Joe Jonas does his fifth ‘FastLife Fridays’ livechat today, September 30th! Joe talks about his past week, and where he has been the past few days. Joe talks about the family dinner and talks a bit about the tour bus. Joe talks about the BBC Radio Award show and talks about how cool it would be to tour with Pixie Lott and One Direction. Fastlife is available October 11th and you can pre-order it on Amazon now and iTunes on October 4th!
At 22, Joe Jonas has already experienced the heights of music industry success. His days as co-lead singer for the wholesome, Disneyfied rock band Jonas Brothers exposed him to hordes of screaming girls around the world and culminated in the rare Cowboys Stadium gig in 2009. Yeah, those brothers were big.
But fans of boy bands tend to grow up fast and leave their old obsessions behind without much warning. That might explain why House of Blues was only about half full on Thursday night when the middle Jonas performed tunes from his upcoming solo album.
The several hundred teens and young adults who took in the school-night show still displayed plenty of passion for the singer, so all was not lost. But Joe — charismatic and talented as he may be — will need to step up his game if he dreams of making Timberlake waves.
A drummer, keyboardist, three dancers and fancy stand-up lighting rigs backed the singer as he tore through a handful of electro-leaning dance-pop songs from his debut album Fastlife, out Oct. 11. Jonas was in good spirits and seemingly glad to be in front of a home crowd — he and his brothers relocated to Westlake in 2008.
He played the part of suave pop crooner convincingly enough during the short set, driving girls crazy with well-choreographed hip thrusts. His new tunes, including recent singles “See No More” and “Just In Love,” were danceable but somewhat unimaginative, melody-wise. Things got worse with a diary-ripped ballad called “Sorry” — most likely about ex Taylor Swift — before getting a little better with party-ready fare — a funked-up version of the JoBros’ “Burning Up,” a cover of Chris Brown’s “Beautiful People.”
Perhaps ol’ Joe will find more mojo when he joins Britney Spears on a European tour this fall. He’s got potential. At the very least, he outperformed opening act Jay Sean by a mile — we didn’t catch an earlier set by the gifted singer JoJo.
Sean, a high-voiced British singer known for the Lil Wayne-featuring radio hit “Down,” seemed more concerned with pandering to the crowd between songs than pushing out decent vocals or choreography. Doesn’t he know the deal about high-school girls? Their screams don’t always mean there’s something good happening on stage. Sometimes they just need to scream.
Joe Jonas stopped by Kidd Kraddick in Dallas, TX on September 29, 2011.
Joe Jonas stopped by The Kiss Mazda Music Lounge and performed a couple of songs for 106.1 KISS FM!
Just In Love
Joe Jonas premieres episode 1 of The Road to Fastlife on VEVO!
Joe Jonas is featured in People Magazine under the Chatter column. The magazine is available now in LA and NY, and available nationwide on Friday, September 30th.
LAST CELEBRITY CRUSH…
Every time I say who it is, I end up meeting the person. It happened recently. I met Jessica Alba, and she said, “Hey you had a crush on me, didn’t you?” And I was like, “Yeah, me and the rest of the world!”
LAST ALBUM I BOUGHT…
I downloaded [ex-girlfriend] Demi Lovato’s album today. I’m interested in hearing the music she’s come up with and want to support a friend. I’m happy she’s doing well.
LAST GIFT I GAVE…
I got [brother] Kevin a funny gift as a housewarming present– a ‘Butt Life In A Box.’ He thought it was amazing but [sister-in-law] Danielle got a Gucci charm bracelet.
LAST TIME I APOLOGIZED…
I wrote a song called “I’m Sorry” that I sing every night on tour. It’s about breaking someone’s heart and this is my apology. You may know who it’s about, but I try not to say names.
LAST COUPON I USED…
Someone gave me a card for free Pinkberry. I got my standard, regular yogurt with almonds and Cap’n Crunch!
Joe Jonas stopped by to do an interview in the studio with The Bobby Bones Show. Joe Jonas tries to remember the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Belevin’” by Journey and “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.
Venturing out of a successful family act into an even bigger solo career worked for Michael Jackson, but there aren’t many other examples.
Yet Joe Jonas, of the multi-platinum, multimedia Jonas Brothers, professes not to worry that much about meeting the high expectations set by his first band. He looks at his solo tour with British R&B singer Jay Sean, which hits House of Blues on Sunday, as a throwback to the days before the stadiums and screaming fans.
