By Shannon Carlin
In our series First Times we get to know a musician better by finding out about those initial experiences in their life that make them who they are. This time around we’re talking with Nick Jonas about the first time he met Demi Lovato, the first rumor he ever heard about himself and his first celebrity crush.
For the first time in his life, Nick Jonas is all on his own.
Since he was just 13 years old, Nick was one third of the Jonas Brothers, an actual band of boys who played their instruments and made young girls say things like “OMJ!”—a clever replacement for “OMG” meaning “Oh My Jonas!”—anytime they heard the brothers sing their biggest single, “Burnin’ Up.”
But after Nick and his two older brothers, Kevin and Joe, decided to call it quits, at least for now, last year, the youngest JoBro felt a little lost.
“I think after I closed that chapter in my life I took some time for me to realize that I could keep going and do it my way,” Jonas tells Radio.com, speaking by phone from Atlanta. “What I wanted was to try to evolve as an artist. To make music I’m really proud of. I really wanted to push myself, but I didn’t want to jump into it.”
Jonas was also well aware that the world isn’t always so kind to teen stars who try to grow up. Fortunately, his fans seem on board with his new adult transformation. Especially if that transformation leads to more crotch-grabbing photo spreads like the one he did for Flaunt. Those risque photos had Iggy Azalea tweeting about the Nick Jonas “crush epidemic,” which, for the record, is in full swing.
“It does take people time to sort of be educated on who you are now,” he admits. “But, a lot of people have really responded. It’s just amazing to be in this position now, at 22 years old, I’ve pretty much had a full career. Now, I get to sort of start all over and do it again.”
Since Jonas is kicking off his solo journey with his new and very sexy self-titled album—and a new DirecTV show, Kingdom, where he gets to show off his abs playing an MMA fighter—we were curious about other ‘firsts’ in his life.
To be clear, even though he’s admitted the purity ring is off, we did not ask about that first time. Instead we spoke to him about his first celebrity crush, the first rumor he remembers reading about himself and the very first time he met Demi Lovato.
First Teacher Who Inspired You
I think my dad is one of my biggest teachers. He’s an amazing musician himself and inspired me in a lot of ways to be who I am now. You know, I feel like my biggest teachers were just people who saw me grow up. I was really lucky to be around some amazing people who pushed me.
The song “Teacher” was one of the last ones I added to the record. It sort of helped me build the sound of the record and figure out what all the pieces were. It’s such a fun song, you have no choice but to get up and dance.
First Hip-Hop Artist You Remember Loving
I was really influenced by Kanye when I started discovering hip-hop. He just shows how creative hip-hop can be. And, obviously, he just pushes the envelope. He just does some amazing things. College Dropout was a big one for me, even 808s and Heartbreaks I love. Just great records. A couple of my favorites. I think the “Good Life” is my favorite and for 808s and Heartbreaks I think “Robocop.”
First Time You Got Into the Cage For Kingdom
It was very intense and required a lot from me specifically. I think the training for Kingdom was just about really trying to become this person, this character. I was around all these real fighters trying to absorb how they walk and how they moved, and it’s interesting, you have to become the fighter within and just be that confident. And my first fight you see the kind of explosive nature of this character, which you hadn’t seen before he’s in the cage. Being on stage and being in a fight are actually pretty similar, though you wouldn’t think it would be. It’s all about staying composed and just relaxing so you keep the ability to stay creative, to stay on your toes if something’s thrown at you.
First Celebrity Crush
Shania Twain was definitely my first celebrity crush. I love Shania Twain. I’m just a big fan of her music. I remember watching this concert DVD of her in Chicago, I think it was for like 120,000 people, I was just blown away by what an amazing performer she was and just the whole thing. I’m a big fan still. I got to go see her in Las Vegas; she’s still really awesome.
First Drink You Had When You Turned 21
I was in South America and other parts of the world where I was legal before I was 21, and I was drinking then [laughs]. Probably beer was the first thing I had. But I prefer cocktails, so if it was now, I would have bought myself a gin cocktail. I’m a gin fan. I’ll get into gin, club soda, a lime. That’s kind of my deal.
First Time You Met Demi Lovato
The first time I met Demi was, I think, nine years ago. She was auditioning for our TV show Jonas that we did for Disney, and I remember thinking, “I’ll see her again.” She didn’t get the part, but then a few months later she was the lead in Camp Rock, the movie we all did together. From the beginning there was an awareness that we would do something together at some point, but just didn’t know what it would be. I knew that she would do an amazing job on “Avalanche” [a song on Nick Jonas], and she absolutely did. She killed it and blew us all away. I think that strangely enough, the story of the song reflects she and I in our own relationship. There was a time our relationship was tough—she was going through a tough moment—but we’re stronger now because of it.
First Rumor You Heard About Yourself That Made You Laugh
I think you have to be able to laugh, if you can’t laugh then you’re screwed. But, I think the first one I remember reading was that we had a mannequin that we would dress up in our clothes, and that’s how we decided what we wanted to wear. Which is, pretty ridiculous. That’s one of the weirdest things I have ever read.
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