Nick Jonas talks us through his new album, track-by-track.
“Jealous” was arguably one of the best tracks to emerge from any popstar last year, and his follow-up, brooding banger “Chains”, is hot on its heels. With two certified US smashes under his belt and a what looks like a third in the pipeline with rumoured new single Teacher, we sat down with Nick and got the insight into how he put the album together track-by-track.
First up, Chains:
I had about four songs done and I wanted to see where the record would go. My A&R guy played me Chains and I just fell in love with it and I think it’s the perfect song to introduce the record with.
Next is the UK smash hit Jealous:
Jealous came out of a real life situation. I was out with my girlfriend and this guy kept staring over while we were eating, to the point where it was rude and disrespectful. I’m not usually a jealous person, but I was that night. The next day I went into the studio and I wrote jealous as a way to essentially deal with the emotion I was feeling…and it ended up becoming a very important song in my career.
How about Wilderness?
Another song that came in that I heard and fell in love with, although I tweaked it a bit to make it my own. It marries the sound between my previous records and gels those rock elements with the pop/soul stuff that I’m creating now.
Next up, Robin Thick-style banger Teacher:
When making a record I thought it was really important to be thinking about a song that people want to dance to, and this song is that song. It’s that feeling of having a good time. it’s one of my favourite songs to play live and it’s going to be a single at some point.
How was the filming the video for that?
Yeah, there’s a lyric video that was so much fun to make actually. We painted on a bunch of models…which is always a good time! [Laughs] It was sort of a real, hang out party with a lot of really hot people – like something out of Zoolander. It was very bizarre!
Next up, Wilderness – which I think should be a single by the way!
Oh, well thank you! One of the writers on this, Sam Martin, has done a lot of stuff with David Guetta and Maroon 5, so it was really great to work with him. He let me tweak it a bit to help make it my own and I think the lyrics on this are brilliant and I also hope it’s going to be a single!
What about Take Over?
Take Over reminds of the old Outkast jams, which was kind of a big inspiration for me.
That connection hadn’t clicked until you said it, but I can totally hear that.
Thank you! So tracks like Roses and obviously Hey Ya! really influenced it. It’s a fun, summertime track and I did a really interesting thing on this where I went back at forth with the writers, and I was on a TV show in L.A at the time, so we did a sort of remote writing session and it was a very new-age way of doing it.
Next up is a track that someone people might feel is a little left-field for you – Numb
Numb I wrote with a friend of mine Mike Posner. We just started vibing out and talking about this concept and I’ve been there before where you work so hard for someone’s attention and they just leave you feeling numb and empty. I love this song and a lot of people have told me that it’s their favourite on the record…
Yes! It’s very Dark Horse-esque isn’t it?
Exactly. It’s got that trap kind of vibe, definitely.
Next up, Push:
Push is a song that I wrote with a bunch of friends. It’s a really personal, intense song about drawing someone in closer so you can be the one to drive them away. I felt like I had to write this with close friends because it was getting very real, and I’d say it’s one of my favourite songs that I’ve ever written.
How did I Want You come about?
It’s a song that came in toward the end of making the record. I heard it and loved it and the opening lyric is kind of gripping. Also, anytime I get to sing in my falsetto I’m happy!
Who doesn’t love a man singing in falsetto?
Next up, Nothing Would Be Better:
This song is really personal to me. For me it’s about family and the transition from the band to my solo stuff. I tried to get as honest and transparent asd I could in my writing so I could get that across. Sonically, I think the producer did a great job in creating the vibe.
Lastly, your track with Demi Lovato – Avalanche:
I got to team up with my very close friend Demi, but we didn’t write this, which is odd because we write together a lot. It reminded us of a moment in our friendship a few years ago when she was going through a tough time and this song is just all about that. I’m so thrilled that she was down to be on the record.
Words: Josh Haigh