“It’s kind of nice right now,” Jonas said on a recent teleconference interview. “I’m doing the solo project, so I know that it’s kind of like starting over. I’m excited because I know that it’s a nice way to start this whole process.”
Jonas’ solo debut, “Fast Life,” is scheduled for Oct. 11 release. In addition to being one of the songs, the title also reflects the pace of the singer’s existence.
“It’s kind of explaining where my life has been for the past year,” Jonas said. “I feel like January of 2010 was yesterday. My life has been so crazy-paced and quick. I kind of wanted to take everybody and show them a little bit more of what I’ve been up to.”
Obviously, new songs such as the lead single “See No More” will be considered against the yardstick of the Jonas Brothers’ phenomenal appeal. Jonas won’t be judging the music that way, though.
“I just put pressure on myself to make this record something that I was really proud of and something that was different for the audience,” said Jonas, adding that some performers he admires have advised him to “make music that takes your fans on a journey. So I wanted to create something that was a little bit different for them to listen to. Obviously there’s going to be people saying, you know, ‘Can he do it?’”
Although there was the potential option of collaborating with his brothers, Kevin and Nick, that idea ultimately was rejected.
“Nick and Kevin both kind of did say to me they wanted me to be able to take the time to find my own sound, and they were particular about me being able to just do that on my own,” Jonas said. “I feel like, you know, if I wrote with them then the stuff might sound like the Jonas Brothers stuff. So we were just kind of like, let’s all do our own things right now and see what we can come up with.”
For Jonas, it’s not about competition.
“I’m never the kind of person that is too much disappointed about what size venues or how many records are sold. The fact that I have the opportunity to play music and to tour and to be an artist that does what he loves, that makes me happy. All the rest will come with it if it does. And if it doesn’t, I mean, I’m still going to be thankful for what I have.”
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Joe Jonas, with Jay Sean
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: House of Blues, Downtown Disney,Lake Buena Vista
COST: $39.50 advance, $44.50 day of show
THERE is power in numbers, and so a lone Jonas walking into a Midtown Manhattan restaurant does not have nearly the oomph of a threesome. Joe Jonas, middle child of the phenom Jonas Brothers, went nearly unrecognized over a long lunch at Asia de Cuba recently, perhaps because most of the other diners were, you know, adults.
Mr. Jonas felt right at home, though. When he is with his brothers Nick (the cute one) and Kevin (the married one), the JoBro are a juggernaut of tween fandom, with all the attendant high-decibel hysteria. But solo, Joe has an entirely different persona, or at least he’s aiming to. He is the sultry one: a man — O.K. a guy — with a sharper edge, an independent point of view, sophisticated tastes.
“I want to start a food blog eventually,” Mr. Jonas, 22, announced as he sat down to lunch (calamari salad, sea scallops and Cuban barbecued chicken). A devotee of fine dining, he rattled off the names of chefs he’s impressed by, including Tim Love, the Texan guru of new Western cuisine (his rattlesnake tacos, Mr. Jonas said, are “unreal”); and Susan Feniger, owner of a street food restaurant in Los Angeles. Mr. Jonas has met Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and President Obama, but reserves his greatest ardor for Mario Batali and Ferran Adrià.
“I don’t really get star-struck ever, but when it comes to chefs, I will sometimes get nervous,” he said. “If there’s a chef I really like, I will freak, because I think their talent is so different from what I do.”
Once a mop-topped, purity-ring-wearing Disney star alongside his brothers, Joe is moving into sleeker territory, from his physique to his piqued interest in fashion, food and other epicurean pursuits. He sits on the front row at fashion shows in Milan and New York and was a judge on “Top Chef.” With a debut solo album, “Fastlife,” full of club-ready tracks, due out Oct. 11, and a sudden burst of 5 o’clock shadow, he is hoping to make the transition from a boy band to an adult artist. Let’s call it Timberlaking.
But Justin Timberlake is the rare performer to emerge from the Disney cocoon a fully formed, multiplatform talent. Blame changing tastes or Biebermania: the Jonai’s popularity has shrunk. A 3-D concert film in 2009 was considered a box office disappointment, and their last Disney Channel series, “Jonas L.A.,” faltered as it tried to cast them as more mature; it was canceled last year.
