Speaking with Ryan Seacrest, Nick Jonas said this song was inspired by his training to be a fighter for DirecTV's Kingdom, which put him in an aggressive mood when other guys started looking at his girlfriend, Olivia Culpo. "I was out with my girlfriend the night before I wrote this song… and I got heated," he revealed. "I was doing all this fighting training for this show I just finished up, so I was ready to go. [But] I contained myself… and I came in the next day to the studio and wrote this song."
Jonas explained the song's meaning to MTV News: "Basically the whole concept is about jealousy," he said. "It's basically saying this girl is so f--king beautiful that you just get jealous and you can't help it and I think it's something a lot of guys can relate to but are afraid to say."
Nick's Miss Universe 2012 girlfriend, Olivia Culpo, has a musical background of her own. A cellist, she has participated in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, RI Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Bay View Orchestra, Rhode Island All-State Orchestra, and Boston Youth Symphony.
The song's colorful and trippy music video was directed by New York pop artist Peter Tunney, who works in photography, painting, multimedia installation, and performance. The clip, which features Tunney's artwork throughout, co-stars Olivia Culpo. Nick's girlfriend is seen in various glamour shots and receiving attention from some other guys, driving the singer crazy with jealousy. "I think the thing is we wanted to open up a conversation about jealousy and the human element of it and the fact that most of the time I feel like it's in your head," Nick told MTV News. "I had a specific experience that sort of inspired me to write this song and got the ball rolling in that sense, and it's not limited to that by any means."
"And this video is about getting a little bit deeper," he added, "and opening the conversation up and just having fun while we do it."
The key musical element in this song is the pre-chorus, which starts with Jonas singing:
I turn my chin, music up
And I'm puffing my chest
This part repeats three times in the song, preceding each chorus ("'Cause you're too sexy, beautiful..."). The verses take up very little space, which is fine since there's not all that much story to develop.
Note the word "jealous" appears not just in the chorus, but also in the pre-chorus, bridge ("You know I get excited, yeah, when you get jealous too") and outro. It shows up a total of 12 times, which isn't much, but is effective because it is spread throughout different sections of the song.
Asked by Noisey
about its place in the pantheon of songs about the emotion of jealousy, Jonas replied: "I didn't really think about other songs that talked about jealousy when I wrote it, even now. Cause I think that it is actually more than actually more than just the word jealous, it's kind of the whole idea of this, like, 'Why don't we just talk about the things no one wants to talk about, and also make it fun as well?' and danceable, and soulful."
R&B singer Tinashe jumped on the song's remix, which takes it in a more sweary direction. The collaboration happened after Nick faved a tweet that suggested Tinashe record with him. He told Billboard magazine: "Tinashe liked the song, so we went to her and said 'would you be down to do it?.' She was all for it, and within a couple of days we had her mix and [it] sounded incredible."
Although the song's lyrics describe a situation in which a man becomes extremely jealous when other men show attraction to his girlfriend, Nick told People that in real life he's not really that defensive about Olivia, at least not any longer. "The song would have you thinking otherwise," he said. "But that experience that I wrote the song of actually helped me process it and make it easy to deal with."
Rihanna posted a video
of herself and her friends singing along to the song. When Nick caught wind of Rihanna's version, he made his pals watch her singing the track on repeat. "I was in the car and it was the perfect time to have seen the video," he recalled to BBC Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw. "I was out with my buddies about to go have a drink and saw, 'Oh, what's this video?' and it's Rihanna, singing my song. I showed my buddies 100 times: 'Have you seen this video of Rihanna...?' It's so great, I love it."