UPDATE: Off the Stage: Nick Jonas

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Oh, Nick. Just bringing all the levels to WE Day. 

Fun Fact: Nick Jonas has been one of our supporters for quite a few years now. Having performed with his brothers and solo a number of times on our stage. The Levels singer is vocal about more than catchy tunes (that are #onrepeat for days).

After getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Nick decided he wanted to shed light on the autoimmune disease. By sharing his story, he’s helped raise awareness and has become an advocate for others who are living with type 1, too.

Before he blew us all away with his performance at WE Day Toronto, we had a quick chat off stage. Check it out!

You’ve been a huge supporter of WE Day. Thanks! What keeps you coming back?

It’s the relationship I have with the team and the impact that I see it having on a global scale. There’s good that comes from each one of these events. Not just in the room, but when these kids leave and where they go and who they talk to about what they experienced…how they can make an impact. It really is a special thing.

You’ve definitely used your platform to talk about important causes like diabetes awareness. What shifted your thinking from ME to WE?

The thing that shifted my focus had a lot to do with my diagnosis – I’ve been diagnosed with type 1 [diabetes] and I knew that I wanted to do something about it. I viewed it as an opportunity and not as a setback. It’s a way to hopefully encourage people living with this disease or just educate people that aren’t familiar, so there’s more awareness of the day-to-day struggle.

This has been a huge year for you. You bravely stepped out as a solo artist! What’s your advice on how to step out and pursue your dreams?

Try to be fearless! I think the best work no matter what it is, whether it’s music, art or leadership in any capacity, is all about being fearless, doing your best to step outside your comfort zone and do something different that challenges people’s thinking.

Thank you Nick! If you think raising awareness on important issues is as important as Nick, check out WE365 to start taking action. Stay tuned for more backstage convos with our incredible WE Day performers and speakers. 

See the power and excitement of WE Day on MTV Canada December 7 at 9 pm. 

Source: We Day

UPDATE: Q&A: Joe Jonas On Gay Clubbin’ With Nick, Flattering Advances & How a Jonas Brothers Reunion Could ‘Easily Happen’

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Nick Jonas isn’t the only one going to gay clubs like a good ally – his older brother, Joe, enjoys a night out with the gays too. And the best part? Sometimes they even go together.

As if that wasn’t enough, Joe is taking his new sound to the clubs with a disc drenched in the disco-funk sounds of the ’70s. His latest post-Jonas Brothers endeavor, “SWAAY,” features South Korean guitarist JinJoo, bassist / keyboardist Cole Whittle and drummer Jack Lawless. Collectively, they’re known as DNCE.

We caught up with the band’s frontman, Joe Jonas, to discuss his mission to “encourage people to be themselves,” recent talks with Nick regarding a Jonas Brothers reunion and how he’s “accidentally” wandered into gay clubs.

Why disco?

It’s something I grew up listening to quite a bit; it was always played in the house. My dad grew up in the ’70s and always really loved everything funk and disco, and it was the one style of music that all of us in DNCE loved. It helped us embody what this has become – this kind of disco-rock-pop stuff that we were able to brew up.

Considering the genre’s ties to your childhood, do you get nostalgic performing this music?

Sometimes, yeah. I feel like when I perform these songs it’s a new experience every time, because you’re playing the same songs but seeing the reactions of different audiences. So sometimes it brings me back, but for right now it’s kind of a whole new experience all over again.

Disco is obviously steeped in gay culture. Have you ever gotten down to some disco at a gay club?

I went to a gay club with Nick a few months ago – it was really fun! And actually, I was really impressed by the DJ – he played everything and was all over the map. His musicality was really great, and we just had a great time.

Was this your first time at a gay club?

Well… I’ve accidentally gone to gay clubs before! (Laughs) I think that’s happened to a few people. But, you know, it was cool. We went out with some of our friends who are gay. I just think we live in a world where obviously it’s not a big deal – it’s fine – and you can have fun wherever you go and make the best of it.

How do you accidentally end up in a gay club?

(Laughs) Umm… being in Europe and not being able to read any of the signs and just stumbling into what you think is a regular club. You’re like, “Oh, OK. Here we go.”

At what point did you realize the club was gay?

Getting hit on by more men than you would usually get hit on by.

What is that experience like for you?

It’s flattering. I don’t mind… if someone is nice. And it’s been cool to see at these concerts too. A lot of guys come out to the shows – some gay guys as well – and I love that. They rock out; they have fun. And I feel like the music is helping people express themselves in a way. I’m seeing people with glitter on their face, with the brightest colors. I love that we can encourage people to be themselves.

How does your experience with DNCE compare to Jonas Brothers?

The fan base is older now, and there are college kids and some adults, and it’s cool to see that. I was in Toronto recently and I had a DJ gig after the show, and I would say 80 to 90 percent of the audience came to the DJ gig. It’s cool to see that they’re all down to hang – and that they’re obviously old enough.

In 2014, Nick said he didn’t feel Jonas Brothers did enough for their gay fans. What’s your take on that?

Maybe it was just our age, but I would agree with Nick. We maybe didn’t reach out as much as we probably could have. I hope now we can encourage other straight guys to have a voice as well. I care too much about my friends who are gay and fans who are gay to be quiet about it.

And now, having friends who are gay and touring in these different markets and seeing that DNCE has gay fans coming out to the shows, it’s awesome. I just hope that with my new music – and like Nick – I’ll be able to reach out in my own way and really get people to feel comfortable. That’s what we’re trying to do, especially with DNCE. It’s like its own party, and we invite everybody.

How aware were you of a gay following while in Jonas Brothers?

We would see gay fans here and there come to shows, and we were always very happy to say hi, and (be) loving. It always made us happy. And like, you’d see a sign or two (laughs) that would say something kind of funny. I can’t remember what they said off the top of my head – a lot of them were always making me laugh, and they were flattering too.

You recently tweeted a photo of you in a feather boa while in Texas. What’s the story behind that?

(Laughs) Oh, wow, I don’t even remember. But I’m definitely the risk-taker out of the brothers and have been for many years, and so I don’t remember all the crazy and wacky things that I’ve done. I definitely really don’t let anything hold me back these days.

Is that because there’s less to hold you back?

Definitely, yeah. I feel like it’s nice to be able to have a voice in the music industry but also be able to express that voice and not really feel shy about that or feel like you’re not supposed to say this or say that. Obviously being in the situation that my brothers and I were in for so many years – we didn’t have anyone in particular saying, “Don’t do this, don’t do that,” but you just have that in the back of your head because you’re a bit worried or nervous that you might say or do something that could set off fireworks.

