Joe Jonas talks DNCE's debut album, collaborating with other artists, and where he stands on the T.Swift and Kim K. beef
By: Gibson Johns
Joe Jonas is riding high right now. His debut single, "Cake By The Ocean," with his band DNCE, has been unavoidable for going on a year now, and he's currently touring with the Instagram's most-followed person in the world and (one of his good friends), Selena Gomez.
Though he's gotten to a place where pretty much anything he releases is nearly guaranteed to be a success, that wasn't always the case. After a mildly disappointing run at a solo career and a poorly-received Jonas Brothers comeback, Jonas was in a sort of pop music no man's land. That is, until he teamed up with some friends of his to form DNCE.
Made up of Jonas, Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle and JinJoo Lee, DNCE has proven to be a breath of fresh air on Top 40 radio, bringing a retro-cool vibe to a pop music landscape that can oftentimes feel a bit stale. On stage, they let loose, delivering a fun, dynamic and energetic atmosphere in concert. And, if their 2015 EP SWAAY, is any indication, the band's upcoming debut album is set to be a smash (Jonas told us that it's slated to be released on August 26).
We caught up with Joe Jonas this week to talk about his partnership with Pop-Tarts (which included a stellar collaboration with NE-YO), touring with his bandmates, why it's important for he and Nick to support each other and, oh yeah, where he stands on that drama between Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift.
See photos of Joe Jonas through the years:
Check out our full conversation with Joe Jonas below:
You're currently touring with Selena Gomez on her Revival Tour. What has that experience been like overall?
Oh man, it's been awesome! For us, it's always nice touring with friends, and you kind of have those moments where you're out there playing and you want to be able to hit the stage and know that you're also going to be able to hang out with enjoyable people backstage, too. It's an enjoyable situation for all of us. We're looking forward to being able to do Asia and Australia and continuing the run with them.
You've been doing a lot of covers with DNCE on tour recently. How do you decide which songs to cover?
It's always pretty difficult to come up with songs that can live with you on tour, but with this band it always comes naturally. We'll just be messing around in the rehearsal space, and we end up doing, like, a TLC medley or a Drake medley, whatever we're really listening to that day. There's a lot of music we like to listen to and play. We could probably do a three or four hour show of just cover songs at some point. [Laughs]
Have you been writing and recording with DNCE while on tour?
We've actually just pretty much wrapped up the album! We're done; we've been writing and recording non-stop. We actually just had a conversation about it today, and I think for all of us, we just like to create, so hopefully the creation process never stops. By the time the album comes out, we'll probably already be done with the next one already. [Laughs] It's one of those things where you just want to get content out. Why not strike while the iron is hot?
Yeah, it seems as though you've gelled extremely well with the rest of the members of DNCE, and you guys have really blown up in the past year. How amazing has this past year been with them?
It really has been an amazing experience, yeah. We've been friends for a long time, and we get along great. It's genuinely a fun vibe on and off stage.
You and Nick [Jonas] have both been doing very well for yourselves over the past couple of years and, as someone with brothers, it's been really special to watch you guys support one another in the process. Is championing each other's work something that you both actively try to do?
Totally! I know we're lucky to have each other -- as well as the other two, Kevin and Frankie. But me and Nick, being in the industry, it's kind of a chaotic world. We keep each other sane, and we talk probably every single day. We don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. We'd see each other every day, if we could! But yeah, we support from afar. He comes to our shows, and we go to his. It's really nice to have that, because this industry is cutthroat.
Speaking of cutthroat, everyone's been talking about the whole Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West feud this week. You don't have to pick sides, but I was wondering if you had an opinion on all of that.
[Laughs] I keep out of it. It's obviously everywhere, but I just stay on the sidelines.
When can we expect DNCE's debut album to drop?
We have the album coming out on August 26, so as of right now that's the plan. Things are changing constantly, though, so we might have to push back if singles are still on the radio or what not. But we're just letting things ride.
Talk to me about your partnership with Pop-Tarts and how it came about.
We've been looking at different partnerships as we've moved forward with the band -- different collaborations and things like that -- and [Pop-Tarts] were doing something really special by collaborating on two different flavors: Crush Orange and A&W Root Beer, putting them into Pop-Tarts and taking two familiar flavors and putting them together. For us, they presented a really cool idea where they brought NE-YO to the table, who is someone seemingly unlikely for us to work with, and putting us in a room with him and doing something really interesting, which was us playing one of his songs and him playing one of our songs. We knew it would be something unique and special for our audience.
That [mash-up] also ends up living online where you can interact with us to create your own kind of karaoke version via the Smule app. It was just a lot of really cool things that were put into one, and we had a really fun day working with him.
He delivered a pretty awesome cover of "Cake By The Ocean." Does it ever get old hearing other people cover your songs?
No, it doesn't! It's always different, and I actually really like it. You're able to hear your music done in a really unique way. Everybody has a different voice -- whether you think you're a good singer or your friends do -- and it's cool to be able to watch [someone else sing your song]. When it comes down to it, "Cake By The Ocean" is a party anthem for everybody, so it's kind of the perfect song for people to sing along to.
Did NE-YO give you any pointers when it came to tackling his song, "Let Me Love You"?
Man, NE-YO has such an iconic voice that it was hard to kind of tackle it. I was a little bit nervous stepping into it and singing his hit, so I did my best NE-YO impression at times. He has a high voice! I was doing my best to get up there.
You've collaborated with a lot of different artists in the past, from Hailee Steinfeld to Demi Lovato to Miley Cyrus. What have been some of your most memorable collaborations?
Working with Demi has always been a highlight for me. We've done quite a few songs together, whether it was for her album or our albums back in the day or working on "Camp Rock." I've been able to create some stuff with Ciara -- that song is one of my favorites -- so it was an honor that she asked me to be a part of that. I've been lucky enough to be on quite a few features, so I hope that's something that I can continue.
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