Leslie Carter is Paving Her Own Way

It’s been about five years since some of us heard from Radio Disney friendly Leslie Carter. But for many of you, this might be the first time hearing that name. You’re probably asking yourselves if she’s related to the same blood line that brought you Nick and Aaron… well, yes, she’s their sister. But don’t quickly make up your mind whether you like or don’t like her merely because she’s a Carter. Like Aaron, Leslie has to work hard to get out of the shadow of her older brother. But what’s even harder is she has to not only worry about her older brother’s Backstreet career, but her younger bro Aaron’s as well.

Leslie’s first time around the musical block was back in 2001 with her mother, Jane and the DreamWorks label backing her. Her onstage experience consisted mainly of opening for Aaron Carter on his summer tour, talk about being directly caste in the shadow. Though her debut single, “Like Wow” made it on the “Shrek” soundtrack and received some airplay on Disney, Leslie was soon dropped from the label and disappeared from the scene.

So where has she been? Well, if you know anything about the Carter family, you know they’ve had their fair share of rough patches. Leslie says she was trying to get her life together and basically sorting through a lot of “crap”. The now 19-year-old Leslie is trying to re-establish herself in the industry. Not only has she matured, but her style has evolved. No longer the teeny bopper cutesy pop singer, Leslie is now a punk-rocker with some pop undertones.

“This time I’ve written the songs that I’m going to play.” Leslie told StarShine in one of her first interviews about her re-invented music career. “I’ve worked with a few different writers and actually got the chance to write from my own journal.” Leslie seems truly proud to sing her self-penned material. Besides writing the songs, Leslie also had to make a difficult decision where it concerns family and business.

Leaving behind her mother as her manager, she signed on with Donna Wright (Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Pink). “When it came down to it, it’s a bunch of personal reasons.” Leslie explains why she made that decision. “You just don’t mix the two, like I’ve tried to stay with my mom. She’s a great person, I still love her to death, but if you stay there… you seem to be in the same kind of cycle, doing the same things and you’re not going anywhere. You’ve got to come to a point where you make a choice and I had to do something for myself, and that’s what I did.”

Leslie is somewhat estranged from the rest of her family as well, but hopes to make progress in her relationships with them. “I’m not talking to them the way I would like. It’s not really like family talk. It’s more like ‘hey, how are you doing?’ and things like that.” Leslie explains, but also says that Nick has been more receptive to her than her other siblings. “He’ll sit there and listen to me and we’ll talk for a while.”

With the family drama behind her, Leslie is in good spirits especially when we met up with her before her showcase in New York City. Arriving fashionably late, Leslie and I tried to find a quiet spot for our interview. This was no easy task as we had to move into another room and were interrupted several times. “I’m proud of you for putting up with this interview.” Leslie laughed. “I’m having a good time even though we’ve been interrupted…” She says as she waves someone off about to interrupt and she makes a face behind their back.

Dressed in jeans with a butterfly on them, a baby tee, jacket and Madonna-esque lace gloves, I had to ask about Leslie’s style. “Before I didn’t really pick my own clothes. Now I kind of have a sense of style and what I like and what I look for. What I’m wearing now represents my music a lot. I definitely look for that when I’m buying clothes.” Leslie explains.

Not only has her fashion sense changed, but so has her stage show. Leslie performed several songs that night for fans and industry alike along with her band. It seemed to take some by surprise when a girl went up on stage to lead the band that was rocking out, but Leslie fell right along into the role. It came as a bit of a surprise at how natural her stage presence was, considering she hasn’t had the much experience on one. But then again, considering Leslie’s musical background, it shouldn’t be a surprise at all.

Leslie’s voice is a mixture of emotion, sugar and edge. Songs like “Worse” and “Breakout” are fun, energetic, and pure punk that you just want to blast the stereo to and sing along with. “I Will Go” and “Fallin” are a little more mellow, but bring out Leslie’s vocals more. So which song is Leslie’s favorite? “I find myself singing some random ones. I don’t think I have a favorite as of now. I’m not a favorites kind of person.” She admits. “I know it’s going to be on some website, this is her favorite song…” Leslie jokes.

