A break from the brothers

A solo Joe Jonas seeks deeper meaning

“I think the lyric content is a little bit more mature. . . . I wanted to dive in deeper,’’ says Joe Jonas about the songs he wrote for his solo album. “I think the lyric content is a little bit more mature. . . . I wanted to dive in deeper,’’ says Joe Jonas about the songs he wrote for his solo album. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
By Anna Marden
Globe Correspondent / September 3, 2011

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You know him as the middle Jonas brother, teen heartthrob, and ex-boyfriend of a number of Hollywood starlets. But Joe Jonas has grown up and launched a solo career. On the eve of his debut solo album, “Fastlife,’’ expected in October, the 22-year-old says he’s developing an R&B sound and writing deeper, personally meaningful lyrics. Jonas comes to the House of Blues on Tuesday, the first night of a monthlong tour coheadlined by British singer-rapper Jay Sean, with Foxborough native JoJo as the opening act.

Q. Your new single, “See No More,’’ has an R&B flavor. Is that the direction you’re pursuing with the new album?

A. Yeah, definitely. R&B, kind of hip-hop, urban music is something I’ve been listening to quite a bit recently, and so I wanted to create something that fans really haven’t heard from me yet and something that really inspires me. That’s the kind of music I’ve been going with for a little while, so I’m very excited to release this project and show the world what I’ve been working on for so long.

Q. Does your new album have a more mature sound than what you had previously done with the Jonas Brothers?

A. I think the lyric content is a little bit more mature. The music is just a little bit different. I think naturally, growing up, you speak about different things and things you’re going through, so I wanted to dive in deeper with what I was talking about.

Q. Do you particularly admire the career of any other musician who has gone solo after being in a band?

A. I would say I really admire people like Robbie Williams who have been able to go back and forth and take back. I think that’s a really powerful and intriguing thing.

Q. Who are other musical influences for you?

A. Everyone from Mick Jagger to Bono to Stevie Wonder. On this record, in particular - Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, and stuff a lot of people are doing, like electronic music and DJs.

Q. What has surprised you about recording solo?

A. I feel like there’s almost a pressure you put on yourself to really write honest lyrics. To write lyrics that people are really gonna be able to relate with and say, you know, “I’ve gone through those things, and I understand what you’re going through.’’ So, I think sometimes that can be challenging.

Q. Do you think you’ll miss touring with your brothers at all?

A. Yeah, there will be times, definitely, where I’ll be thinking about how it would be nice to hit the road with them and what it was like on the road with them. I mean, we’re all best friends, so it’s always really simple and easy to travel with them.

Q. Why did you want to go solo?

A. I think it was just an appropriate time. I feel like for me it was more of a thing where I really wanted to travel and record on my own. It just felt right. I sat down with my brothers about a year and a half ago and kind of brought up to them the idea of doing a solo project. I said, “Guys, listen, when the time is right, I would love to create something [on my own].’’ They’ve been really supportive.

Q. You obviously experienced a lot of success at a really young age. How do you handle your fame nowadays?

A. Luckily, I’ve been able to do it with my family, and that has been the easiest thing. Doing it with your family makes it a lot easier. But I can understand there’s a lot of young artists out there that are doing it themselves - it can be a scary lifestyle and overwhelming at times.

Q. Are you going to be performing any Jonas Brothers songs on this tour or is it all solo material?

A. I’m going to be doing some covers of Jonas Brothers songs so people can expect to hear some old Jonas Brothers music, which will be a lot of fun.

Q. A lot of fans are curious if the Jonas Brothers are ever going to record another album together. Have you guys talked about that?

A. Yeah, we’ve talked about it. Right now, I’m just working this individual project, but when the time is right, we’re definitely going to create more stuff together.

Interview has been condensed and edited. Anna Marden can be reached at


With JoJo

At: the House of Blues on Tuesday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$55. 800-745-3000.