Singer and actor Nick Jonas has been in the public eye for most of his life. Growing up as one of Disney Channel’s most famous stars, Nick had sold over 20 million records (as part of the Jonas Brothers) by the time he turned 18.
Now aged 23, it’s time for Nick to break free and show the world who he really is. Nick spoke to i-D about being chained (literally), the modern world and not taking fame too seriously.
His thoughts on his fellow pop stars: “Having had about five careers already, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.” Nick remains extremely diplomatic when questioned about his fellow Disney stars. Of Miley Cyrus and co, he says “I’m blown away by her, she’s fearless. Disney was our high school. There’s a lot of life lived between all of us.”
Nick doesn’t endorse 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”. Nick also finds the selfie culture “bizarre”, and names the time that someone asked him for a selfie whilst in the urinal as the most extreme request he’s had. Although, he would break the selfie rule himself if Daniel Craig was involved.
THAT photo shoot: You know the one, the shoot that shattered our Disney hearts as Nick appeared shirtless and grabbing his crotch. “I sent [my parents] shots as a heads-up. My dad replied, ‘You know where you get that from!'”
The album Nick Jonas: Nick admits that songs such as “Jealous” not only redefined his career, but also his life. “The biggest compliment is when people hear my music and don’t believe it’s me. 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.”
His musical inspirations: Nick’s latest album was written with the likes of Mike Posner (Pharrell, Big Sean) and Sir Nolan (Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo) whilst he also looked at alternative RnB acts like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd for inspiration. He also cites Lady Gaga as a big inspiration. “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. With the Brothers, it wasn’t always very human. Now I say what I want.”
On supporting the gay community: He’s all for America’s legalisation of same-sex marriage. “Accepting the gay community was a priority because they’ve been so accepting of me. 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.”
On being chained (literally) and breaking free: Nick performed at London’s G-A-Y club in July and was asked if he would mind being chained for a very literal performance of “Chains”. “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.”
Having been tied in many situations during his career, Nick is ready to let go, although he has sound advice for anyone who takes fame too seriously. “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.”
You can read the full interview here.