Nick Jonas had a career of his own — both in musical theater and as a recording artist — before the platinum-plus Jonas Brothers machine kicked into gear five years ago.
Now, he’s striking out on his own again.
“I was writing these songs that I didn’t think were necessarily right for the Jonas Brothers sound,” says the youngest Jonas, 17, who releases “Who I Am,” the first album by Nick Jonas & the Administration, on Feb. 2. “So I talked to our producer, John Fields, after talking to my brothers about the possibility of doing a side project and seeing they were so supportive.
“(Fields) was really excited and he said we should make it a band and make it guys who have been around for a long time and we should go to Nashville and record this. And so all that happened; we went to Nashville and we made this record in about eight days and came out with something we were really proud of.”
Jonas says he and the Administration, which includes Fields and members of Prince’s New Power Generation band, gravitate towards “ ’60s and ’70s funk-rock and, at times, soulful rock. I got a little deeper with that and (influences) like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Prince.”
The “Who I Am” album includes a different take on “Tonight” from the Jonas Brothers’ “A Little Bit Longer” album. While in concert, the Administration plays the entire album as well as “a couple of covers ... and then maybe a couple Jonas Brothers songs that I feel kind of a connection to.”
Jonas Brothers fans needn’t panic, however. Though Jonas says he’s already written “two or three more” songs for the Administration, the sibling trio still has a second season of its Disney Channel show “J.O.N.A.S.,” as well as the “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” film coming this year. The group also will tour later this year.
But, he adds, the Administration will be a going concern as well.
“My thought is the two can definitely exist,” he explains. “(The Jonas Brothers) all have individual things that we’ll be doing and just learning how to balance each one of our individual dreams along with our dreams together.
“I think after releasing four albums in three-and-a-half years ... we kinda said, ‘Let’s maybe take it easy.’ There’ll be a lot of (Jonas Brothers) material out there from ‘Camp Rock 2,’ so that’ll work, and I think maybe not this year but next we’ll record another album.”
Nick Jonas & the Administration and Diane Birch perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are sold out. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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