Speaking of websites posting things that aren’t true, I asked Leslie about an old time rumor about her wanting to be a teacher. She had to laugh. “I never said that. I was never into school. I couldn’t do it. I’m just so all over the place all of the time. I’d sit there and draw and I couldn’t stay focused.” Leslie and I continued to discuss how you can’t believe everything you read. “I’ve gone online and done my snooping when Aaron was web searching.” She admits. We then joked about how you can find out things you didn’t know about yourself. “I didn’t know that was my favorite color, I didn’t know I said that, really? That’s my favorite food?”

So now that Leslie is getting everything in order with her career, what’s next? “My goal is just to get a good deal on my own and just feel like I’m accomplishing something. I want to be working for the next two years because if I’m sitting around not doing anything, I go crazy.” Leslie explains.

Leslie sent me back with a message to her fans and future fans. ”Thank you for the support throughout the years, since the beginning. Thanks for always believing I would come back and helping me get through my days because seeing things online… I do go out and do that because it inspires me to do better. And for new fans to come… just always be open to new things and all music is beautiful in its own way, it just depends on what you like.”

StarShine hopes you’ll love Leslie Carter as much as we do! You can check Leslie Carter out on myspace.com/theotherhalf

Play’s Last Stand

During Play’s down time in Sweden, Anna Sundstrand, Rosie Munter, and Janet Leon took some time out to call StarShine to talk about topics that’s been on our readers’ minds lately. Though Anais Lameche was unavailable, Play’s manager, Laila Bagge informed us she is finishing up school before starting her solo career. Though this will be StarShine’s last interview with Play, we know this will be just the beginning of our journey with the solo members of the group, so always stay tuned to sandylo.com!

Play on the Group’s Split…
Well, you know what–we’ve been together for such a long time, almost five years. After a while, all the girls wanted to do different stuff, you know? Everybody wants to explore different things and we just thought, ‘you know what, let’s just take a break right now’.
Rosie: We decided to break up because we thought that it was time to go our own ways. We really appreciate what the fans have done for us and everything. It was just time to go our own way. We’ve been growing up a lot, so… that’s about it. [laughs] Janet: Well, I think that we just felt that we wanted to do different things. I just felt that I wanted to go solo and the other girls felt the same thing. And I understand that the girls… they’ve been together for so long and you know, I can understand that you want to do different things after a while, so we decided to split up.

Play on Still Being Friends…
Absolutely! Well, actually… [laughs] Anais and me are neighbors, so…
Rosie: There’s no hard feelings involved. We’re all still friends, you know?

Play on Solo Careers…
I’m very excited actually! It’s been doing really good and I can’t wait! I’m going back in the middle of January to New York to do a lot of recording. Oh, there’s so much going on. I will be performing a lot, so… I will keep you guys updated.
Rosie: I’m going to stay in the business. Right now I am writing a lot of songs. I’m also a songwriter, not only an artist. So I’m writing a lot of songs and I’m going to work with a lot of producers in the future. I’ve been working a lot with a band. So it’s a little rocky and almost a little souly sometimes with all the harmonies and everything, but it’s like rock/pop.
Janet: I’m going solo. I’m in the studio right now. I’m recording my song for the album with Anders Bagge. We’re just figuring out the songs and trying to find the sound. But we’ve been thinking about [releasing the album] maybe in a year.

Play on their 2005 StarShine Readers’ Choice Awards…
I’m so happy! I’m thrilled! That’s awesome. I was so surprised. I just really wanna say… Thanks everyone for supporting us even though we split up. I just think all the fans have been amazing in supporting me with my solo career and everything. I just want to thank them. And thanks everybody who voted for us to actually win this award. I’m so proud of the group and I just want to thank everybody.
Rosie: I’m very excited and I’m very happy for everyone that voted for us! Even though we’re not a group anymore, all of us really appreciate it. It really means something to us. I just want to say that I really appreciate everything that you’ve done for us. [Says with emphasis] I wanna say thank you for voting for us and letting us win these three awards. [laughs] And of course, check out my music in the future and just stay updated because I’m going to have a lot of things coming up soon.
Janet: Oh my God, that was so cool! I just wanted to thank everybody for voting. I just wanted to say how much we appreciate that you guys just cared to vote for us. And it means a lot because I saw the nominees and I was like, ‘whoa, we won!’ [laughs]

Recognize This Pop Country Sweetheart?

