Back in 2002, StarShine’s coverage of Aaron Carter’s Winter Party tour put our name on the map! When he was a teen, long before Bieber fever was ailing the world, girls were yelling “Oh Aaron!” After management struggles, public family feuds and many growing pains, Aaron is rising out of the ashes from child stardom and into a 22-year-old do-it-himself music artist!
Now, StarShine is here hoping to help put Aaron back on the map! With an upcoming show in New York this month, new music on the verge of dropping, and thousands of Twitter followers—it sounds like Aaron has a nice head start to reclaim his thrown as the Prince of Pop.
Sandy Lo (StarShine Magazine): Hey Aaron, how are you?
Aaron Carter: How are you?
SS: I’m good. Good to talk to ya. First off, I asked some of our readers if they wanted me to ask you anything specific. And of course, they wanted to know if you were really engaged?
AC: Actually, I am NOT engaged. So um, you know, we all go through our ups and downs and our trials and errors. Sometimes going into a relationship—you think it’s going to work and it doesn’t always turn out that way. The important thing, for me, is always to keep moving forward.
SS: Now, you’re finally coming out with new music with a more grown-up sound. What has the experience been like going from a childhood star to becoming a man in the music business?
AC: There’s definitely been a lot of limitations as a child. My parents were very strict. I had to stay on the bus by myself and my dancers had to ride in a different bus. And now that I’m older—I’m a young man—and I love women. I love seeing them there supporting me and it’s just a great feeling. At least they can see that I’m there giving my heart and soul. At the end of the day, music chose me, I didn’t choose music.
SS: When you started out, was a music career something that you truly wanted or that you felt pressured into by your parents, and because you looked up to your big brother and wanted to do it because of him?
AC: Well, exactly. Having a brother who was eight years older than me…My brother would come home from touring when I was five, six, seven and bring all these big bags and stuff like that; it would make me excited. It made me always look up to him pretty much in every way. Do you have a younger sister?
SS: I don’t. I’m the youngest.
AC: You’re the youngest. Well, as the baby—we tend to always look up to our older siblings, especially when it comes to there being three girls and two boys. It makes it difficult—there comes competition.
SS: Oh, definitely. Did you feel that your parents kind of encouraged that competitive nature in your family? I know my father always pitted us against each other.
AC: You know, I never got the inclination that they wanted us to compete, but deep down…There was always competition. 90 percent of our lives revolved around entertainment and it still does. It’s very difficult. Growing up that way, we barely got to see each other. Now as the media and the internet started coming out, it makes it even more difficult. My own family starts to speculate things and I start to speculate things and it makes it difficult to have a relationship when you always have TMZ and you’re always hearing on CNN about something else, and it’s very hard. It takes a lot out of you.
SS: How do you feel your relationship with your parents has evolved? Is it better now?
AC: Well, you know…it’s kind of like relationships. You get older…To me, there’s only certain things you can really focus on. You can focus on your family, but with me it’s a very complicated situation. We grew up with not having anything to all of a sudden becoming millionaires. Then everything changes. It’s just been very difficult.
SS: Over the past few years while you’ve been working on your music, you’ve kind of kept a low profile. Did you feel you needed that time a little bit away from the spotlight?
AC: I definitely needed some down time. I wanted the down time to figure out who I was and if music really did choose me. It seems to be the only thing that is very therapeutic to me and it’s like an unconditional love. Music, for me, treats me very unconditionally and I always find myself going back to it.
SS: I know that you and Michael Jackson were friends and I’m so sorry for your loss as well as the rest of the world’s loss. Have you taken any comfort in reflecting on your relationship with him and knowing he is now at peace?
AC: I kind of have some animosity. I knew Michael personally and we grew up very similar. His death, for some reason, made people realize, but only for a minute—that their negativity in this world is what brings everybody down. It’s a very touchy subject for me. Michael was a very timid person. The world made him timid, but he also felt he had to continue to keep himself out there and show his face because he had all of those fans. He really did love his fans. That was the only thing that kept him going—was his fans and that he wanted to make the world a better place. When he said that, he wanted to help people be more positive and be more caring and giving. It didn’t really happen. People just mourned over the fact that he died instead of realizing what he did. That’s pretty much all I have to say.
SS: Let’s talk about Dancing with the Stars. You made it pretty far and did really well. I’m an avid Dancing with the Stars fan, so… [laughs] What has that experience brought to your life?
