The word "love" has a lot of meaning for Aaron Carter. So much, in fact, that it’s tattooed in flames across the left side of his neck, and also serves as the title of his upcoming fifth album—Carter's first studio release after a 14-year hiatus.
The 28-year-old pop star—who recently dropped the single "Fool's Gold” that will be featured on LØVË—made a name for himself during the late 90s and early 2000s, right behind big brother and Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter. He topped charts with record hits, sold out shows and proved to the world he could beat Shaq in a one-on-one basketball match. Needless to say, he was a heartthrob to teenyboppers all over.
But along with this wave of success came a series of unfortunate events—his parents’ divorce, rehab, the loss of his sister Leslie, controversial Twitter rants, and more—leading the singer/writer/producer to depart the music scene after his 2002 album Another Earthquake. During that time, however, Carter admits he learned how to identify with himself and feel comfortable in his own skin, which allowed him to regain both control and freedom when it came to his music.
“Back then I’d go in [the studio] and I’d have 20 songs to perform and six days to record, whereas now I can create 14 or 15 songs on my own,” Carter says. “I’m the executive producer of my project and I built it from scratch again.” And starting from scratch is what he’s been doing. Inspired by Canadian R&B duo Majid Jordan, Carter says the new album will be a mix of pop, R&B and “dub-trap,” a term he devised himself, meaning a combination of EDM and dub step that is illustrated in “Fool’s Gold.”
For fans who enjoyed his original catchy hits, Carter isn’t completely stepping away from his “I Want Candy” days. He plans to revisit the song with a modern twist. “I’m going to do a cover of my cover,” he says, with a small laugh. “It’s going to be different, but it’s still me.”
As for LØVË, the star plans to release the album on Valentine’s Day of next year (which he apparently decided to do during his interview with Houstonia) as the holiday speaks to the entire theme of the project. The album follows the story behind his former two-year relationship with dancer Lee Karis—who he admits didn’t love him and which ended terribly—and his more recent girlfriend, Madison Parker, of whom his fans are supportive. “It’s the reality of my love life and how I started to portray it,” Carter says. “Love is everything and at the end of the day, we should be hopeful, never give up on the opportunity for love, and just cherish it.”
Carter currently has seven songs produced and plans to feature a total of 11 to 12. He expects to go on tour during spring/summer of 2017. When asked about his future goals, he says he will “make a lot of music, tour a lot, get married, and have babies, you know?” And how many kids does Carter want? “Two. Two is good for me,” he laughs.
Catch Carter tonight at Proof Rooftop Lounge, where he is hosting a special performance.
$10 at the door, 7 pm. – 12 a.m., 2600 Travis St., 832-767-0513, proofrooftoplounge.com