In May 2004, as a favor to an industry friend I went to a bar in NYC to interview a young up & coming country artist who hadn’t done any interviews before.  That country artist’s name is Taylor Swift.  I remember her being excited that I had interviewed Nick Lachey and she was sweet as can be.  Enjoy these old photos of Taylor! — Sandy Lo

taylorswift1 taylorswift2

Jessica Simpson Bares All With In This Skin

Jessica Simpson has been anticipating August 19th for some time now. Not only did her third studio album, In This Skin hit record stores, but the premiere of her MTV series, “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” debuted that same night.

The day was filled with press, meet & greets, TV appearances followed by a screening with her husband, Nick Lachey at Planet Hollywood. After Jessica and Nick appeared on the infamous TRL, she headed over to the Virgin Mega Store, which is also located in Times Square to meet tons and tons of fans who have been waiting outside since before 9am that morning.

Jessica smiled, posed, did interview upon interview and signed so many autographs her hand hurt by the end of it all. Despite her aching hand, she took time out before heading over to Planet Hollywood to speak with StarShine.

©2003 RAMEY PHOTO AGENCY/LUIS GUERRA Jessica Simpson Signing Her New CD "In This Skin" August 19, 2003 - Times Square Virgin Megastore- New York City, New York USA  (PG)
Jessica Simpson Signing Her New CD “In This Skin” August 19, 2003 – Times Square Virgin Megastore- New York City, New York USA

Dressed in a classy, yet trendy black two piece outfit and three inch heels, Jessica’s perfectly white teeth beamed as she smiled when asked about how the signing went. “I didn’t expect there to be so many people.” Jessica admits a little shocked still. “So I had a ton of fun. I have great fans in New York.” She nods.

Jessica is mostly known for her powerhouse voice with hits like “I Wanna Love You Forever”, “Where You Are”, “I Think I’m In Love” and the infectious dance track “Irresistible”. How does In This Skin fit into the mix compared to her other albums? “It’s more like my first record than my second record.” Jessica compares. “It’s just more me. I got to control most of it and write the material for the first time. I think just after listening to it you definitely get to know me as a person.” She says proudly.

It seems allowing the public to get to know her is important to Jessica. If the album with intimate topics like the ones in the first single “Sweetest Sin” and other personal songs like “Forbidden Fruit” and the title track, “In This Skin” weren’t enough, Jessica along with Nick are opening their home to all of America.

“Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica” sheds a new light on the couple. That light reflects a not so perfect life with tons of arguments and reveals a lot about the couple’s personalities. The first episode alone shows a conflict in Nick and Jessica’s living style. Nick likes things neat while Jessica…well, she put it best when she called herself a “frat boy” on TRL.

Jessica says she and Nick grew accustomed to the cameras following them around, but the first two weeks were hard to adjust. She also admits she was a little self-conscious at how she looked for the cameras at first. “I would always wear make-up and the whole thing. Get all dooted up, but no, not anymore.”

With cameras around to scrutinize your every move, there has to be some things you hope they don’t catch. “You’ll probably see an embarrassing moment every episode.” Jessica assures us. “Embarrassing moments that I don’t even know about and I find out about when I watch the episode.” She laughs.

Jessica also filled us in on how she feels that marriage has made her a better person. She beamed when talking about the amount of love for Nick. “I did never think as I was walking down the aisle that I could possibly love my husband more, but as you adjust and live together somehow you take it to the next level…somehow!” Jessica grins.

Critics will most likely pick apart Nick and Jessica’s relationship more than her album, which does in fact reflect growth and has many personal touches. Jessica herself couldn’t even pick a song that was more personal than the rest. “They’re all about the love for my husband. There’s one about my love for my father. They’re all very personal.” Jessica explains.

The theme is obviously many levels of love. The first single, “Sweetest Sin” shows Jessica’s fans the intimate side as well as part of her sexuality. The video poses Jessica along with Nick kissing in the water and lying in bed together on the beach. It gets pretty hot. If fighting and pouting is what’s seen between the two on “Newlyweds”, the chemistry is definitely shared within the video.

Jessica revealed that her next single would be “With You”. The track is a catchy, fun yet sweet song with lyrics like “The real me is a southern girl with her Levi’s on and an open heart”. Her vocals on the track aren’t as diva-like as we’re used to, but that’s what makes it great. Fans are used to the typical Jessica Simpson sound. Jessica’s voice was always recognized instantly, but toning down her voice on some tracks was a brilliant way to give her a slightly new style.

Not that the album lacks strong vocals by any means. Each track incorporates Jessica’s amazing vocal ability. “I Have Loved You” brings back an almost classic beauty to music. The notes are hit perfectly and melodically and the lyrics are endearing.

