He’s been a star since the age of 16 and dated everyone from Taylor Swift to Demi Lovato.
But moving in with a stranger? That’s a first for Joe Jonas.
As a mentor on the new CW reality show The Next, premiering Aug. 16, the middle Jonas Brother will spend 72 (platonic) hours in the lives of up-and-coming musicians across the country. He and fellow chart-toppers Nelly, Gloria Estefan and John Rich will coach the rising stars as they prepare to face off in a concert showdown.
Jonas stopped by the Brickyard Mall Cricket store Tuesday while in the area to film The Next’s Chicago-based contestants.
Patch chatted with him about flying solo from the JoBros, what to expect when the brothers reunite and getting pachyderm presents from fans.
Patch: What did you learn from entering someone else’s life in such an intense way while filming The Next?
Joe Jonas: Personal experience has always been something I try to pull from for this show. A lot of things I’ve gone through in my life I’ve been able to use to encourage these young artists to live out their dreams. So that’s something I’ve learned, that I’ve been able to pull that.
Patch: Why is it important to you to give back as a mentor?
Jonas: For me, I’ve been blessed enough to be able to do so many amazing things in my life. I think if I can somehow encourage somebody else, that’s a good thing.
Patch: Do you feel any competition with Kevin because you both have reality shows premiering the same week? (Older brother Kevin Jonas' show Married to Jonas debuts on E! Aug. 19.)
Jonas: I think it’s all in the family. I’m happy for him; he’s happy for me. Every little bit helps the band. That’s the way we think about it.
Patch: What’s the difference between working solo and collaborating with your brothers?
Jonas: A lot of pressure’s on myself because I’m working a lot day in, day out just alone. So it can be really difficult, but I really enjoy doing the solo stuff. But I think honestly for me, I have such heart with the brothers—it’s always been there.
Patch: What can fans expect from the new Jonas Brothers album?
Jonas: The new music is really exciting. It’s really what I can say is the best Jonas Brothers album yet.
Patch: What makes it the best yet?
Jonas: The experiences that we’ve had in our lives so far that we haven’t been able to write about yet, or even the music styling that we’re trying to go with is so different and new sounding. I’m really excited for people to hear it.
Patch: This is a little weird, but I dressed up as you for Halloween about four years ago. (Shows Jonas the picture.)
Jonas: (Laughs.) I love it. That’s amazing. That’s so awesome. Well done.
Patch: On that note, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Jonas: Me and my brothers, we own a hippo at a wildlife preserve. It was gifted to us. I don’t know if we own it, but it has our name. That is probably the weirdest—coolest, weirdest gift ever.
Jonas wasn't the only Next star hanging out near Oak Park this week. Check out the Patch , who dropped by town Monday.