Why Nick Jonas Will Probably Have a Successful Career As a Solo Artist


This week, Nick Jonas returned post-Jonas Brothers breakup with "Chains," the broody first single off his debut solo album (not counting Nick Jonas & the Administration). It's a slow burn that's surprisingly soulful, and, dare we say it, kind of sexy? That guy being slowly dragged across the floor, showing off his angry pout and muscles — well that's Nick Jonas, the same Nick Jonas who released this heart-racing selfie and this steamy film clip. In other words, we shouldn't be too surprise at the direction the former JoBro is taking his career. 

After watching the video, which features Dylan Penn, it's clear Jonas really wants to depart from the bubbly, pop-y Jonas Brothers-style music and move towards a sultrier, sexier sound. He isn't the first. Throughout boy band history, its members have attempted to break free from the chains of bubblegum pop and reintroduce themselves — along with their solo careers — with a bit more edge. Some have succeeded while others have failed. Let's see how Jonas' solo debut stacks up against the most memorable boy band member re-introductions. We want to know, does Nick Jonas have a future career as a solo artist? 

Nick Lachey — "Shut Up" 
After 98 Degrees, Nick Lachey wanted you to "Shut Up." But, it was probably he himself who should have kept his mouth shut. The song, the lead single from his 2003 solo album SoulO, was a generic pop track that attempted in no way to grow along with his 98 Degrees fan base.


JC Chasez — "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" 
Sure "Blowin' Me Up" was part of the Drumline soundtrack, and, sure, the song isn't really that bad. But, the horrid jean jackets and Tara Reid's Burning Man style kill it. Don't feel too bad: the former NYSNC singer later became a judge on America's Best Dance Crew and apparently has this little gem in the works, so clearly those jean jackets didn't really hurt him.  
 

Jordan Knight — "Give It To You" 
The uptempo rhythms, the turtlenecks on a hot summer day, the carnival setting, and the arm-heavy choreography were the makings of a teen-pop video smash hit. Though the former New Kids on the Block singer ultimately found moderate success with this track (it is to this day his only top 10 solo on the Billboard Hot 100), it didn't save him from this

Nick Carter — "Help Me"
The solo debut single/music video for the Backstreet Boy was a rock-oriented track that sounded more like a cry for attention than it did the sound of a bona fide rising solo star. Hey, at least the Backstreet Boys will always have his back


Justin Timberlake — "Like I Love You"
When JT took the stage at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards to introduce "Like I Love You," minds were blown. It was smooth and soulful. The Cute One had grown up. The track would later come to define the smooth, falsetto-heavy sound of the successful singles that followed – "Cry Me a River," "Sexy Back," "What Goes Around... Comes Around." JT's solo career also brought about Jay Z, Madonna, and Rihanna collaborations, numerous Grammy and Emmy awards, and a side acting career. Yup, JT is pretty much the most successful boy band member since Michael Jackson. 


So what lessons can our dear Jonas take from all this? For starters, do like Justin. He clearly seems to have it dialed. Also, stay away from anything resembling a boy band. If "Chains" is any indication, Jonas is well on his way. 

I'm the editorial director of Zimbio. Instagram: @anela_bella Twitter: @laniconway
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