“They become so identified as a group and so identified as a teen and tween brand, it’s hard to prove to people that you’ve grown up,” said Joe Zee, the creative director of Elle, who worked with Mr. Timberlake as he transitioned from boy band to solo career. “You’re immediately met with a level of skepticism.”
Mr. Zee, who has not worked with Mr. Jonas but considers himself a fan, praised his emerging style.
“He does it well, with the scruff and the new haircut,” he said. “He’s got all that down pat.”
But, Mr. Zee added: “If he wants to be the Beyoncé of Destiny’s Child, he’s got to really show that he can grow and mature, and really, to be honest, get an entirely new fan base. Maybe that means growing stubble, but it also means maturing in all levels, in his style and in his sound.”
Designers are already eager to help Mr. Jonas outfit his new look. Italo Zucchelli, the creative director for Calvin Klein men’s wear, dressed him on several occasions, taking him around Fashion Week in Milan. “There were, like, screaming girls following him everywhere, everywhere,” Mr. Zucchelli reported, still registering some shock. He was impressed with Mr. Jonas’s aesthetic: wearing sneakers with suits or a denim jacket with a blazer, asking about runway wear.
“He’s very interested in that, to be part of the fashion language,” Mr. Zucchelli said, calling him an ideal youthful model for his designs. “What I do is really inspired by iconic American-ness, and to me Joe is like an all-American boy.”
Mr. Jonas’s growing fashion clout was evident during the recent New York Fashion Week, when he performed at Saks Fifth Avenue during Fashion’s Night Out, dressed by Simon Spurr, a young British designer. They met earlier this year, at a dinner at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. “He really embodies the brand,” Mr. Spurr said. “He’s very humble, he’s good-looking, he’s clean, he’s next-generation.”
Mr. Jonas said he first spotted Mr. Spurr’s clothes on Mr Porter, a men’s luxury online retailer, and alerted his stylist that he wanted to wear the label, which he does in his new video, “Just in Love” — at least the part of it where he is not cavorting in a bathtub with a model.
“FASTLIFE,” years in production, is, Mr. Jonas acknowledged, a “coming of age” album. In lieu of the lightweight pop that made the Jonas Brothers multimillionaires (they earned about $35 million annually in the last few years), the songs have a slicker, darker feel. Mr. Jonas said he approached his brothers with the idea of doing a solo record in 2009. “I wouldn’t have done it if they weren’t supportive,” he said.
He first thought he would do a pop ballad album, “something almost Michael Bublé or Josh Groban,” he said. But, spurred in part by a recent break-up, he wound up with more of a thumping R & B sound. (Mr. Jonas, famously the subject of a Taylor Swift breakup anthem, demurred when asked who his songs were about, though he was dating the actress Ashley Greene earlier in the year.)
The album presents the formerly virginal Jonas brother, now purity-ring-free, as a party-hopping authority. Mr. Jonas said his dream would be for club D.J.’s to remix his tracks.
“I want to write something that people can dance to,” he said. “I want to dance.” Thanks to a choreographer, his moves have improved since he parodied Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in a widely seen video.
With the blessing of his label, he cycled through producers, landing on the Timbaland protégé Danja, who, as it happens, is a collaborator of Mr. Timberlake. He also co-wrote the track “See No More” with the R & B star Chris Brown, in a partnership that buffed both their images. For Mr. Brown, it was a wholesome distraction from his 2009 assault on Rihanna. And Mr. Jonas has some new street cred: Lil Wayne added a verse to a remix of “Just in Love.”
Still, Mr. Jonas said he was worried whether “Fastlife” would find an audience. In 2010 his younger brother Nick (now 19) released a solo album, “Who I Am,” which sold fewer than 200,000 copies in the United States, a pittance compared with the brothers’ multi-platinum sales. But Ken Bunt, executive vice president for Disney Music Group, which runs Hollywood Records, the Jonases’ label, defended Nick’s solo work, noting that he had a sold-out tour with it.
“His side project was a success in that this was an album that he basically escaped for a couple of weeks and made,” he said. “It wasn’t an intention for it to be some giant blockbuster.”
