
Nick Jonas has quite the list of accomplishments. Not only is he a talented singer, songwriter and actor, he’s also the founder of a nonprofit.
Yup, you heard that right. Founded almost one year ago, Jonas co-launched Beyond Type 1, an organization devoted to providing education and awareness for Type 1 diabetes.
The goal is simple: “to highlight the brilliance of those fighting this disease every day while always working toward ensuring a cure is on its way.”
Jonas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes back in 2005, and now he’s working with Beyond Type 1 co-founders Sarah Lucas, Juliet de Baubigny and Chef Sam Talbot to change the dialogue around the disease and help eradicate the stigma that comes from living with it.
By using social media, sharing stories and creating lifestyle blogs on its website, Beyond Type 1 has created a supportive community for people of all ages with Type 1 diabetes.
Elite Daily was able to speak with CEO Sarah Lucas, Nick Jonas and his co-founders about Beyond Type 1 and their own personal connections to the disease.
CEO Sarah Lucas first shared with us the importance of distinguishing between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. She told Elite Daily,
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that can affect anyone at any time. It is not a lifestyle disease, it is not a kids’ disease, it is an invisible disease that demands constant attention 24/7 and life-long dependence on insulin, and currently there is no cure.
She explained the importance in learning the difference between Type 1, Type 2 and other forms of diabetes because oftentimes there is confusion, and no disease should be the punchline of any joke.
When asked about her hopes for Beyond Type 1, Lucas explained,
We want to be the authentic guide for living beyond a diagnosis, with the real stories (like how to have a cocktail, go skydiving, how to manage your blood sugars during sex) and practices that people need every day until a cure.
Additionally, Nick Jonas opened up about his fight with diabetes and his experience with the disease as a public figure. When asked about what it was like to share his story with his fans, Nick told us,
I feared sharing the story at first but knew that I would actually feel a lot of support and that it was important that I be transparent about it. I think anytime you open yourself up and you just get more real about things that affect your life, it helps you to connect more with your fans and really gives you something to be passionate about.
You know, life is all about doing all you can to help other people and for me, that’s been the main goal.
Nick also discussed the difficulty in learning how to deal with the complications of diabetes and doing his best not to get stressed about the intensity of the situation.
He shared that each day comes with its own sets of challenges and that at the end of the day, all you can do is be at peace with what you have.
In terms of his involvement with Beyond Type 1, Jonas told us,
With Beyond Type 1, I’ve been able to raise my voice in a safe environment and share my story with people and hopefully help them in any way that I can. I get a lot from that myself — a lot of support and a lot of freedom to just live my life and know that I’m surrounded by people in a community online and personally who really do support me.
He believes it’s important to speak to Millennials about diabetes so younger generations aren’t ashamed to talk about it or feel embarrassed of their diagnoses. The most important thing, he explained, is putting your trust in doctors, family and the people who are there to support you.
In addition, Beyond Type 1’s Instagram campaign, Living Beyond, focuses on sharing real-life stories from Millennials, children and adults with Type 1.
Not only is its social media an excellent resource for adolescents, but the website’s lifestyle guides are packed with information, tackling everything from mental health to food, school and travel.
To all Millennials with a Type-1 diagnosis, the founders have a message. Nick said,
Stay as strong as possible and know that each day is going to come with its own challenges. As long as you can be at peace with that and not get stressed, you’ll be OK and you can do anything you want to do. It’s just a minor setback but nothing that has to limit you.
Co-founder Chef Sam Talbot added his own thoughts, as well. He told Elite Daily,
I would [tell young people] don’t ever lose hope, no matter what. You can do this. If you need some help, look us up at Beyond. We will help you over the finish line.
Be sure to check out the resources at Beyond Type 1. Together let’s educate, advocate and cure.
Source: Elite Daily
In his new film Goat, Nick Jonas stars as Brett Land, a college student who begins to question the morals of his fraternity as he watches his younger brother go through the difficult pledging process.
One of the main themes of the film – which premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival and features jarring scenes of hazing rituals based on real-life tales – is how exactly masculinity is defined and the transition from adolescence to manhood.
“An element of the film is this idea of how difficult it can be to trust your gut and do what’s right when everybody else around you is doing something that you don’t believe,” the film’s lead Ben Schnetzer, who plays Jonas’ younger brother Brad, told PEOPLE Saturday at the Acura Studios in Park City, Utah. “It’s a risky film, and it’s just exciting that it’s creating a dialogue and provoking a response from people.”
Jonas, 23, says he’s managed to stay grounded as he navigates his own journey to adulthood with the support of his family, including brothers Joe, Kevin and Frankie.
“I feel really fortunate to come from a home that was always supportive and stemming from creativity, integrity and building character,” said Jonas, whose manager Phil McIntyre hosted a dinner Saturday night at a one night only pop-up of L.A. hotspot Craig’s to toast him and the film. “I feel like your view of your father is super important, and your mother, and the way they are with each other.”
“There are a lot of things that influence the way you see the world as you approach your manhood,” he continued. “I would say that, at the core, that feeling of being accepted is there and those insecurities being put to rest is what keeps it healthy.”
In the last couple years, fans of the former Disney star have watched him shed his squeaky-clean image and take on riskier roles, including his turn as Nate Kulina in Kingdom.
“I think some of the other roles I’ve taken the last two years have kind of informed [my idea of manhood] as well,” he says. “This movie in a different way really touches on masculinity and what it means and what standards we’re held to and by who. It’s kind of nice to take a sledge hammer to that.”
The attention on his hulking physique for his latest roles also isn’t something he pays too much attention to. “It only get uncomfortable because you’re shooting Kingdom during the holidays and I love to eat,” he said, chuckling.
When he does finally get to indulge, the star digs into “pizza, pasta, anything breaded,” he says. “The holidays are tough in general. It’s like, cookies, and you can’t even say no to that!”
In late 2013, the Jonas Brothers shocked fans by announcing their decision to break up. But after a tricky period, Jonas says his relationship with his brothers – which he drew from for his role as Land – is better than ever.
“Our journey has been from working together, to not, and trying to redefine the dynamic as a family first,” he said about his relationship with Joe. “Now we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so it’s a good thing. We’re able to just be brothers. There’s a real support there.”