You hear so many stories about child stars, and we see so many of them not make it. How did you survive those childhood years, and what advice would you give someone as young as you were?

Man, it’s definitely difficult. The first thing is remembering that you’re not crazy for thinking or doing the things you wanna do. It’s really important to be your own artist and be creative, and if you wanna be a certain way or if there’s a style of music you wanna go with, take that journey. It’s difficult because you think you know everything, and then there are times you’re told you know nothing, so I think you just have to learn and take time to understand who you are as a person and who you are as an artist. Soon enough, you’ll start to realize it’s OK to be you and to really be whoever you want to be. You’ll see that people prefer that more than a cardboard cutout.

From your recent breakup with Gigi Hadid to your new blue hair – how do you handle the constant interest regarding every facet of your life?

It’s pretty funny. I think I’ve learned to laugh it off when sometimes they like to create their own stories – even out of your hair. (Laughs)

Ha, is the blue hair not a story?

(Laughs) I don’t think so! I just did it because I wanted to do it – there really wasn’t a deeper meaning to any of it, which is why I think it’s really funny. They make it something. I could be frustrated or I could be mad about that, but I just laugh it off. I’ve learned to handle it better over time. And it’s never always been that easy; there are moments that have been difficult for me. I’ve read stuff or something I would say was taken out of context and that’s tough, obviously, but as you get older you get better at it and you go, “I know the truth.”

So having blue hair isn’t the empowering post-breakup moment that the media is making it out to be?

I like having blue hair. I don’t think I feel any different; it was just a spur-of-the-moment decision anyway. But I’m not gonna react or go after the press about it because I just find it funny.

Will you and Nick – and even your other brother, Kevin – ever do anything musically together again?

I would say so. Nick and I have a few ideas to work with other artists who we really like. There are a couple of artists out there that we think are really incredible that we’d like to work together with. And then, there’s always down the road. We don’t really ever wanna say never to anything just because there could be something that comes along our way that we might say, “You know, let’s try working on this song together.” It’s tough to say that we’ll never do it because who knows.

What would reunite you?

Time itself. Seeing where things will lead us. It’s easy to say we’re done and that we’re never doing it again, but then we both look at each other and go, “We obviously get along.” And who knows – years from now we could be like, “All right, let’s make a record.” It could easily happen.

Source: PrideSource

UPDATE: Nick Jonas is growing up and letting go

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Meeting with Nick Jonas is like interviewing Bruce Wayne freshly transitioned from a night on the prowl as Batman. Firstly, he’s getting his face taken off by an assistant, who pats down his cheekbones for remnants of photoshoot make-up; secondly, he talks like Bruce, as he sits on a couch with his arm around an imaginary companion: steady, meticulous, with little margin for humour. But unlike Gotham’s playboy, Jonas is a little more willing to let the cat out the bag. “I’ve been getting beat up for two days in a row. Last night I went till 2am,” he says, very seriously.

As well as being a popstar, the 22-year-old is an actor – he’s in LA filming Kingdom, a TV series in which he plays a gay MMA fighter. His approach is precise. “Last year I was 175 lbs and put on 15 lbs of muscle,” he says. “This year my character goes down to competition weight so I had to lose that mass. It’s about goals.” On-set fighting must remind Jonas of the battle he faces in the pop arena, where he’s shifted over 180,000 copies of his second album in the US alone since last November (the album came out here in July). “There’s certainly a lot of roughhousing,” he says – about filming Kingdom, not the pop arena. In terms of the latter? “Having had about five careers already, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.” That’s about as controversial as Jonas gets.

His thoughts on the Twitter beef between Nicki Minaj and his buddy Taylor Swift amount to “intense”. He’s diplomatic too about former Disney colleagues, including business partner Demi Lovato, with whom he runs Safehouse Records, and his former sweetheart, MTV Awards host Miley Cyrus. “I’m blown away by her, she’s fearless. Disney was our high school. We all dated and broke each other’s…” he pauses. Then, like a 70-year-old retiree, Jonas concludes, “There’s a lot of life lived between all of us.”

Jonas is hoping to secure his own MTV gong via Crowd Surfing. Not actual crowd-surfing – “I don’t do that. People start grabbing” – but a social media tool that encourages fans to engage with artists more “organically”. Work aside, Jonas does not endorse the ways of the modern world. “Social media is not important,” he says. “It’s discouraging when you go to dinner with friends and their priority is posting pictures of the food and not having a good conversation.”

Jonas finds selfie culture particularly “bizarre”. There’s little hesitation when asked what the most extreme circumstance in which he’s had someone request a selfie. “The bathroom,” he retorts. “I was in the urinal, he was in the stall, we were back-to-back. He took a picture with the door open with me in the background peeing. The bathroom is not the place for pictures. Like most people I do not like being photographed while I pee.” Is there anyone he’d break his no-selfies rule for? “Daniel Craig. In the right environment I’d say, ‘DC. Let’s get a pic’.” In terms of life experience, Nicholas Jerry Jonas is older than his years. In 2005, he and his two older brothers, Kevin and Joe, put on their purity rings and formed teen rock/pop group The Jonas Brothers. The trio performed with Paul McCartney at the White House, sold 20 million records by the time Nick turned 18, and split in 2013. Only a few boyband members have achieved emancipation successfully. Justin Timberlake emphatically freed himself from *Nsync with a grown-up cover of Rolling Stone in 2003. Zayn Malik has shed One Direction shackles via Soundcloud and artwork reminiscent of a Takashi Murakami illustration. Nick firmly declared his tween pop chapter over via a risqué magazine shoot last November. He appeared shirtless while grabbing his crotch in a homage to Mark Wahlberg. “I sent [my parents] shots as a heads-up. My dad replied, ‘You know where you get that from!'” I laugh. He doesn’t. “It was uncomfortable.” Jonas mentions being uncomfortable a lot. A sense of self-doubt allowed him to pen his most mature album to date, his second, titled Nick Jonas. It’s an 11-track urban take on mainstream pop, featuring hit singles Chains and Jealous, the latter Jonas attributes to not just redefining his career, but his life. “The biggest compliment is when people hear my music and don’t believe it’s me,” he says, without irony. “Every day there’s an element of risk. How are people going to react? I don’t put any pressure on myself. There’s an acceptance for me as a solo artist, as a man. But if people don’t like me, I’m not crushed.” The record was written with the likes of Mike Posner [Pharrell, Big Sean] and Sir Nolan [Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo], and includes a remix from Thornton Heath’s Stormzy and a trap collaboration with Detroit rapper, Angel Haze. “I played her [the song] Numb. She flipped out, wrote a verse in 15 minutes and killed it.” Jonas turned to alternative R&B – the likes of Frank Ocean, Jhené Aiko and The Weeknd – for sonic inspiration. “I also look up to Kanye and Lady Gaga. She makes an impact without being afraid of anything. Unapologetic artistry is the best. You respect the people who are moving and shaking and not listening to anybody’s naysaying. That’s the kind of artist I hope to be,” he says. “With the Brothers, it wasn’t always very human. Now I say what I want.”