Dance tracks “Forbidden Fruit” and “Loving You” break up the sappy love vibe, though even the ballads aren’t overdone. However, “Everyday See You” and “Underneath” musically aren’t really interesting to listen to, the lyrics are still beautiful nonetheless.

“In This Skin” is a well done song about being comfortable with yourself and loving who you are. It’s a feel good song for any girl, especially one who’s still trying to find herself to listen to and sing along with.

All and all, Jessica’s new music is a growth for her and allowed her to write her own material, which In This Skin was her first chance at doing that, so she deserves credit. She confirms love is the theme, but to some people, eleven songs of love, whether it be about sex or romance or letting go of a love can become a little redundant. It all depends on the kind of person you are.

However, Jessica fans are sure to love it. They love her and Jessica obviously feels the same way about them. She even gave us some insight on opening her life as well as her heart to her supporters. “I love my fans. This record is for them. I really wanted to share my life with them. The TV show’s for them. I wanted to just kind of give them a glimpse of how I live and what’s going on. So it’s because of them that I do what I do.”

2003: Nick Lachey backstage at Summer Jam

May 25, 2003, I had the opportunity to interview Nick Lachey, another idol of mine.  He is one of the nicest people on the planet!  The original article I wrote can’t seem to be found, which upsets me since it was even used for Nick’s press kit!  Here are some photos taken at Jones Beach where Nick was performing at BLI’s Summer Jam.

Flashback Friday: Nick Lachey StarShine Voicemail Message

One of my favorite celebrity interviews I did was with Nick Lachey  back in 2003.  It truly makes me sad I can’t find the article I wrote anywhere… it was lost when the original StarShine Magazine site crashed.  Thankfully, I still have this soundbite Nick recorded for my readers to use.  Maybe I should put this back as my voicemail greeting!  What do you think?

Nick Carter Talks “Now Or Never” and Being the Sexiest Man Alive

On October 22, 2002, Sandy Lo got to interview one of her idols for the first time.  Being a huge Backstreet Boys fan and being able to interview them several times over the years is such an honor for Sandy.  BSB fans have been some of the biggest supporters of StarShine Magazine, so we thank you!  Enjoy this old interview.

Your editor, Sandy Lo had a chat with Nick Carter by phone last Tuesday about his solo album, the future of the Backstreet Boys and being sexy…

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): So first I just want to say congratulations on your solo album!

Nick Carter: [laughs] Thank you.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): You’re welcome. So Now or Never is exactly one week away…

Nick Carter: Mmm-hmm…

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Are you nervous? [laughs]

Nick Carter: I’m a little nervous, but I’m so excited that…[laughs] it’s like a mixture of both…nervousness and excitement and all that great stuff. I’m lovin’ it.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Cool. Your first single, “Help Me” is really–I’m being honest–it’s such a great song. I love it so much!

Nick Carter: Oh, you like it?

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Yeah, I love it.

Nick Carter: Thank you.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Um, it’s more on the rock side as the rest of the album is…

Nick Carter: Actually…have you heard the album?

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): They sent me a press kit, but they didn’t send me the whole album…they just sent me “Help Me”, but I’ve heard–

Nick Carter: The album’s a little more rock actually.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Yeah, I’ve heard clips because um, I have Aaron’s [Carter] album too, so I’ve heard clips from that and I’ve heard some on the internet and everything.

Nick Carter: Mmm-hmm. Okay.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): So since it’s more rock, do you think when people hear like “Help Me” or the rest of the album they’re like “That’s Nick Carter?”

Nick Carter: Ummm, I think they will. I hope they will. I mean I think honestly from the beginning this is just my preference in music. People are gonna–in the beginning probably be a little bit scared to–or maybe like uh, you know interested to see what it’s gonna be like because you know they’re so used to see me doing pop music and stuff like the Backstreet Boys, but I think the cool thing is that they’ll really be able to um–hopefully, it’ll be a good shock, you know? A nice surprise hopefully for them.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Well, it seems like everyone’s taken to it so far. I mean I’m the editor of my magazine so…

Nick Carter: Mmm-hmm.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): …And I get tons of e-mails saying–like once I mentioned you were going to be in the magazine, they were all like–all these comments saying, “Oh my God, I can’t believe Nick Carter’s going to be in it.” And they were so excited. [laughs]

Nick Carter: I’m like…I’m honestly…I’m just shocked at the support. I really am. I’m just like–it is amazing to me. Uh, I really…I didn’t expect it and I still don’t expect it with all like the stuff that’s going on right now. I mean it’s just–I’m just happy. I’m SO grateful for all of the support.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Well, you know since the fans–they’re pretty supportive, but you know they’re still kind of worried about the whole Backstreet Boys not together thing. So I just wanted to clear that up. Can you give them any kind of clarity on the status of the group?

