By Claire Stern
Updated Nov 17, 2014 @ 1:17 pm
Credit: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

We've obviously been obsessed with Nick Jonas before his steamy FLAUNT magazine cover shoot, but those chiseled photos surely didn't hurt the promotion of his newly released eponymous album. With the singles "Chains," "Jealous," and the newly dropped "Teacher," Nick Jonas ebbs with an upbeat base, funky lyrics, and a raw, honest sensibility that stays true to the singer himself (well, with a few nods to the early days). But more than anything, the 11-track release is proof that the youngest Jonas has stepped up his music (and style) game considerably since he was one-third of a much-lauded brother act. We caught up with the singer in the midst of his first-ever solo tour after a stop at N.Y.C.'s Music Hall of Williamsburg. Here's an excerpt from our chat:

How does it feel to have finally released your first solo album?

It feels really good. We worked so hard [on the album] and with the promotion process. I'm just glad it's out there and the fans are really enjoying it.

We're digging your new single 'Teachers"—especially the little dance break throughout the track.

It's such a fun song. We played around with the vocals for a bit until we found the right sound, and I think it's really danceable.

"Santa Barbara" feels way more intimate in contrast to the rest of the record. It has tinges of Bon Iver and Lykke Li, especially because you sing in a high falsetto the whole time.

That's exactly what we were going for. It was the first song I wrote for the record, with a friend. We were trying to create the whole scenery and atmosphere, building the world with the song. It's definitely the most personal [track] on the record.

You're on tour now. How do you find time to squeeze in a workout while on the road? What's your motivation?

It's definitely hard to find the motivation when you're constantly moving from city to city, but you've just got to find a way to get to the gym and get a good workout no matter what.

What are your go-to style items when you perform onstage?

A black leather jacket is a must. I think All Saints is amazing, and A.P.C. is really cool too. My number one tip would be to feel as comfortable as you can. When you feel comfortable you feel your best. Definitely make up your own style, find the right look for you, and step out of your comfort zone sometimes.

You just made an appearance at Lord & Taylor's holiday window unveiling. Are you big on the holidays?

It was so fun getting in front of all the fans. The holidays are really important to me and my family; we're all in different places right now, but we're planning how we'll be able to see each other.

Watch the video for "Jealous" below, and download Nick Jonas for $12 from the iTunes Store.