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Joe Jonas.Noam Galai/Getty Images

Joe Jonas decided a while ago to go it alone as a performing artist, but when it comes to Free the Children, it's still a "We" thing for him.

"I've been involved with We Day for a couple of years now. It's a great organization for empowering our youth," he says.

He has been connecting with youth for, well, pretty much his whole life and career. Jonas, now 25, hit it big as part of the Jonas Brothers in 2007, rocketing to fame as one of the biggest boy bands in the world.

They were guest stars on the Disney show Hannah Montana and toured that year with the show's star Miley Cyrus (in her pre-provocative days).

Today, Jonas is working on his own music, writing songs and trying his hand at being a DJ. In August, he performed at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel as the resident DJ, calling himself DJ Danger. He has also started his own cooking show.

"It's grown into something really exciting," he says. "I'm a foodie so I've been able to interview a bunch of my favourite chefs and a couple other guys from the West Coast. It's been really rad. I'm kind of getting used to interviews in the kitchen."

The Jonas Brothers had their own Disney Channel show, Jonas, from 2009 to 2012, in which they played a band trying to lead a normal life. The first part of the premise was not much of a stretch, given their successful career, but their lives have been led largely in the spotlight, on stage and TV.

The brothers parted professionally late in 2013, and Jonas, in addition to performing, has been a gossip website regular, known for dating high-profile celebrities including Taylor Swift, actress Camilla Belle and singer Demi Lovato.

But while romantic commitments may come and go, Jonas remains committed to Free the Children.

"I'm excited to be involved with them again," he says.

"There are so many important issues out there today, but these two causes [We Day and Free the Children] are two that mean quite a lot to me. It's important to educate our youth as well as inspire and recognize amazing young people for their role in helping others."

He concedes that it's hard for celebrities, whose every move in the spotlight gets scrutinized, to pick and choose appropriate causes to get involved in. But young people should get involved whether or not they're famous, Jonas says.

"It's easy for anyone to get involved in causes that they are passionate about."

Jonas says he also finds We Day compelling because it's reflective – it's not about the people on the stage giving the speeches and pumping the crowd, but about the people who are in the crowd and watching from afar.

"What I love about this event is that it recognizes the hard work of those who are giving back," he says.

As a younger performer, Jonas is keenly aware of how the music business is changing. Performers have many more options for reaching the public via different platforms today – online and through streaming as well as through more traditional electronic and other media such as TV specials, movies, concerts and public appearances.

He says he is comfortable in the new music business: "Social media has revolutionized the music industry and provided artists, actors and entertainers an entirely new platform to connect with fans across the world."

Jonas says he is working on "different projects here and there" right now. "I have had time to explore my interests in DJ-ing and fashion, but am also really focused on acting and making music."

Does he have heroes who he wants to celebrate with the audience on We Day?

"My heroes are all of the young folks making changes around the world and single-handedly making it a better place to live in," he says. That's exactly what he's going to say, he adds, when he appears. It's all about thanking people and inspiring others to give.

"I just want to encourage everyone to continue to give back and help honour individuals who are devoting their time giving back to others," Jonas says.