Nick Jonas Talks Olivia Culpo Split, Justin Bieber Comparisons, ‘Gay-Baiting’ Claims

June 8, 2016

Nick Jonas opens up about his split from Olivia Culpo and the breakup songs of his new album ‘Last Year Was Complicated.’ He also discusses his “good boy” image and comparisons to Justin Bieber and addresses claims that he is “gay baiting” his gay fans.

Nick Jonas

The 23-year-old Nick Jonas has moved on since the teen idol days of the Jonas Brothers that brought him and his siblings international fame. As have many before him, she’s been pointedly shifting away from the Disney channel image both in his acting career and his music and, all the while, his personal life has become predictably tabloid fodder after dating and splitting up with former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. Not surprising then, that he might title his album ‘Last Year Was Complicated,’ a title as prosaic as it is descriptive.

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, he opened up about the album, saying, “I had a breakup last year that became what a lot of the record was about—along with getting used to being a solo artist, traveling alone. It was an adjustment.”

He also spoke of the title, saying that it was Jay Z who helped him come up with it. He spoke of the meeting they had. Jonas said that Jay Z said to him, ““After listening to the music and getting to know you better I think we can come up with something that embodies the work more.”

Continuing, he said, “He’s like, “Tell me what this year of your life was like?” and I said, “Last year was complicated.” He was like: “That’s the title.”

He also revealed what it was like for him delve into autobiography and said, “The thing that was important to me in the creative process was acknowledging my own faults.”

He went on to say, “I’m not perfect by any means. I had to be willing to get vulnerable and open up; at times that can be uncomfortable but it creates the best work in my experience.”

Asked if Olivia Culpo had heard the music, he said, “I don’t know. We don’t speak.” He noted that a mutual friend told him she “heard it and liked it.”

He said of the perception that he is a “good boy” versus the “bad boy” image and reputation of Justin Bieber, “I’ve tried to toe the line of being authentic to who I am and letting the art speak for itself.” He added, “I’m not perfect. Perhaps I’m just more low-key than some of my other contemporaries.”

Asked about the “gay-baiting” accusations over his portrayal of gay characters in “Screen Queens” and “Kingdom” as well as for gay magazines, Nick Jonas said, “I’m confident and comfortable with who I am, my intentions are pure… I see no difference in any of my fans, no matter who they are.”

Continuing, he called it “beautiful ting” to “embrace everyone” and went on to say, “I wish more of my peers in a similar position—as a heterosexual male pop singer—would embrace that and be more willing to be more comfortable and open about it.”

You can see the full interview here.

The new album is generating quite a buzz, not least over the autobiographical elements, and it arrives as yet another album this year that sees a music artist tackle personal issues and relationships and in a sense own the narrative that’s already been fueling tabloids and celebrity media outlets, to say nothing of enriching paparazzi. We’ve had Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ and ‘Gwen Stefani’s ‘This Is What the Truth Feels Like’ and Blake Shelton’s ‘If I’m Hones.’ Now it’s time for Nick Jonas’ ‘This Year was Complicated.

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