He does what he wants too, albeit in this consistent business-like way. When asked about his July gig in London at G-A-Y, being chained up for a literal performance of Chains by a group of cross-dressers, he responds, “It was interesting.” Whose idea was that? “I walked in and they said, ‘We want to chain you up.’ They thought I was going to say, ‘Hell no, I’m not doing that.’ But I said, ‘Fuck it, let’s go.’ Actually, it was kind of cool. There was a moment when I thought my circulation might get cut off while I was singing.” Jonas’s past experience makes him an expert at navigating constraints. Now he wants to let go. “When I went solo, I figured out what I wanted my opinions to be,” he says. “Accepting the gay community was a priority because they’ve been so accepting of me.” He’s all for America’s legalisation of same-sex marriage. “My message is not just acceptance but action. I don’t view it as my battle, but I’m happy to raise my voice for a cause that I believe in.” The only thing Jonas takes lightly is the stuff outside of his control. Particularly, fame. “Early advice: Never believe your own hype. I don’t mean to sound like a dick. Famous people who are frustrated about people’s interest in their personal life exhaust me. It’s so narcissistic to think that anybody cares.” Aside from Kingdom, Jonas is filming a James Franco production called Goat. He plays a college frat boy. Between that and horror TV series Scream Queens, he insists he’s had his taste of college experience. “I once visited Northwestern thinking I’d go there. I’d like to believe I could have been an English major. The dumb part is that I don’t enjoy reading that much.” He laughs. Finally. For a 22-year-old I wonder: Why so serious? “I looked at the calendar the other day. My birthday is coming up,” he says – organised. “I’ve never felt the age that I am. But now I feel like I’m starting to catch up. Now I’m the age I’ve been my entire life.”

Source: I-D

UPDATE: Joe Jonas opens up about jealousy of his brothers: ‘It is competitive no matter what’

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Joe Jonas knows not to take anything for granted, particularly now.

The former Jonas Brother is back on the charts with his new band D.N.C.E and the hit track Cake By The Ocean.

“While I had an amazing run with my brothers and I’m so proud of those years, it feels like I get another run at this so I’m definitely really happy and overwhelmed,” Jonas told Confidential.

“It is nice to have second chances in the music industry. It is a tough day and age we live in a world where there is so much music and it is so easy to hear new artists and listen to new records really easily and just move on.”

He continued: “I’m really thrilled that I have this opportunity where people are still listening and I have an opportunity to create something brand new for myself and my fans.”

The Jonas Brothers — Joe and siblings Nick and Kevin — were a massive deal from 2005, emerging as international standouts from the Disney Channel franchise.

Nick Jonas has enjoyed success as an actor and with pop hits Jealous and Levels.

For Joe, it was important to be part of a band as he looks up to industry greats like Sting, Mick Jagger and Bono.

“I have always been fascinated by the way they conduct the audience and are surrounded by musicians who are just legends,” he said.

D.N.C.E — Cole Whittle, JinJoo Lee and Jack Lawless — was the project that stood out from everything else for Joe.

“It has been kind of a long time coming,” he explained. “It all started with taking some time off to figure out what I wanted to do next. I worked on some side passions … a restaurant, did some film and TV stuff and music has always been a big passion for me so I wanted to find a way into it. It took about two years to really find the sound and I’m really pleased that it came together.”

Joe, 26, laughed when asked of any potential jealousy between the brothers, saying they’re proud of each other’s individual achievements.

“There’s really no jealousy,” he said. “Nick helped things by taking the leap of faith and going solo first. He kind of paved the way to show the world it’s a possibility for us to do things on our own and succeed. It can happen a lot where you get in this in this world where it is competitive no matter what but we leave that for the backyard sports.”

He joked: “I’m obviously the best but I’m a little more competitive (at sport).”

As for his personal life, Jonas has previously dated Taylor Swift and Camilla Belle and is now in a relationship with model Gigi Hadid.

Both jetsetting the world, they make sure they have time together.

“Sometimes it is a lot of red eye flights and you need strong coffee but I think if you love something, it is worth it if somebody really means a lot to you,” he said.

D.N.C.E is hoping to tour Australia early next year. Interestingly despite their huge global success, The Jonas Brothers never toured here.

Jonas’ last visit was for New Year’s celebrations at Marquee nightclub a couple of years back.

“I really want to bring D.N.C.E out to Australia because it is a touring market I’ve never touched, even with the Jonas Brothers.

“Besides the Tim Tams and Harry’s (Cafe De Wheels) meat pies, I’d say being able to play a concert there in the first place (is my dream). It’s always been for fun, for vacation. I went there on my first ever trip without parents, we didn’t know what we were doing driving on the opposite side of the road from us and I did every touristy thing you could imagine. The fact that I could play a concert there is a dream.”

Source: Daily Telegraph Australia

UPDATE: Joe Jonas breaks out with DNCE

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With his family band The Jonas Brothers, Joe Jonas had a Disney Channel series and sold over 17 million albums. So he found it frustrating and confusing when his 2011 solo debut “Fastlife” didn’t immediately catch fire. “I beat myself up a lot because I was so used to this huge success with the Brothers, and because things wouldn’t work instantly,” he says. He took more than two years to carefully plot his next move: DNCE, a playful funk-pop quartet featuring himself on vocals, Korean guitarist JinJoo (who backed Jordin Sparks), ex-Semi Precious Weapons bassist-keyboardist Cole Whittle, and former Jonas drummer Jack Lawless. Its first single “Cake By the Ocean,” from the EP “Swaay,” just hit shelves.

