He is followed by the paparazzi at every turn, and his relationships — with starlets such as Demi Lovato, Ashley Greene, Camilla Belle and Taylor Swift (who wrote a song about their breakup called “Forever & Always”) — are outlined in excruciating detail in the tabloid press.
It’s not easy being Disney-channel, teen-pop Jonas Brothers phenomenon Joe Jonas — especially now that he is making a bid for rock respectability with a decidedly mature solo debut, the upcoming “Fastlife,” which he’ll preview in The City at the Regency Ballroom on Monday.
Used to having no privacy, he says, “It’s one of those things where you’re never safe. So you’ve just got to be aware of your surroundings and know that there will be people out there taking photos of you — people out there just doing what they do.”
He has developed a method of dealing with the situation. “It sounds a lot easier than it is, but I kind of just try to play it chill,” he adds. “I’ll sometimes go out with friends, and I’m not really that worried — it just depends on the area you go to.”
Even with his transformative new jarhead haircut and perpetual five o’clock shadow, Jonas, a mature 22, has strict rules about where he walks. No Hollywood Boulevard. No shopping malls.
“I won’t go near a school,” he says. “But when you travel outside L.A.? That’s when it really gets crazy.”
His workdays often start at 5 a.m. and can last 24 hours, with no time off for sickness. One minute, he’s doing “Fastlife” press, the next, he’s jetting off to Abu Dhabi for a hastily booked concert.
“One of the worst aspects of fame is just lack of sleep sometimes,” he says. “And you’re always on the edge of your seat, like, ‘All right, what’s coming next?’ You’ve really got to stop and appreciate what a crazy life you live.”
That’s what “Fastlife” is all about. Its first two singles, “See No More” and “Just in Love,” have a grown-up R&B-smooth feel, as do their videos.
In the “Just” clip, Jonas cavorts through Paris with a gorgeous model; in “See,” he sits pensively while a room goes ablaze around him. “That fire was so hot, it burnt the hairs right off my arms,” he says. “People kept running over, checking on me with every take.”
Jonas is most proud of his song “I’m Sorry.” “I don’t like to say names, but I pulled it from the personal experience of an ended relationship,” he says. “So this is definitely a coming-of-age record. I’ve been able to express myself and really show the world more about who I am as a person.”
If you go
Joe Jonas and Jay Sean
Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
Note: The show location moved from the Warfield; tickets for the Warfield will be honored at the Regency Ballroom.