We're beginning to think of 2015 as some sort of Disney revival year. The Disney stars that were such huge successes when they were pre-teens are now in their early 20s, and they're proving that their time off from being child stars has left a lot of room for growth and reinvention. Regardless of which route these Disney stars have taken, it will always feel odd seeing Miley Cyrus go from Hannah Montana to eating pot brownies with Snoop Dogg, Selena Gomez on the cover of Maxim, or Demi Lovato tattoo-covered and naked in Vanity Fair. What's no big surprise to me is that the Jonas brothers are still managing to swoon girls across the country, only they're not doing it as the Jonas Brothers anymore. The once teenage heartthrobs have strayed away from the family title, and are taking this Disney revival period by storm on their own terms.
The first time I heard "Jealous," Nick Jonas was the last person I thought to be behind the sultry R&B pop anthem. Nick Jonas was a scraggly haired little kid last I heard of him, and now he was belting out smooth and sexy melodies from a commercial hip hop radio station? I thought to myself "There's no way..." Well, I was wrong. Nick is all grown up now, and he's proved that not only with his half-naked Calvin Klein photo shoots but by reaching number one with his hit single "Jealous" (and his singles "Chains" and "Levels" ranked high in the charts as well). So, Nick has taken a turn. He went from enchanting teeny-boppers on Disney channel to being one of the leading sex symbol pop artists of 2015. Good for Nick, right? But what's up with the other Jo-Bros? There's not much to say about Kevin after he got married and starred in a reality television show on the E! network, but Joe, like Nick, is making sure that the Disney channel days were not the last of his career.
If you want a taste of the 2015 Jonas Brothers but Nick's mainstream R&B/pop hybrid appeal doesn't exactly suit you, then Joe just might be your guy. I can only predict that any projects of the Jonas brothers can easily get noticed. The brothers have already reached enormous fame before their 20s. Their connections are already made, and they've already worked with all the people they needed to know. A second time around is probably but a phone call away for these guys, so it's no surprise that Nick has already experienced such success with his self-titled solo album. So why haven't we heard Joe Jonas riding the top of the radio charts alongside his younger bro? Without a doubt they're equally talented, and not to mention, equally charming, so what's Joe doing that's different than Nick?
If that's a question you're wondering, DNCE is your answer. Joe Jonas is the frontman of the funk-pop quartet he formed with two long time musician friends, guitarist JinJoo Lee and drummer Jack Lawless with the addition of bassist Cole Whittle. The band recently released their single "Cake By the Ocean," a catchy dance track buried in innuendos that seem quite bold from Joe, who I remember wore a purity ring back when he was a Disney star. Even though you may not have heard any DNCE singles on the radio, that doesn't mean that the music doesn't have mass appeal. The songs are dangerously danceable, and the lyrics are simple and easy to comprehend. With "Cake By the Ocean," a lustrous sexual dance chant and "Toothbrush," about getting closer to an intimate partner, these songs are simple, and it's only a matter of time before you find them slipping into your friend's playlists.
Although I predict crazy success in DNCE's future for Joe's project, right now the band is in its infancy, still playing for intimate crowds
. Even though the band is so young, it seems that Joe wants to have this intimacy with his fans, one that Nick would never be able to achieve with his instant fame in his new sound. DNCE is colorful. They have an image and a look that isn't as instantly marketable as Nick's smooth sex appeal and hip hop hooks. DNCE is layered in funky guitar and bass licks, quick punching drums, but to be honest, vocally, Nick and Joe really don't really differ too much from one another. They both have creamy sweet voices with capable ranges. Joe could easily cross over to sing soul or R&B, but it pairs really well with the funky rhythms of DNCE.
So, despite the differing career paths the brothers have taken, they both haven't stopped doing what they've always done best. They master catchy melodies, subtle sex appeal, and a transparent love of what they do. Will they cross musical paths in the future as we see Joe's DNCE step into the limelight? We can only hope, but for now we can only sit back and watch the once Camp Rock campers build careers we never could've predicted from their Disney days.