Nick Carter: Well, this is how clear it was…I mean I had a meeting with all the guys the other day and we’re still together, you know? So um, we’re talking about doing another album like middle of next year, after I do my album and everything and that’s where we are right now.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): So everything’s great with that then?

Nick Carter: Mmm-hmm.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): And they don’t have to worry. [laughs]

Nick Carter: Nope.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Do you miss the guys at all? I mean you’re all on your own now.

Nick Carter: Yes, I miss them to a certain extent. I mean all the other guys have kind of started their lives and stuff like that. Like Brian’s married, he’s about to have a baby and you know AJ’s going to get married and um…you know, it’s like I miss them, they’re my brothers, but at the same time I’m like so…so excited about what’s going on. [laughs happily] And like excited to start a part of my life and that’s you know, the solo stuff.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Yeah. Actually, that brings me to my next question. [laughs] What’s it like to be alive in a sense that it’s all up to you and to be able to do what you want with your music?

Nick Carter: Umm…well, it’s amazing to be able to–to do what I want to do because I get a chance to let it all out, you know? Let everything out inside and really just have a lot of fun in it because I came to a decision like where I’m at right now…I really have to have fun doing what I’m doing and you know, I love–I love being in the entertainment business. I love doing music. I love rock music so I wanted to slowly, but surely enter into the rock world. I know it’s going to be really weird for people at first, but um, I got a long way to go and I got a long career hopefully ahead of me…and I…got a lot of work to do. [Nick and Sandy laugh]

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Okay so let’s talk a little bit more about the album…you’ve written a lot on it. Has song writing always come easy to you or was it something you had to work on a little more?

Nick Carter: Writing is…I have to be very inspired to do it. I feel like–that’s the way I am in everything. Until like fate has to sort of kick me in the butt and show me what to do and what to write. That’s the way I’ve always written and I love–writing has never been too easy for me, but when I’m inspired then it is easy. So a lot of the songs on the album are very personal–not necessarily personal situations, but just they’re human emotions–they’re things that come out of people and I’m a person so it came out of me.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Which song would you say is the most personal to you? Like that you feel is the most in touch with your life.

Nick Carter: Um, probably “I Stand For You” because “I Stand For You” is a uh…it’s a–like a breakout, freedom song–like rebel-like just I wanna be young…I wanna have fun and basically what I’ve been telling you. You know, the words are like if I wanna have a tattoo, I wanna have it. If I want to say what I want to say, I’m gonna say it. If I want to ride across the country on a Harley or something like that, I’m gonna do it, you know? [Sandy laughs] The fact was that’s everything that it was. So I think that’s why that song is very personal to me. It’s a very American song. [laughs]

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): [laughs] Yeah. Do you plan on touring for the album soon?

Nick Carter: Yeah, I’d love to. I’d love to get on tour. I think the one thing that’s gonna be cool about being a solo artist is that I get a chance to really get close to fans again. And like um, I’m almost starting from the ground up again so if there are fans out there who have been wanting to be close to us and stuff, well now is the time because I’m going to go to small venues and play like places that are very intimate–maybe like 2,000 seat places and just get REALLY close to the fans and they can see me sweat, they can see me play instruments, you know…I’ll sing to them, all that kind of stuff.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): That’s really great because I mean not a lot of artists want to do that again…want to start from the beginning.

Nick Carter: I do. Big time.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): [laughs] Well, good. I’m sure your fans really appreciate that.

Nick Carter: Thank you. I really think they deserve it, you know? After all those years of playing big venues and being far away from them and stuff…so now, you know–come and check it out…come and check out the concert because honestly…[laughs] they’re gonna rock. I’m gonna put one hell of a show on.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): I’m sure you will.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): I’m sure you will. You’re Cosmo Girl’s sexiest guy in the world…how does that feel? Do you consider yourself sexy?

