Cue the screams: Nick Jonas, the American pop star behind hits such as Jealous and Chains, will co-headline the Halloween-themed music festival Fiesta De Los Muertos at Dubai Autism Rocks Arena on October 27, organised by 117Live. He will join Gorillaz, Massari and The Mariachis, Gulf News tabloid! can exclusively reveal.
Nick, once the youngest member of boyband the Jonas Brothers with siblings Kevin and Joe, has never performed here as a solo artist, though the Jonas Brothers performed on Yas Island in 2010, shortly before they announced their hiatus.
“This was seven years ago, when I had come down to Abu Dhabi with my brothers for one of our last shows we played as a band before the long break,” Nick told tabloid! in an email.
The 24-year-old is following in the footsteps of his older brother Joe, who last year performed with electro-pop band DNCE at the inaugural Fiesta De Los Muertos festival.
“[He] told me it was one of his favourite shows. He told me I should not miss this opportunity to come down to Dubai, see the fans and play for them. My friends who have been to Dubai have given me a list of places to visit,” Nick said, adding that he plans to use social media to ask fans where he should go.
Nick with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in upcoming film ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’.
His latest single, Remember I Told You, a house-inflected track with singer Anne-Marie and rapper Mike Posner, dropped in May. But he’s been spending most of his time in the great outdoors: The budding actor, who in 2016 starred opposite James Franco in the dark drama Goat, has been shooting a reboot of Robin Williams classic Jumanji, titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, alongside Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Nick and his brothers have now become household names, popularised by their frequent appearances on the Disney Channel as teens, but it’s been a slow climb to the top for them. Nick in particular has had a long and winding relationship with the music industry.
Born in Dallas, Texas, to devoutly Christian musician parents — his father was also an ordained minister and his mother a sign language teacher — Nick grew up in the small town of Wyckoff, New Jersey. To put things into perspective: when Nick played the Summertime Ball at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2015, it was in front of 80,000 people, more than four times the population of the town he grew up in.
Home-schooled, Nick unwittingly began his musical journey at age six. He was singing at a barbershop while his mother, Denise, had her hair trimmed, and wound up being referred to an entertainment manager.
He began performing on Broadway a year later, appearing in massive titles such as Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast and Annie Get Your Gun.
Nick was in his tween years when he landed his first major record deal. He signed with Columbia Records after they caught wind of a Christmas carol he recorded for a Broadway compilation album. His self-titled debut, Nicholas Jonas, released in 2005, when Nick was only 12. It received a limited release, but his track Please Be Mine, recorded with Joe and Kevin, impressed studio executives and ultimately led to the signing of the Jonas Brothers (once upon a time known as the Sons of Jonas).
But the Jonas Brothers’ first album, It’s About Time, failed to make an impression, and the trio were dropped from Columbia Records the following year.
They eventually snagged a deal with Hollywood Records and became active as part of the Disney Channel’s soundtracks.
Their self-titled second album managed to break into the Top 5 on Billboard, with their single S.O.S. becoming their first Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Nick, Joe and Kevin launched their acting careers shortly after on the Disney show Hannah Montana. They performed We Got the Party with lead actress Miley Cyrus, and the episode became the most watched series telecast in the history of basic cable with nearly 11 million viewers.
They also featured in the Disney film Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2 with singer Demi Lovato. (Nick and Lovato, who call each other best friends, recently embarked on a tour together; meanwhile, Joe and Lovato, formerly an item, alluded to the possibility of an R-rated Camp Rock 3 to cater to their older fans.)
The Jonas Brothers’ small-screen escapades included their own reality TV show, Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream, and their fictional show, Jonas/Jonas LA. Both projects lasted for two seasons.
HIATUS AND SPLIT
Jonas Brothers — Nick, Joe and Kevin — in 2010.
Two albums later, the brothers were starting to burn out, and by 2010, they decided to go on hiatus to pursue solo work. A last-ditch effort to get the band together for a fifth studio album and a tour was sabotaged by creative differences and infighting, and the group officially split by 2013.
Since then, oldest brother Kevin, who is married with two daughters, has focused mostly on family life (though he did go on a mini tour with Joe a few years ago). Meanwhile, Joe explored his more frivolous pop leanings as the effervescent front man of DNCE.
Nick, who released Nick Jonas in 2014 and Last Year Was Complicated in 2016, has focused his energies on brooding R’n’B, becoming something of a sex symbol. He admitted that he was the catalyst for the band’s break-up.
“In a nutshell, I said, ‘Look, I feel like we’ve had some complications within the group for a long time without addressing them. I think this train will fall off the tracks without really getting real about some of the concerns and some of the limitations that we may feel as individuals in the group,’” he told Good Morning America.
Nick Jonas, his first solo album in more than a decade, debuted at No 6 in America. Last Year Was Complicated, which featured the single Close with Tove Lo, surpassed it by debuting at No 2. He is tentatively expected to release his fourth studio album later this year.
The band performing in Abu Dhabi in 2010.
*Tickets to see Nick at Fiesta De Los Muertos are now available online. Prices start at Dh350 for regular standing and go up to Dh995 for fan pit access, which includes early entry to the venue and an exclusive Meet & Greet raffle for Fan Pit ticket-holders arriving prior to general doors, as well as Dh995 for VIP platform tickets.
DID YOU KNOW...
Nick Jonas, 24, and crossover actress Priyanka Chopra, 34, attended the Met Gala together earlier this year, sparking rumours that they might be an item. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel jokingly asked Chopra if she knew Jonas was ‘11 years old’. The actress claimed they decided to go together because they were both wearing Ralph Lauren and “were on the same table and we already know each other. So he was like ‘Hey, you wanna go together?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, okay, let’s go together,’” she said. Later, asked by Andy Cohen whether there were flirtatious vibes between them, Chopra said, “We didn’t have time yet, maybe next time we meet.”