During the major pop boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, we saw some of the most popular acts of our time come to fame: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, etc.
While many have stayed in the spotlight consistently, releasing new albums every few years, taking on a residency in Vegas, or acting as a judge on a vocal competition show, other stars such as Aaron Carter, took an alternative route to take advantage of the opportunity to grow up out of the spotlight and find his own sound. Sure he still performed on Broadway, became a successful contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and co-starred on his family’s reality show “House of Carters,” but he was 18+ for all of those gigs. Now at the age of 27-years-old, Carter has been touring on and off for two years, getting to know his fans all over the world all over again, and performing new material, getting them excited for a new album within the next year. And let me tell you, fans are still lining up for the opportunity to hug this guy and take funny photos with him. He’s pretty much down for anything his fans ask of him.
After an energetic performance at the El Rey on March 27, we were eager to talk to him about his new music, his style, and his social media presence. As the show started at 9pm and he had a long line for a meet and greet, our interview was delayed until 1am. But while most artists would avoid late interviews like the plague, Carter welcomed us and gave us really honest answers, making for one of our most interesting features ever.
A Conversation with Aaron Carter
You released your debut album in Europe first, a few days shy of your 10th birthday. What was it like growing up in the industry at such a young age?
It was definitely difficult. It had its ups and downs but I kept pursuing it. I kept working hard.
It’s been over a decade since you released a full original album. How has your interest in music changed or grown since you released “Another Earthquake” in 2002?
It’s changed a lot but I’m pretty much the same guy. The music that I do release, coming up soon, is just going to be a grown-up version of [my sound].
When can we expect a new album? What kind of music should we expect to hear?
It should be this year. This year is the goal. [R&b meets pop] meets dance.
What are some of your most requested songs that your fans ask to hear live?
“Aaron’s Party,” “I Want Candy,” “[That’s How] I Beat Shaq”…at least I have three!
You also pursued theater in the last few years, performing the role of Matt in The Fantastiks. Is there a dream role you have in mind that you’d love to pursue?
I like Fiero from Wicked.
You are really active on social media and you interact with your fans on a daily basis. Are there any downsides to being so active on social media?
Sometimes people don’t know the real you and it’s kinda hard being me, thinking of what people’s perception is going to be. But I just got to find a way to not really care about it ’cause it’s super annoying. It feel too judged sometimes. I do everything thinking about what they’re going to think about me. It’s crazy. That’s one thing that I want to stop doing.
What do you enjoy about social media?
(he says humbly).
That’s very honest. I love it.
At least I’m f**king real! (Laughs)
Your style is a mix of rock and hip-hop influences with a hint of athletic inspirations. How would you describe it?
I have to be my own thing. I don’t want to dress like the dude that wears all American Apparel or all Urban Outfitters. I’m sorry. I’d rather go to Melrose and buy some three-piece [outfit made by] an Italian designer, or even Downtown LA. I bought these pants in Downtown LA for $40 in the fashion district and bought them in red, black, and brown.
They’re obviously made to move in as you dance a lot on stage, and doing back flips and aerial cartwheels. A lot of people don’t dance on stage anymore so why is that important for you to still incorporate dance in your live performances?
I like it. It’s fun, entertaining, [you get] to let loose, just enjoy yourself, and not be so serious. People are really serious especially after The Fantastiks and [being on] Broadway. I just want to be on stage and be free, not be chained down….Nick Jonas.
(breaks into Nick Jonas’s “Chains”)
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