Joe Jonas on Finding "Joy" in His Life and Career: "Every Day, I've Grown a Lot"
Joe Jonas likes to see the world through the lens of gratitude. He's been in the public eye for nearly two decades, and he's still happy to be here. "I'm really grateful for the career I've had and that I still have, and the fact that I continue to make music and I can grow as a person, and my music can grow," he tells POPSUGAR.
Of course, the 33-year-old has a lot to be grateful for. In the immediate moment, there's the fact that he's just enjoyed a gorgeous Labor Day weekend walking around the Big Apple. "I'm here in New York City, so it's hard to complain," he says. "My step count is way up."
He also just had surgery to correct his lifelong struggle with myopia, or nearsightedness. "Since I was about 12 or 13 years old, I wore contacts and glasses, and I've just been used to that lifestyle, where my eyes would be dry throughout the day," he says. "Like millions and millions of other people out there, I'm nearsighted." Without glasses, he felt vulnerable. "I'm in a new hotel, and I'm like, 'Where the hell am I? And why can't I see correctly?'" he says.
All that changed when he underwent STAAR Surgical's FDA-approved EVO eye procedure, which is designed to surgically correct myopia and myopia with astigmatism by adding a small, flexible lens to each eye. He's now teamed up with the brand to spread awareness.
"This surgery has been such a game changer, literally where I can see clearer than I've ever seen," he says. "I'm able to just live my life to the fullest and not have to stress about getting up in the middle of the night and reaching for my glasses . . . And so performing, getting on stage and seeing further in the audience than ever is just an amazing feeling."
He was surprised by how easy the recovery process was. Twenty-four hours later, "I walked 50 blocks up to the eye doctor to get checked, and I'm just free as a bird," he says. "I'm like, 'How is this real? This is the best feeling in the world.'"
Jonas needed something without a long recovery time, given that he's involved in so many different projects at the moment. He's been working on new music with the Jonas Brothers — though he remains mum about a potential release date — and at the same time, he's been making new music with DNCE, the band he founded while on hiatus from the Jonas Brothers. If that weren't enough, he also has a role in "Devotion," a movie about the Korean War that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 12. His original song "Not Alone," featuring Khalid, plays during the end credits of the film.
He's also experienced some significant personal milestones recently. In July, his wife, Sophie Turner, gave birth to their second daughter. Their first child, Willa, was born in July 2020. As for balancing work with family life, "it's a learning curve. It's a work in progress," he says, keeping a growth mindset about it all. "I'm no pro, but I'm getting a little bit better." It helps that he gets to do what he loves for a living and that he's sure to hold family time sacred and firmly separate from his career. "I just try to spend as much time as I can at home," he says. "I don't mean to just be in one city. I try to be present, and not on my phone, and not taking meetings. When I'm home, I'm home. Most people that work with me know that, and I treasure that time."
He treasures a lot of things and seems to find opportunities for gratitude at every turn. "I love photography, and I love traveling," he says, mentioning his Instagram account Cup of Joe, which shows off details from his adventures in film photography and reveals "little secrets of his life." Jonas loves seeing the world through the slower, more deliberate lens of film. "We are moving so fast. We take a photo on our phone, and we'll never see it for years," he says. "It's quite nice with a film camera. You get to wait to see it develop, and you have to spend time taking that photo."
Good things — new Jonas Brothers music included, of course — take time, and Jonas is grateful to have had so much time with his devoted fans, whom he can now see more clearly than ever thanks to his recent eye surgery. "The joy of this all is that . . . I'm still doing what I love for a living," he says. "Every day, I've grown a lot. I'm learning a lot." He loves to watch fans "grow with us, see their lives change, see them get married and have kids, or they're still out there living their lives partying — good for them," he says. "[Whatever] makes them happy. They're growing along with us. We can all grow together, and so can the music."