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Music Interview

Joe Jonas interview: "I have grown up and so have my fans"

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Joe Jonas
As many a one-time Disney star will vouch, it's no easy feat trying to rebrand yourself as a credible artist after countless tween-pop album releases and sickly-sweet TV movies. So, when Jonas Brothers star Joe decided to make a solo album chronicling his journey into adulthood and infuse it with dance beats inspired by the likes of Swedish House Mafia, you can imagine we were full of questions when we phoned him up for a chat last week.

Are you happy with the response to your debut solo single 'See No More'?
"Yeah, I've been very happy with it. Everyone has been so supportive and I've been hearing great feedback, so I'm very pleased."

Why did you decide to pick it as your first solo single?
"I was actually finishing up my record when I wrote 'See No More'. The album was almost complete, but then I got the opportunity to write with Chris Brown. We wrote the song and then by a majority vote from my team we decided to go with it as the lead single. We felt it had a pretty big chorus and it was a strong way to come out and introduce what I was doing now compared to the sound with the Jonas Brothers."

What was it like working with Chris Brown?
"It was great. Chris Brown is a fantastic artist and songwriter and to be able to work with him was kind of unbelievable. It was really interesting because we weren't actually supposed to end up writing together. We both found time to work with each other and just got together and wrote."

Was 'See No More' the only track you wrote together?
"It was, but he wrote another song that I've used for my record called 'Lighthouse'. I hope to work with him again in the future. Chris and I worked really well together and if we could find time again soon I think we'd both definitely do it."

How was it working on your new album Fast Life?
"Writing Fast Life has been an incredible experience. It's something totally different from what I am used to. It took a while to get to where I was musically because I had this idea that I wanted to start to make music that was more dancey and urban. When I started working with producers that I had wanted to collaborate with for so long, they really helped me get into the mindset."

What did the album initially sound like then?
"It sounded completely different. It was very much a Michael Bublé type of record - just a proper singer's type of record. But as I went on writing I discovered that I could really go along with the kind of music that I listen to, which is a lot of hip-hop, dance and electro pop music. There are one or two songs that we pulled back into the new sound by tweaking them."

Were you nervous working without the security of your brothers around you?
"It's an exciting experience. Having their support means everything to me, because if I didn't have it it would have been a very difficult process. I was nervous to play them the music at first because I knew they would find it easy to tell me what they liked and disliked. But once I was comfortable with playing the music I played them the entire record and they were really supportive and loved it."

Joe Jonas


A lot of people are now comparing you to Justin Timberlake; how does that feel?
"I think it's flattering - he's a fantastic artist. At the same time I feel like Justin Timberlake has his own lane and I'm trying to make something that is different and personal and not like anything else. Of course, it's still a very big compliment."

You also worked with producer Danja on the LP who has also worked with Justin...
"We definitely spoke about the stuff Justin Timberlake did and the material he did with Mary J Blige and even Britney Spears. I told him that this was the kind of music I wanted to do and the type of album I wanted to create. At the same time I wanted to make something that was my own. We had two days apart and then came back and he presented me with some tracks and they were perfect. He was very easy to work with."

Are you nervous about sharing songs about past relationships with the world?
"I wanted to be honest, and when you do that you have to go there for certain good or bad reasons. It can be difficult to go, 'here's my heart on a platter', but at the same time you've just got to go for it. I hope fans can relate to it - I have grown up and so have my fans; they'll be going through relationships that are more mature and hopefully they'll understand what I'm speaking about."

Were there any songs you ended up having to take out for personal reasons?
"I have definitely written a happy song about someone and then we ended up splitting up, but you have to put those kind of things to the back of your mind and tell yourself that it's a good song and it works on the album."

Is there a track you're excited for fans to hear?
"There's a song called 'I'm Sorry' and a song called 'Fast Life' that I'm excited for people to hear. 'I'm Sorry' is one of those really honest songs about ending a relationship too early and you want them back in your life and all you can do is apologise. 'Fast Life' is just about going out with your friends and having a good time - I think it's one of those songs that people can relate with and like."

Are there any plans to tour the UK?
"Hopefully soon. I have couple of ideas about touring and opportunities - It'll probably be around fall time. I'm probably going to travel all over, but I definitely want to come back to the UK for sure."

Are you considering a return to the big screen anytime soon?
"I'm actually developing a project with my friend out in LA. He's a producer and writer, but it's too early to say what the movie is about. It's a really exciting role and it's something I've been dreaming about. I will be producing and acting in it, which is really exciting!"

Joe Jonas's new single 'See No More' is out now in the US and the UK. The album, Fast Life, follows on October 24.

Watch the music video for 'See No More' below:

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