Your brother Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato are launching their own label, to help young artists who feel too vulnerable to record honest songs. Did you go through that?

Joe Jonas: Yeah, definitely. There was a phase, I think, of probably growing up too fast, and some of the lyrics you write maybe don’t match the label you’re with at the time, or, uh, the company that you work with. So I can relate, for sure. Working with my brothers, we would write songs about really personal things, and you’re ready to release them. But sometimes you just had to wait it out.

So how does it feel to sing “Go f—ing crazy” in “Cake”?

Jonas: Ha! I guess you could say it felt good. But more so, it just came through writing the song – when you’re just in it, sometimes you don’t even realize what you’re writing. You just go for it.

And JinJoo, you first met The Jonas Brothers a few years ago, when Jordin Sparks was their opening act?

JinJoo: Yes. I came to L.A. about 10 years ago, and I went to this music school where they did auditioning once in awhile. So the first time I played an audition, I got the callback, then a second, third and final callback. Then they called my name, and Jordin Sparks came up and said, “Congratulations!” I had accidentally become her lead guitar player. And on tour, he introduced himself, but at the time I couldn’t speak any English. So all I could say was, “Hi! My name is JinJoo! Nice to meet you!”

Joe, what was your reaction?

Jonas: I remember early on, my dad telling me, “You guys are going to freak out! Wait ‘til you see this girl play guitar!” And meeting her, I thought, “Oh, she’s really nice and really sweet.” And then I saw her play guitar, and I was like, “Holy s—! This girl can really rip!” I was blown away.

IF YOU GO

DNCE
with Powers
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 8:30 p.m. Oct. 26
Tickets: $20 to $22
Contact: (415) 551-5157, www.ticketfly.com

Source: San Fransisco Examiner

UPDATE: Nick Jonas Douses His New Album With R&B Heartache

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It’s late August when Nick Jonas releases “Levels,” the lead single from his upcoming, as-yet-untitled new album. Though the former JoBro only just released his self-titled solo debut the previous November — an album that yielded the hit single “Jealous” — “Levels” made it immediately clear that this time, the 23-year-old is already swinging harder and left-of-center, taking a harder turn towards R&B.

“I really had only taken two outside songs on this record, and ‘Levels’ is one of those,” Jonas says over the phone of his studio process for LP No. 2. “I was playing a bunch of songs for the Monsters and the Strangerz, and they were like, ‘Hey, we just want to play you a song that might fit in perfectly with this.’ They played me ‘Levels.’ I flipped out and was like, ‘You gotta give it to me now.’ A week later I recorded it.”

Every layer of “Levels” — produced and written by the Monsters and the Strangerz — is immaculately crafted, its verses scrubbed of excess fat, its synthesized drum pops unfurling in slow-motion as a vocoded figure shouts the phrase “rooftop” over and over. With its neatly recorded vocals that scrape the highest octaves of Jonas’ range, it’s one of the best of its breed this year.

It’s late August when Nick Jonas releases “Levels,” the lead single from his upcoming, as-yet-untitled new album. Though the former JoBro only just released his self-titled solo debut the previous November — an album that yielded the hit single “Jealous” — “Levels” made it immediately clear that this time, the 23-year-old is already swinging harder and left-of-center, taking a harder turn towards R&B.

“I really had only taken two outside songs on this record, and ‘Levels’ is one of those,” Jonas says over the phone of his studio process for LP No. 2. “I was playing a bunch of songs for the Monsters and the Strangerz, and they were like, ‘Hey, we just want to play you a song that might fit in perfectly with this.’ They played me ‘Levels.’ I flipped out and was like, ‘You gotta give it to me now.’ A week later I recorded it.”

Every layer of “Levels” — produced and written by the Monsters and the Strangerz — is immaculately crafted, its verses scrubbed of excess fat, its synthesized drum pops unfurling in slow-motion as a vocoded figure shouts the phrase “rooftop” over and over. With its neatly recorded vocals that scrape the highest octaves of Jonas’ range, it’s one of the best of its breed this year.

To keep his new album lyrically in line with his last, Jonas rang up Jason Evigan — who wrote and produced the first Nick Jonas single, “Chains” — for recording sessions, as well as Simon Wilcox and Nolan “Sir Nolan” Lambroza, both of whom assisted on “Jealous.” That’s not to say Jonas is keeping his creative process entirely the same this go-around, though: In late August, he tweeted about getting in the studio with Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick.

“I fell in love with their last record when I was shooting a movie in Cincinnati earlier this year,” he says of the broody electro-pop duo. “I had about a 30-minute drive to set everyday and I would play that record on repeat. We found a time in L.A. and wrote this song. It was a learning experience for both of us in a way. It’s one of the least expected collaborations in the world.”

Roddick says his time with Jonas in the studio was totally fruitful. “We laid down the groundwork for a new song based on a chord progression and synth melody that I had previously written,” he says. “I’m really happy with how it turned out but I’m still working on it. Nick is an incredibly talented songwriter and has a great voice. He’s definitely trying to create his own original sound instead of just banking off of what’s currently popular, and that’s going to take him far.”

Jonas also scored studio time with pop’s go-to hitmaker, Max Martin, for a sultry, cliche-flipping song called “Under You” (sample lyrics: “So I’ll never get over / Getting under you”) that he’s been testing out live recently. “It’s a different way of saying something that’s an age old topic,” he says. “In the middle of making this record, I had a breakup that I drew a lot of inspiration from… I got to work with Max Martin and his team on ‘Under You.’ We already shot a video for it that I’m incredibly anxious for people to see because there’s a really incredible guest star who just absolutely killed it. She looks amazing and had a huge acting role in this video.”

The night after we talk, I see Jonas perform “Levels” live for the Tidal X: 1020 show in Brooklyn. Though the bill is loaded with heavy hitters like Beyoncé, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, and Usher, Jonas is the first performer to actually get the entire arena up and dancing. A Drake feature might not seem so farfetched anymore.

Source: Spin

UPDATE: Interview Magazine – Get Ready to DNCE

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For most people, Joe Jonas‘ new band DNCE (pronounced D-N-C-E) came out of nowhere. However, its four members—Jonas, JinJoo, Cole Whittle, and Jack Lawless—have known each other for more than nine years. Finally, after being involved with other musical projects, the four-piece is entering their career as DNCE without an ego: the band will play for anyone who wants to listen.