Nick Carter: No, not really. I don’t know what I’m like. I guess I’m just normal. I’m who I am. You know, I don’t try to be anybody that I’m not. I’m the kind of guy who would really walk out in jeans and a t-shirt and not really just worry about how I look at certain times…I just–I’m a guy. I’m the kind of guy who would be–you would catch me working on an engine or you know, driving boats or just you know driving a car–like a corvette or something like that, you know I never came from a clean family–I was kind of always dirty myself. [Sandy laughs] You know I was always the kind of kid who would be in the dirt and rolling around in it. I’m just a…I’m one of those…I wouldn’t say roughneck Americans, but I guess I am a little bit in a way. [laughs]

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Okay, so as the sexist guy in the world, the girls want to know…what are you wearing right now?

Nick Carter: What am I wearing? I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Okay. Simple enough. [Nick laughs] So I know you’ve probably been asked this so many times and I apologize for asking it, but in my magazine, we don’t like any rumors at all…

Nick Carter: Mmm-hmm.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Like we try to keep everything true and just get all the garbage out. So maybe you can clear this up…are you involved with Britney Spears in any way?

Nick Carter: No, not at all…Nope.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Okay. I didn’t think so because I thought it would be too typical, you know?

Nick Carter: Yeah, I know. I’m not typical. I’m not easy to predict. [laughs]

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Yeah, but everybody’s been like–because I try to get close to my readers so everyone’s been telling me all this kind of stuff, so I’m like “Uhh…I’ll ask him.” You know? [laughs] So everyone knows you’ve had some trials and tribulations in your lifetime personally and career-wise, but let’s talk about the lighter side of things…what was the funniest thing to ever happen to you?

Nick Carter: The funniest thing…I would say is…God, I know I’ve had some really fun times. I’m just trying to pick them out. I’ve…you know what was a funny time? [laughs] Me and my dad, we went sailing for the first time and it was on like a catamaran boat and um…we went out and the funniest thing was–like ’cause these catamarans, you can tilt them to the side and they can ride on one part too and um…[laughs] We tilted over and we’ve never done that before and we just fell off! [Sandy laughs] And like the boat tipped over, but then we, you know you gotta get back on and pull it over. So that’s what we did, we pulled it over, but then the boat TOOK OFF on us!

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): [laughs] Oh God…

Nick Carter: And the wind picked it up and it sailed…so it sailed like a hundred yards away from us and this was down in the [Florida] Keys.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): So were you guys stranded there?

Nick Carter: We were cracking up! Because we were…thank God the thing actually flipped over like about fifty to a hundred yards. It was just really, really so funny. It was the hardest I laughed in a long time.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): [laughs] Okay, so the music business is what you’ve always known and being in the public eye is just a part of your life. What kind of effect does that have on you as a person and in finding your true identity?

Nick Carter: Well, I’ve always been the kind of person to be very secluded to do my own thing. Keep my friends close to me. Keep my people around me. And not really get too involved in that whole spotlight drama crap, you know? So that’s what I’ve basically have done and you know, I stay normal. I stay true to myself. You wouldn’t really catch me doing all that crazy Hollywood stuff too much, you know? That’s how I stay normal and you know, I don’t like to go too far away from that. I’ve always been really–I’m the kind of guy–people who know me…if you ever ask them questions about me, they’ll just tell you, “Trust me, he’s Nick.” [laughs] There ain’t nobody like me, you know…I’m just very normal.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Mmm-hmm. You’ve accomplished so much in your music career already and you’re only twenty-two, what’s next for you?

Nick Carter: What’s sexy?

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): [laughs] No…

Nick Carter: What’d you say? I’m sorry. [laughs lightly]

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): It’s okay. What’s next for you? Like what’s the next step?

Nick Carter: What’s the next step…um…gosh. I want to really get much better as a musician. I just started playing guitar like about a year ago and I’m getting much better at it. So I wanna all around…I wanna do another solo album, hopefully. I wanna do another Backstreet album. I want to grow as a musician. I want to play even more instruments. I wanna develop into like maybe a like Madonna or a David Bowie type of person. You know?

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Wow. Yeah, best of luck with that. And here’s your chance to speak to your people…the fans in StarShine Magazine…what would you like to say to them?

Nick Carter: Well, I just want to say thank you for all the support you know, it’s been a very scary situation and time for me because you know, this is a whole new world for me–the whole solo thing and people supporting and the fans supporting me and really showing love all over the place and on…even just voting on TRL and all that stuff, it’s just been overwhelming and so like amazing and I just want to thank them for that because they’re making it more comfortable for me and they’re making my dreams come true and I just thank you.