By contrast, Joe’s album is getting “a pretty large campaign,” Mr. Bunt said, including a tour with Jay Sean, and opening for Britney Spears in Europe. “It’s a global rollout, so we have high expectations,” Mr. Bunt said. “We’re very bullish on this album. We think we’ve got quite a future with Joe as a solo artist and as a Jonas brother.”
The Jonas boys (there are four; Frankie, the “bonus Jonas,” is 11) grew up in New Jersey, where the oldest began performing at amusement parks as teenagers. Their father, Kevin Jonas Sr., was an evangelical pastor before he became a manager of his sons’ group; their mother, Denise, home-schooled them. The family remains close; Joe credits them with keeping him levelheaded, and indeed he is exceedingly polite, with excellent table manners.
“My mom always trained us to eat as though one day we’ll be at the president’s table,” he said. “And we eventually sat and ate at the White House.” (They brought mom; she cried.) “And my dad always said this, which we always lived by, which was: Live like you’re at the bottom, even if you’re at the top.”
Mr. Jonas now lives on his own in Hollywood, in a loft whose décor he picked out; he favors modern styles, vintage video games and the work of street artists like Curtis Kulig, a friend whose tag, ‘Love Me,’ adorns his phone. His closet, he said, pops with color (“I have no problem wearing pink shoes,” he said) and he prefers outré accessories like tie-dye sneakers. For his birthday this summer his parents gave him a pair of Louis Vuitton high-top boots. (“My dad has more Louis Vuitton shoes than I think any other guy out there,” he said.)
During Fashion’s Night Out, Mr. Jonas’s fashion credentials were cemented when he met Anna Wintour of Vogue. She dropped by for a quick hello before his performance at Saks Fifth Avenue. In a makeshift green room in the men’s wear department, Mr. Jonas, dressed in a black wool suit with a grosgrain stripe lapel by Mr. Spurr, chatted with her about the evening and promoting it as a shopping event. Ms. Wintour did not stay for the performance, but her visit made an impression.
“I wish I had a list of questions to ask her,” Mr. Jonas gushed afterward. “She’s a legend.”
Thus anointed, he made way for a more typical fan, a little girl in a T-shirt with a big heart on it, who posed for a photo with him. Still blushing furiously afterward, she was barely able to stammer out her age: 8.
Soon enough Mr. Jonas was out on stage, singing with his eyes closed, his hips stopping just short of a thrust above the heads of hundreds of shrieking girls.
It’s officially fall, y’all. Which means pumpkin lattes (unnecessary yet impossible to resist), bowls of free candy (dooon’t mind if I do) and a superabundant stream of new albums vying for any remaining space on your iPod. So here at Buzzworthy, our music writers — Tamar Anitai, Nicole James, Jason Newman, Jenna Rubenstein and Brad Stern — harvested 29 of our favorite new and upcoming albums into a fall-friendly guide that’s easier to digest than those weird brown candy corns.
The fall music forecast calls for dance floor fillers like Jason Derulo’s Future History, Patrick Stump’s Soul Punk and Joe Jonas’ Fast Life (two highly anticipated solo missions!), with high chances of comebacks like Blink-182′s Neighborhoods, Evanescence’s self-titled album, Gym Class Heroes’ The Papercut Chronicles II and Demi Lovato’s Unbroken. Expect new music by overachievers too: Britney released Femme Fatale six month ago, but that’s not stopping her from dropping her remixes album next month. And Rihanna will debut her sixth studio album almost a year to the day she released her Loud album, which is still riding high on the charts.
So, without further adieu or belaboring, check out Buzzworthy’s Fall Music Preview 2011 — 29 new fall albums on our radar that need to be on yours too! And vote for the fall album you’re most excited about!
JOE JONAS, Fast Life: With production credits from Danja (Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears), Rob Knox (T.I., Chris Brown), and Brian Kennedy (Ciara, Rihanna), Joe Jonas’ debut solo album Fast Life has all the ammunition behind it to score himself at least a couple top tens. Breaking away from both his Jonas Brothers sound and squeaky-clean look, fans can an expect an older, wiser, and definitely more mature Joe Jonas on Fast Life. (Um, hi, his “Just In Love” video features a sometimes-shirtless Joe in a hotel room with a French model.) He’s still “Burnin’ Up,” but just in an 18+ way now. — Nicole James
Standout songs: “Just In Love,” “Love Slayer”
Release date: October 11