The formation and pure existence of the band didn’t even have a traditional announcement. Rather, it was slowly announced through a series of underground shows-cum-parties at the group’s rehearsal space in New York. A few weeks ago, DNCE released its first single, “Cake By The Ocean,” an anti-Jonas Brothers dance-pop gem about sex that starts easily and plays in your head on repeat. For all former (or current) Jonas Brothers fans, sorry, but if you didn’t already know, it’s clear that for Joe and co., those days are long gone.

Last week, when DNCE was in town for an appearance on Good Morning America and CMJ, we met them at The Standard East Village. It was the day before the release of the video for “Cake By The Ocean,” starring The Fat Jewish, and we spoke about creating a new sex euphemism, their favorite kind of cake, and their debut EP Swaay, which is out today.

ILANA KAPLAN: Why is your band name DNCE?

JOE JONAS: There are two reasons. Reason number one, in the process of making this EP, we wrote a song called “DNCE,” which was about being too drunk to spell dance. The second reason can be answered by JinJoo.

JINJOO: DNCE is “dance without the a.” It’s not a perfect word, and you don’t always have to be a perfect dancer to dance. Life is just sometimes not perfect.

KAPLAN: Your Swaay EP is about to come out. Do you think there is a theme that resonates throughout it?

COLE WHITTLE: I think it’s different shades of the quirky existence that we all have. We have so much fun, but we find ourselves in strange situations all the time. It’s dance music, but it’s about funky stories about weird things that happen in love and hanging out. I think that’s what it’s about.

KAPLAN: Was this project in the works for a long time? I know you have known each other for nine or 10 years.

JONAS: It definitely felt like a long time.

JACK LAWLESS: Joe and I have been talking about this since we were touring with The Jonas Brothers.

JONAS: We were roommates for a while—Jack and I. When it was the right timing, we wanted to do something like this, whether it was a side project or something like this—a full-time band. The last year it’s been really gung-ho and we got the music started. It really came together very quickly.

KAPLAN: Obviously you were in The Jonas Brothers, then went solo, and are now in a band again. In the long run, do you see yourself as a solo artist or in a band format?

JONAS: I prefer the band aspect of things. I feel comfortable. It feels good to look to my left and right and see three other people on stage with you that love music as much as you. I love seeing us all having a blast. I get to enjoy every moment with three other people. Whether it’s a cool city we see, a stage, or a moment of someone drunk, screaming in the front row, we get to experience it together.

KAPLAN: So is your debut EP a one-off, or is there an album on the way?

JONAS: There’s definitely an album in the works, and we’re trying to create that album. We have a bunch of songs. Probably top of the year next year we’ll release that album.

WHITTLE: I think for all of us, we see posters, framed photographs on mantles, and 20 albums in 30 years. That’s what I see. I see a great band that stays around and does it—in this young stage.

KAPLAN: To announce the project, you threw a bunch of secret shows in New York at your rehearsal space. Why did you decide to announce the band that way?

JONAS: It was more just rehearsals that ended up becoming showcases. We were in New York and wanted to do something different. We started rehearsing some of the new songs we were finishing up. It became a party. We went from doing three shows a night to doing six or seven. It was just wacky and crazy. It was an experience, and we were able to do it in L.A. as well. It was great.

KAPLAN: Joe, I know your previous label wanted you to go in an R&B direction. Why did you decide to go in a funkier, more pop direction? Was R&B not for you?

JONAS: I love R&B, and I love all different kinds of music. I guess that was one journey that felt right in that time in my life. That is definitely music that has molded and inspired me. I think I can say for all of us, we love rock, pop, and funk. I love being able to blend these three and create something unique for people.

KAPLAN: Does your debut EP map out the steps in the relationship to some degree? The song “Cake By The Ocean” is about sex and “Toothbrush”is  about leaving your toothbrush at your significant other’s apartment as a next step…

JINJOO: Every song, when you listen to it, gives you butterflies because it gives you those moments. [With these songs], you experience those moments, but you don’t really pay attention to them. We made those moments into songs. The songs help you remember those moments.

KAPLAN: Which artists influenced this project for each of you?

JONAS: I’ve always loved ELO, so for me, that was a big one.

LAWLESS: Daniel Craig.

WHITTLE: Sly and The Family Stone, Weezer, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Hall & Oates.

KAPLAN: With “Cake By The Ocean,” do you feel like you created a new euphemism for “Sex on The Beach”?

WHITTLE: We hope so—that’d be pretty cool. We wanted it to be a euphemism for pretty much everything on earth. Like, “Are you all right, man?” “No man, I woke up with a cake by the ocean.” It could be anything and that’s the beauty of it.

JINJOO: Or you go to the bar and ask for a cake by the ocean.

KAPLAN: Do you use the phrase a lot now?

JONAS: We do. It’s in our vocabulary. We obviously sing it a lot, too.

KAPLAN: The one song on the EP that sounds like an anomaly is “Jinx.” Was that on purpose? Or was it a last minute addition?

JONAS: It’s definitely the only ballad of the four songs on the EP. It was one that was a last minute addition, but we’re really proud of that one. It’s a crowd pleaser that’s really romantic and a pivotal moment in a relationship where people don’t want to mess things up too soon. A lot of people are faced with that situation, so we wrote about those moments.

KAPLAN: So, what’s the best kind of cake you’ve ever had?

JINJOO: We had the best kind of cake in Florida yesterday in the green room with chocolate, Nutella, and crunch on the bottom—Orlando cake.

WHITTLE: I like Kate Moss cake too. [laughs] Say that 10 times.

KAPLAN: Is this music for Jonas Brothers fans in your opinion?

JONAS: Not necessarily. Obviously if they like it, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s fine too. At the same time, we’re thinking of this as a new band. We’re not coming into it with an ego or expecting a massive audience right off the bat. We’re happy to be playing for whoever, whenever. We played for basically a Bat Mitzvah last night, which was a conference room full of 1,200 people seated. We got them up, but we’re excited to get out there and perform music. Whoever wants to hear us and likes us should come to more shows.

KAPLAN: How much of your music is about your current romantic relationships?

JONAS: I would say it’s a good majority, but sometimes you write songs that are just stories about situations where people might be at in their lives. I think it’s pretty relatable—a lot of ups and downs.

KAPLAN: Obviously going from the more innocent Jonas Brothers to now, are you trying to make an overt statement with the song “Cake By The Ocean” to fans?

