The Jonas Brothers officially split up in 2013, but even before that, they were doing their own thing. For Joe Jonas, the focus during that period was on establishing himself as a solo artist — and his first attempt didn’t go well. Jonas’ experience was marred by disappointment even before putting any solo songs out into the world since Hollywood Records refused to release the first album he created.
Inspired by his brother’s side gig, Nick Jonas & the Administration, Jonas started creating music and recorded the album with Robert Schwartzman, lead singer of the band Rooney. “I handed the songs in, and Hollywood Records was like, ‘This doesn’t work.’ They said the songs were too weird and sounded like demos,” he said (via Vulture). Hollywood Records wanted Jonas to work with tried-and-true “Disney hit-makers,” with hopes that he could be the second coming of Justin Timberlake.
The resulting album, “Fastlife,” debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, selling only 18,000 copies in its first week despite a relatively significant media push. Then, only 22 years old, Jonas said he expected the same success that he had in his band, and so he took the album’s failure hard. “I was here in New York after the album was out, and it didn’t really do much and started reading reviews, started seeing the reactions, and it hit me like a ton of bricks,” he said on the “Jay Shetty Podcast.”