Sandy (StarShine Magazine): Okay, I just wanted to say some things for me. [laughs] I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan of the Backstreet Boys and you and I just want to say that it’s an honor to do this interview with you and thank you so much for speaking with me. Nick Carter: Thank you for having me.

2002: Aaron Carter’s Winter Party Tour

Though StarShine was formed in July 2001, it wasn’t until January 29, 2002 that it went from the title newsletter to magazine.  Editor-In-Chief, Sandy Lo went backstage at an Aaron Carter concert for the first time where she made connections with artists and industry insiders that still stand today.  Here is the original article published in February 2002 with some photos.

10392061_154645590992_2774035_nTuesday, January 29th I had the opportunity to check out Aaron Carter’s concert at the Pepsi Arena. What’s that? Think you’re too old to enjoy music from a 14-year-old pop singer? Well think again! Music is the basis of entertainment and that’s exactly what this tour brings.

Not only did I see the concert with a front row view, but I got to talk with the stars backstage. The tour welcomed me into their “family” with open arms. The backstage vibe was very playful with a basketball hoop, catering and goofing around during sound check.

As for the show itself, party is definitely the suitable word. With girls of all ages and even parents singing and cheering along, the energy was there. First to hit the stage was 15-year-old singing sensation, Lindsay Pagano. She came out belting out her hit song, “Everything U R”, which Lindsay calls the AOL anthem since it’s advertised on the commercial. Besides being sweet as can be, what else can you say about Lindsay? Well for starters, amazingly talented. She has a soulful voice and knows how to project it to a crowd. Lindsay’s set included five songs off her debut album, “Love & Faith & Inspiration”. If you’re looking for pop music with more spirit to it, then definitely pick it up in your local music store. “I really just want people to focus on my talent more than my age.” Lindsay says. A duet with Paul McCartney might have done the trick in helping people look past her age.

After Lindsay was finished, I stuck around while fans asked me tons of questions and wanted me to get them to meet one of their idols. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity but I know how a “fan” feels because I still am one. Understanding their position, I did manage to take a picture of one of their favorite Dream Street members who were next to hit the stage.

Dream Street is a boy group between the ages of 14-16 and has gained quite a following over the past year. Their latest hit, “Sugar Rush” has received loads of airplay on Disney and Nickelodeon. Their stage show was filled with funky dance numbers and loud costumes. The crowd ate the fab five up to pieces. When I talked to member Chris Trousdale after the show, I asked him how he feels about comparisons to groups like ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys. “I love when they compare us to ‘N Sync as long as it’s good because ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys are incredible.”

After about a twenty-minute break, the person everyone was waiting for showed up to his own party. Aaron Carter appeared onstage wearing a lavish fur coat, making him look like the abominable snowman with his slightly blue streaked hair sticking up in every which direction. The stage was set up in a winter wonderland with fake icicles, a slide and a fireman’s pole. Shades of whites and light blues were the color scheme for the stage.

Being a veteran Aaron Carter concertgoer, I have seen his show grow and one thing never changes: Aaron’s natural performing ability. He’s always comfortable in front of a crowd and a true professional. Aaron always makes contact with the fans by getting as close to them as possible. He’s interactive with the audience and asks them to make as much noise as possible. Even offstage Aaron always shows his fans some love. At a signing earlier that day, a fan began to walk away after she got her autograph when Aaron called out to her, “Don’t I get a hug?” The girl’s face turned to glee as she walked back over to Aaron and wrapped her arms around him. Aaron is always hamming it up for people. He’s extremely mature for his age, but knows how to be a kid too. His voice is getting stronger as each day goes by and his style is becoming more his own.

Aaron’s set list included hits, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)”, “That’s How I Beat Shaq”, “Not Too Young, Not Too Old” and his latest single, “I’m All About You” which was a part of the show where a lucky girl was brought onstage to be serenaded by Aaron. One part of the show came as a surprise. A piano was brought onstage and Aaron sat behind it, singing and playing “Imagine” by legendary Beatle, John Lennon. He didn’t miss a note and I was impressed as many parents were pleased.

Are you still unconvinced that young pop could never be inspirational? Well, if I know my peers well enough, the answer is yes, but there are millions who don’t agree with you, so deal with it!


Sandy Lo Media
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