JONAS: I don’t know that I’ve been trying to make a statement. It’s more so that it’s been the first breakthrough song we had. We were working in the studio non-stop. We finished [with The Jonas Brothers] almost three years ago. In no way am I trying to throw sex in anyone’s face, but I think it’s a song we really loved and it embodied what DNCE really is.

SWAAY IS OUT TODAY, OCTOBER 23, VIA REPUBLIC RECORDS AND CAN BE PURCHASED HERE. FOR MORE ON DNCE, VISIT THE BAND’S WEBSITE

Source: Interview Magazine

UPDATE: Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas Future Now The Tour Dates

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6/24/2016 Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
6/25/2016 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
6/29/2016 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
6/30/2016 Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Arena
7/2/2016 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
7/3/2016 Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
7/6/2016 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
7/8/2016 New York, NY – Barclays Center
7/12/2016 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
7/14/2016 Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
7/16/2016 Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium
7/17/2016 Buffalo, NY – First Niagara Center
7/20/2016 Boston, MA – TD Garden
7/22/2016 Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
7/23/2016 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
7/26/2016 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
7/27/2016 Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
7/29/2016 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
7/30/2016 Auburn Hills, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
8/2/2016 Rosemont, IL – Allstate Arena
8/3/2016 Indianapolis, IN – Bankers Life Fieldhouse
8/5/2016 Saint Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
8/6/2016 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
8/9/2016 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
8/11/2016 Salt Lake City, UT – Energy Solutions Arena
8/13/2016 Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/14/2016 Chula Vista, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/17/2016 Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
8/18/2016 San Jose, CA – SAP Center
8/20/2016 Portland, OR – Moda Center
8/21/2016 Seattle, WA – Key Arena
8/24/2016 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
8/26/2016 Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place
8/27/2016 Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome
8/29/2016 Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
8/31/2016 St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State Fairgrounds
9/2/2016 Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
9/7/2016 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
9/9/2016 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
9/10/2016 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
9/12/2016 Dallas , TX – American Airlines Center
9/14/2016 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
9/16/2016 Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
9/17/2016 Inglewood, CA – The Forum

UPDATE: Swaay by DNCE: EW review

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Cosmic rule dictates that only one member of any given boy band can truly be a superstar once the collective has run its course. This is known as the Timberlake Paradigm, and in the case of the Jonas Brothers, the ascendant alpha is Nick. Between his acting (particularly on the painfully underseen DirecTV series Kingdom) and his recent chart success with grown and sexy singles like “Chains” and “Jealous,” Nick has done the best job of leaving his Disney tween star life behind.

It’s still too early to tell whether or not Joe can join Nick in the upper echelon, but the debut EP by his new combo DNCE is a solid step in the right direction. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard him away from his harmonizing brothers—his 2011 solo album Fastlife was the first post-Brothers solo project, a bubbly but mildly disposable collection of pop tunes that sounded of-the-minute but muddled. He’s much more at ease on Swaay, which splits the difference between his former band’s slick power pop and the electro-kissed pop stylings of his solo album.

DNCE is something of a supergroup: in addition to Jonas, it counts Semi Precious Weapons bassist Cole Whittle, former Jonas Brothers drummer Jack Lawless, and guitarist JinJoo Lee, who has toured with everybody from Jordin Sparks to Cee Lo Green to Charli XCX. They have a spry, playful chemistry on Swaay, particularly on the closing number “Jinx,” which somehow marries a stately power ballad thump to a whimsical kazoo riff in a way that ends up making sense. It’s the type of heart-on-sleeve chest-pounder that fits Jonas’ arena-ready pipes best. He’s less comfortable on the disco-funk falsetto spaz “Cake By the Ocean,” which is fortunate to have a bass line as bubbly as it is—any less funky and it would devolve into a tired Maroon 5 pose. The band is better off when it’s getting weird anyway—the shape-shifting groove of “Pay My Rent” deftly darts between Sly Stone funk and torch song throb.

At only four tracks, it’s impossible to tell whether or not DNCE will be able to maintain the level of energy and invention they’ve show on the EP. (Actually, its length may be beneficial—just as Swaay’s sugar shows signs of rotting your teeth, it’s over.) However, it is pretty clear what type of band they want to be, and they’ve absolutely got the chops and the instincts to carve out a funky, buoyant place on pop radio. Nick will remain the Timberlake, but Swaay is a dynamic piece of evidence against Joe becoming the JoBros’ Chris Kirkpatrick.

Source: EW

UPDATE: Joe Jonas on New Funk-Pop Party Band DNCE, Second Chances

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Joe Jonas has seen more highs and lows in the music industry than most musicians twice his age. In 2006, just before he turned 17, his band with brothers Nick and Kevin, the Jonas Brothers, released their debut album. From then until 2013, the sibling act was a Disney-bred phenomenon, selling out stadiums, starring in movies and TV shows, and selling 17 million albums worldwide.

Before the group’s 2013 breakup, Joe attempted to launch his solo career, though compared to the Jonas Brothers juggernaut, the response to 2011’s Fastlife was tepid. After two years of re-focusing and exploring new styles, with the help of Swedish producers Mattman & Robin and Semi Precious Weapons’ Justin Tranter, Jonas has pulled off a funky reinvention and found the perfect band to explore it with: DNCE.
“It’s tough for artists to get second chances in the music industry these days, and the fact that I get to do it with these guys who love music and are passionate and have a great time onstage is a dream come true,” Jonas says of his new funk-pop group. “Getting a chance to come at it like a new artist and a new band is incredible.”

Along with Jonas, DNCE includes drummer Jack Lawless, guitarist JinJoo and bassist Cole Whittle. Lawless met Jonas when he was 19, having left college to go on tour with the Jonas Brothers. He played live with the trio until 2013 and had gone on to be Joe’s roommate. “We always thought about how it would be rad to [be in a band together] and had all these names like Tic Jack Joe,” says Jonas.

Korea-born JinJoo moved to L.A. at 19, going to music school in Hollywood and eventually auditioning to become Jordin Sparks’ lead guitarist. “That’s how I got started in the music industry in Hollywood,” she recalls. “The first tour was Jonas Brothers’ world tour, and that’s how I met Joe. We’ve been friends since then.”

Whittle, a classically trained pianist and former circus carny, is much newer to Jonas’ sphere, having been introduced to the band through his former Semi Precious Weapons bandmate Tranter. “Justin and I were writing a lot of the songs for the EP together,” Jonas explains. “We were stuck on finding the fourth member and amazing bass god. When we were all introduced to Cole, it was electric.”

