New Kids on the Block's Jordan Knight says his new "Unfinished" "started off as kind of a hobby" but quickly turned into his first solo album in five years -- and first of all-original material in six.
"I was going to release some of the music to fans on Twitter or something, send them a link, like, 'Here's a new song,' " Knight tells Billboard.com. "But the music started coming out so good, and I started talking to some record people and had the idea of doing a whole album." And, he acknowledges, it certainly didn't hurt that New Kids' big NKOTBSB project with the Backstreet Boys was looming.
"It's pretty hectic but, yeah, it's a good time to promote an album because I'm on the road and there's so much exposure," Knight notes. "At this time it's kind of like a killing-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of thing."
"Unfinished" was released May 31 via Knight's own JK Music imprint and Mass Appeal Entertainment. He worked on the 11-song set with co-producer Marcus Siskind, Colby O'Donis -- who co-wrote the first single, "Let's Go Higher" -- Nasri Atweh, Mike Krompass, Kasa Livingston and others. And despite the fortuitous timing, Knight says the album was anything but rushed.
"I took my time with it," he says. "I did it when I had time off when I wasn't on the road with New Kids, and I wanted to make sure it was a body of work and not just, like, put a single on an album and fill it with filler songs and throw it out there. I wanted to make sure it was a body of work so the fan's got their money's worth. The intention was just for the fans but I think it has a much broader reach than just New Kids fans and Jordan Knight fans."
Knight isn't performing any of the "Unfinished" songs on the NKOTBSB tour -- "If any of the guys on tour started wanting to do solo songs... it would be out of control," he says with a laugh -- but he is doing one-off performances on off-nights and intends to do a more extensive solo trek after KNOTBSB wraps its run in August. He'll also perform "Let's Go Higher" on July 18 for TBS' "Lopez Tonight."
Meanwhile, Knight reports that the tour is going well, save for a knee injury to his older brother Jonathan that's relegated him on a stool for a few dates. Nevertheless, the younger Knight says that, "It's a real feel-good time. It's a collaboration, not a rivalry. We get along great and we all know the reason why the tour is so big and that's because of the joint effort of two historic boy bands with big, massive hits combining and coming together." And he hopes it's not the only time they do it.
"As far as a mega-boy band, I don't see that per se, but I can see the tour carrying on," Knight says. "All the people involved are really into making a really good show, so we make changes daily. We'll get off the tour buses and rehearse to make the show better. So for me, personally, I would love to do the tour throughout the world.