AC: It’s brought a lot of patience. It’s brought a lot of discipline, maturity. I learned a lot from Karina [Smirnoff]. She’s an amazing teacher. At the same time, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I dealt with some very serious problems while that was going on. There was a lot of drama that a lot of people didn’t realize that I had to go through. I guess sometimes that’s the cards that you’re dealt. I was able to do the best that I can and I had a great experience on it. I even watch the show now and I’m so happy everyone has gotten so far. I kind of felt that I could have gone further and I did everything I could. I even watch back [my performances] on YouTube and I’m like man, I just don’t understand. This world has become a popularity contest and that’s not what it’s about for me. It’s about music and being a real entertainer.
SS: I’m sure Dancing with the Stars has brought a connection back to you and your fans, at least I hope. How has your connection remained with your fans over the years?
AC: That’s the one thing that’s keeping me driven. I haven’t stopped at all. I produce, I write, I do my own music and my fans have always been there for me. I have my ups and downs. I try to keep my life a lot more personal. Yes, I have issues with my family and stuff like that. But I want to be someone that shows no matter the obstacles you go through, it’s important to enjoy the life you have and be happy. Instead of dealing with stuff that’s like a circle, it’s important to get out of that circle and keep going forward, you know?
SS: Very well put! In the past, you’ve done some acting. Is that something you’ve thought about getting back into?
AC: Yeah, I mean it definitely depends. To be honest with you, I’m so in love with music that it’s all I want to do. All I want to do is show people what I’m made of and what I’ve become and what I put myself through and what I’ve been through. I don’t want a pity party because I have no regrets. If I regret anything that’s happened in my past, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have today. Everything works out, to me, the way it’s supposed to.
SS: So let’s talk about your love—your music. I’m sure you have an album in the works. What can you tell us?
AC: The most important thing is I want it to be real. I want it to feel good. I want people to enjoy listening to it. I want it to bring emotion to them. I want people to realize music gets you through—it’s not always everything, but it gets you through. The opinions of my fans and seeing their comments from not just girls, but guys all over the world telling me that my music has gotten them through so much—I look at it and it’s amazing that I can inspire so many people.
SS: You know, I’ve followed your career for a while and I remember seeing you live for the first time when you were twelve…
AC: [laughs] Those were amazing times. It was like the middle of my learning experience. A lot of people don’t realize, I was performing seven years before that. It’s just my life; it chose me and I miss it so much. I’m going to get it back. I don’t mean to sound arrogant or cocky, but I’m confident. I feel like that’s the way to really achieve your goals in life. That’s a very important message that I tell a lot of people—Be confident within yourself, but still care about other people and consider yourself an equal.
SS: That’s really good advice.
AC: Thank you.
SS: When can we expect the new album to come out?
AC: You know, the business has changed. I’m waiting and still perfecting my craft. I want people to get the best of me. I want to do the best I can until it’s over. I haven’t set a complete direction for what I’m doing. Growing up in the industry having 5 albums, people expect this bubblegum stuff from me and I loved that stuff. I really did have a great time, but now, I want people to see how I’ve grown and who I really am. My album, I want to appeal to everybody. Hopefully I can get it out around 2011. That’s my year and I’ve said that about 2010, 2009, 2008, but everything happens for a reason. You just have to keep moving forward. Sometimes you’re in situations that you don’t need to be in. I’ve dealt with a lot of people. I’ve dealt with Lou Pearlman, one of the biggest crooks in the whole industry. I’ve learned and that’s why I surround myself with people who believe in me and who don’t “yes” me. I love constructive criticism from people with positive energy.
SS: You’re performing at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, New York on July 30th. What can we expect from your live show?
AC: Right now, it’s going to be a track show. It’s going to be me showing people my vocal side. I want them to see my artistic side and the writing I’ve done and the charisma and stage presence—being there for people. Right now, I’m getting back out there slowly to let people know, hey, here I am. When it comes to the big shows, we have crazy concepts and ideas. It’s going to be amazing. It just takes that effort on my part. It’s 20 percent of the effort from everyone else, but 80 percent for me. There have been times where I haven’t put it all in. But now is my time. It’s not my time for any other reason than it’s what I love to do. We have a lot of great plans coming up and some big news that I can’t talk about right now, but there’s some big stuff going on.
SS: I’m excited to hear about it—I saw you posted it on Twitter. Thanks for following us, by the way! [laughs]
AC: You’re welcome!
SS: I really look forward to seeing you at the show.
AC: I can’t wait to see you there and it’s going to be amazing. I appreciate everything you’re doing. Thank you very much!
Keep up to date on all things Aaron Carter, follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/aaroncarter7.