DNCE made their debut with the groovy, semi-ridiculous “Cake by the Ocean.” The infectiously upbeat tune has become a viral success, aided by a video directed by Jonas’ supermodel girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, and starring social-media-star-turned-male-model the Fat Jew. “Cake” is a perfect preview of the band’s debut EPSWAAY, out today, which features equally catchy, quirky songs like “Pay My Rent” and “Toothbrush.”

“I think the band was born in Joe’s personality,” says Whittle of DNCE’s sound. “Whether he’s just walking down the street or just talking to someone, it’s always fun, and he’s always kind of boogie-ing. He brought the three of us into this world because we’re kind of similar in that way, and we’re all funky people aesthetically and personally and musically. I think the funk is just kind of a thread that goes through all of us as people and as musicians.”

The funkiness of the quartet carries over into their message as well. While the name DNCE technically was born from a lyric Jonas had written about being too drunk to spell the word “dance,” it’s grown to mean something larger. “DNCE is ‘dance’ without an ‘a,’ which is obviously not a perfect word, but you don’t have to be always perfect to dance or to do anything,” JinJoo explains. “Life is never perfect, but you can always enjoy.”

Even Whittle’s notable and eclectic attire extends the meaning of DNCE. “I’m obsessed with aesthetic in every way,” he says. “I don’t think much about it, but things just come to me. Like I’ll wake up and be like, OK, I wanna feel like a samurai who teaches you how to fly a UFO in Japan today. Or, I want to look like a farmer who moved to the Bronx in 1985 and became a B-boy. When I walk around, I want people to look at me and not have any self-conscious thought they might have or shyness or reservation about how other people are seeing them. I like bringing that lightness to that world, whether you laugh at me or appreciate it or you’re just like, ‘That guy’s weird.’ I like that it takes people out of their comfort zone enough to broaden what is normal to them.”

Following a residency in NYC that doubled as a rehearsal for their even larger debut at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, where Jonas’ younger brother Nick also played, DNCE have announced a string of tour dates — The Greatest Tour Ever, Tour with supporting act Powers kicks off in November — and are already planning a full-length LP, set to be released in February or March. “It’s nice to get out there and showcase this music that we’re really proud of,” says Jonas. “We really enjoy the opportunity to fight for a crowd and get their attention.”

For all four, DNCE has become their own revival. Coming off band breakups, hiatuses and other people’s tours, Jonas, Whittle, Lawless and JinJoo see this new endeavor as a chance for a reintroduction. “It’s crazy because all of our paths are so similar, obviously in different magnitudes, but we all gave our lives to something, and it reached the end of a chapter,” Whittle offers. “We all picked up the pieces, soul-searched and questioned what the story was for us. The answer ended up being DNCE as our new life. We’re all in, all the time, with Joe at the captain’s wheel.”

UPDATE: 8 Questions with Joe Jonas’ New Band, DNCE

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We have a lot of former Jonas Brothers fans here at InStyle, so when we heard that another one of its dapper members was branching out on his own to start a disco-rock band, our minds were bubbling with curiosity. DNCE (pronounced like an acronym, D-N-C-E) is made up of Joe Jonas and three other members: guitarist JinJoo Lee, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle, and drummer Jack Lawless, who hardcore JoBros fans may remember as the band’s drummer, too.

In town to play a sold-out show at N.Y.C.’s Webster Hall, we asked them to swing by our offices to give us the DL on the new project during a live Periscope Q&A on @InStyle’s Twitter page. The Periscope chat will be live until Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11:00 a.m., but ICYMI, check out the highlights below. But make sure to watch it too, because they showed off their dance moves—and we’ve got to admit, they’re pretty epic.

How did this project come about?

Joe: “I’ve known Jack and JinJoo for over 10 years. We toured together, and I’ve seen them play with other amazing musicians. Jack and I were roommates at one point and we had this idea to create a band, and the time came around when it was appropriate to make it really happen. I was doing some songwriting with producers from Sweden and things started moving really quickly about a year ago. Then I called up Jack and told him to get off tour and called JinJoo, who was luckily touring with a friend of mine, Ciara, so I asked if I could steal her guitar player. Fortunately, Ciara was very supportive and sent her off to us. We were trying to figure out who would be this amazing fourth member, and we wanted someone with a crazy haircut and tattoos who wears jumpsuits from the ’80s. Luckily, we found him.”

Cole: “What’s his name?”

Joe: “Cole.”

What’s the significance of the band name?

JinJoo: “DNCE is dance without an A, which is not a perfect word, but you don’t have to be a perfect dancer to dance in life. Sometimes it is never perfect, but you can still enjoy life.”

Speaking of dancing, are you going on tour soon?

Joe: “We are definitely going on tour! We’re planning a little run in November, and then, in December, we’re going on the Jingle Ball tour. We are going to be going around, playing shows, getting Christmassy holiday-y and creating new words like that. Ho ho ho.”

Who are your musical influences?

Cole: “We’re inspired by a lot of old funk and disco bands, like Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly and the Family Stone, awesome garage rock bands, and classic rock bands, like Led Zeppelin. Also, nerdy rock bands like Weezer. I am just going to say ‘rock bands’ over and over again. But for the most part, we’re always attracted to groups of people that make what their music is a lifestyle and all day they have their own world. So it is always a party all the time, kind of like us.”

JinJoo: “Funky!”

How important is style to you? 

Joe: “Style has a lot to do with it. I would say, for me personally, I have always been obsessed with those ’70s and ’80s frontmen, from Bono to Mick Jagger to Freddie Mercury, and just their passion for going out of the box. Those would be my style icons as far as musicians.”

Cole: “I’m inspired by mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, super heroes, and Sanford and Son. My aesthetic is looking like a pile of clothes on the street. But in a good way.”

Joe, your brother, Nick, has started a new career, too. Do you feel pressured by comparisons to him?

Joe: “It is definitely super friendly. We’re both thrilled to be able to have this second opportunity to go out, do what we did years ago, play music that we love, and have people listen to it. We are super supportive. I go to his shows, he goes to mine.”

Where does the title “Cake By The Ocean” come from?

Joe: “We were working with these producers in Sweden and they were telling this story and they kept confusing “Sex on the Beach” with “Cake By The Ocean,” so we ran with that idea for a song. They were playing this guitar that they had for over 10 years, so we grabbed it, starting telling stories in the studio, and it just came together.”

