Chains

Album: Nick Jonas (2014)
Charted: 13
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This R&B leaning cut finds Nick Jonas singing about being trapped in a hopeless love. He explained: "The story behind 'Chains' is basically that feeling that all people can relate to, it's being trapped."

    "For me specifically in this song, I connected to love and trust and for some people they have said it's broader for them," Nick added, "it's more than love, it can be about anything that entangles you in your life and doesn't let you do what you need to do to feel free."
  • The song was produced by Jason Evigan, whose previous credits include Nick Jonas's friend Demi Lovato's hit single "Heart Attack."
  • The song's music video was co-directed by Nick Jonas with Ryan Pallotta (Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato). It was filmed at Los Angeles' historic Hotel Alexandria, which has also served as the location for Dreamgirls, Water for Elephants and Se7en. Dylan Penn, who is the daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright, plays Nick's love interest in the steamy clip, "It's basically a surreal world that we've created where the heart and emotion and heart of the song are tied into a really beautiful visual," the singer told MTV News.
  • Nick Jonas launched his eponymous second studio album with this song. He explained to Billboard magazine: "'Chains' was a bridge between what people had heard from me in the past and what was coming. This leans more toward alternative R&B, neo-soul."
  • Nick Jonas teamed up with directors Black Coffee and artist Peter Tunney, who directed the "Jealous" clip for a second, lighter video. The visual finds Jonas heading down to an outdoor party at the famed Wynwood Walls graffiti art gallery in Miami. Once inside the bash we see him dancing with his fellow-party goers then later performing for them.
  • The song was written by Danny Parker, Jason Evigan and Ammar Malik. At the time the trio had no idea that Nick Jonas was looking for material for his self-titled solo project. "When we started 'Chains,'" Parker recalled to Songwriter Universe, "we had zero intention of writing anything for Nick, which means we weren't consciously thinking about going in any specific direction. We kind of let the song go where it needed to. We jammed on some chords and threw out this vague concept of a wallflower, an outcast on the sidelines at a dance."

    "That didn't stick, but we kept pushing through until the new story took shape," he continued. "Ammar said something like 'You got me in chains' and that was the catalyst. The chords kept morphing, and Jason started building a track around them."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The Kingdom

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The KingdomSongwriter Interviews

The Bush frontman on where he finds inspiration for lyrics, if his "machine head" is a guitar tuner, and the stories behind songs from the album The Kingdom.

Weezer

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Donny Osmond

Donny OsmondSongwriter Interviews

Donny Osmond talks about his biggest hits, his Vegas show, and the fan who taught him to take "Puppy Love" seriously.

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.