Nick Jonas busy finding himself 

An artist, Nick Jonas believes, should always strike while the iron is hot.

It’s why the Disney Channel fixture is currently shedding his Jonas Brothers teen-idol skin via “Who I Am,” his R&B-flavored debut with his new backing band, The Administration.

It’s the reason he suddenly entered an East Coast studio last week, midtour.

An ode to his latest unnamed flame called “Stay” had just occurred to him on the road, he says, “So we recorded it on our day off. It’s always great when you have a good inspiration to write a song.”

A bid for adult respectability makes perfect sense.

At 17, this youngest Jonas — who brings his Administration to the Bay Area Saturday — has long been nicknamed The President by his older siblings, Joe and Kevin, due to his unusually serious demeanor.

Home-schooled by his parents, he first appeared on Broadway at age 7, and worked his way from splashy musicals to the Disney TV movie “Camp Rock” and eventually his own series with the Jonas Brothers — all while developing his own plucky vocal and guitar styles.

“I think that I’m just trying to grow, trying to get better,” Jonas says. “I don’t know if there’s some kind of tempo to what you’re supposed to be like when you’re 17. So my album is about being myself and feeling confident in that light, while proving to the world who I am.”

The Administration — a professional group of mostly ex-Prince alums — is aiding him in that quest, he adds, constantly turning him onto old soul greats: “Just from playing with them for 10 minutes, you learn something.”

In some ways, maturity was thrust on Jonas. At 13, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, only treatable via an insulin pump.

“Which definitely gave me some perspective,” he says. “I realized that it’s important to be grateful for each moment, because you never know when circumstances may change.”

Currently, he’s teamed up with Bayer Diabetes Care, for whom he’s designed a set of Contour Meter skins, used to monitor glucose, and launched a Web site — — to counsel other Type 1/Type 2 sufferers.

“I’m trying to bring some encouragement to people who feel like they’re alone in the fight against diabetes,” he says.

But one adult thing Jonas simply couldn’t handle — a recent “South Park” episode that wickedly spoofed his family.

“I can honestly say that I didn’t watch it,” he says. “Because that’s not the best way to build up your self-confidence. But I do think it’s a compliment, in a bit of a strange way.”


If you go
Nick Jonas & The Administration

Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way at Telegraph Avenue, UC Berkeley
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $39.50 to $49.50

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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