What are your favorite cake flavors?

Cole: “Whiskey. Put whiskey in any kind of cake and I’ll eat it.”

Joe: “I really like red velvet.”

Jack: “I’m a big Fudgie the Whale fan.”

JinJoo: “I’m really craving coffee flavor right now.”

Source: InStyle

UPDATE: Kevin and Danielle Jonas Are ‘Always Talking’ About Another Baby

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Kevin and Danielle Jonas enjoyed a night out on the town Monday, a break from their busy lives as mom and dad to 20-month-old daughter, Alena Rose.

“She’s getting so big!” Danielle told PEOPLE at The Knot gala in New York.

“Everybody kept on telling me she’s going to get so big, so fast, and I would hate people saying that — but it’s so true!”

Their toddler is talking up a storm, but can’t quite say “fish” yet, Kevin says.”She says a profanity instead of ‘fish.’ I think you get the idea,” he jokes.

Alena is also in love with dogs, the one trait she got from her mother. The parents agree that she is a spitting image of Kevin, and joke about dressing her and her little buddies up as the Jonas Brothers for Halloween.

Unlike brothers Nick and Joe Jonas, Kevin is focusing on fatherhood right now. But the singer still brings out his guitar to entertain his little girl.

“It’s the first time she heard that song, I played it and she just lost it,” Kevin explains. “I’d stop and she’d just look at me like, ‘Why are you stopping?!’ It was very sweet.”

The couple will celebrate their six-year anniversary in December: “Once we get past this [year], seven [years is] the average so we’re doing really well,” Kevin says.

Their secret to a successful marriage is to “just stay happy, communicate, try to do things together,” he adds.

And as far as siblings for Alena, “we’re always talking about it, so it’s always there,” says Danielle.

Source: People

UPDATE: Who are DNCE? | Everything You Need To Know

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DNCE‘s new single “Cake By The Ocean” is the infectious tune we can’t stop listening to. The dance-pop song has brought together band members Joe Jonas (vocals), Jack Lawless (drums), Cole Whittle (bass/keyboards), and JinJoo Lee (guitar) — otherwise known as DNCE — and there is plenty more music where that came from.

It may seem that DNCE magically appeared with their addictive new song this year, but all four members have known each other for years — according to the band, around nine or ten years to be exact. While Joe was still touring with his brothers as the Jonas Brothers, Jack had joined the guys as their drummer, and JinJoo had also toured with them at one point. They say the formation of DNCE just came naturally.

DNCE stopped by iHeartRadio HQ in New York City recently, where we really got to know them in an exclusive interview. They talked to us about their music style, their new song, and what’s next for the band (Spoiler alert: Good news, there is more music on the way!).

 Here’s everything you need to know about DNCE in our exclusive interview:

1. The name of their song, “Cake By The Ocean,” was inspired after the song’s producers confused the cocktail, “Sex On The Beach,” for “Cake By The Ocean.”

“We were in the studio and working with these producers who go by Mattman & Robin (Swedish duo Robin Fredrikson and Mattias Larsson), and they were telling a story to someone, and I over heard them confuse ‘Sex on the Beach’ [the drink] with ‘Cake By The Ocean’ — which I thought was kind of perfect. And then we just wrote the song from there. Put a bunch of stories in it, and it was done. Voila.”

2. Speaking of cocktails, it looks like there really will be a “Cake By The Ocean” drink soon enough.

“We are going to figure that out. It’s a whole red velvet, cake and Tito’s in a blender.”

3. Their name DNCE — NOT DANCE. But dance does have to do with their chosen name, and it describes the four of them together, perfectly.

“There was a song that one day we were writing in the studio, and an idea for a song pretty much [came about] where you’re too drunk to spell dance, but you still get down. That’s where it started. It just kind of describes the imperfect awesome[ness] of the four of us together.”

4. Their sound is very fun and dance-y, with some great stories.

“It’s music that you can dance to, and it’s all about the stories. We have funny stories [that] very detailed, like in [a] relationship that you can just laugh at, and commit it to, and just sing along. Keeping life fun.”

5. If they could describe their sound using only emojis, this is it:

dnce emoji

YOU CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Photo Credit: Katherine Tyler

 Source: iHeartRadio

UPDATE: Nick Jonas Recalls the Moment He Decided to Go Solo

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The littlest JoBro reflects on a whirlwind year, both musically and personally.

On this episode of Business As Usual, child-star-turned-solo-artist Nick Jonas talks about how he made the courageous jump from Disney star to real-deal R&B artist. He also takes us on the set of Direct TV’s Kingdom, in which he plays Nate Kulina, an up-and-coming MMA fighter. The show returns for a second season on October 14. Watch the full episode of Business As Usual below, along with some extra excerpts from our sit-down interview.

 

The moment when he told his family he wanted to go solo: I actually sat with my brothers after eight years of making music together and doing TV projects and I just said, ‘Look, I need to close this chapter. I feel like It’s time for me to go do different things.’ It’s pretty incredible to be able to look your family in their eyes and say that, and still be friends with them afterwards, because it was our whole world. I think it was important for that time in our lives, and the next step for me was writing, recording, and finding an acting project to get sort of completely immersed in.

Facing the challenges of being a solo artist: I think the stigma was basically that it was not authentic, you know, that it was a manufactured thing. Disney—say what you will about it, good, bad, or in-between—it gives you a really solid foundation and work ethic; it gives youthe ability to get in a room and apply yourself and do the best you can. It does complicate things, but that’s the reality when you’re trying to transition to adulthood and a career as an adult.

On growing up in the public eye: I don’t really know anything different at this point, and I get asked all the time if that’s weird—if it’s weird to have had your life seen by the world. I’m not naïveto the fact that the world is a small bubble, that everyone really pays attention and cares. It’s easy to get stuck in the mentality that everyone does, and they don’t.

On goals and collaborations: You know, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to win a Grammy. I’ve been nominated with my brothers and that was an honor and really incredible, but I’d really like to win a Grammy. To collaborate with Kanye West is a dream of mine, to get to tour the world some more, and to continue to grow as a musician and dive deeper and make music that has a cultural impact beyond just a song people like or don’t like. I think it’s about making an impact culturally and about making people think, so that’s the music side of things. And then as an actor, same deal. I’d love to win a Golden Globe. One day, an Oscar somewhere down the road.

Source: Live Nation TV