The last time Aaron Carter released an album, Kelly Clarkson won American idol, Nelly was topping the charts with "Hot In Herre" and Britney Spears was on the road with the Dream Within a Dream Tour. Music culture is vastly different from 2002, so now the former teen heartthrob has to figure out where he stands.
Carter's reputation took a beating in the years to follow as he began his journey from adolescence into adulthood. Chatter about his music became secondary to romantic links with pretty starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff, recording contract disputes and an impulsive marriage proposal.
It's all noise, and Carter is eager to spin the conversation back to what he's really about: the love and the music.
Carter is furiously working on a new record, which he expects will debut in spring of 2017, alongside creative partner Jon Asher, producer Michel (Lindgren) Schulz, and co-writers Melanie Fontana and Taylor "Lakestreet Louis" Helgeson. Last month, Carter premiered a new song from the project titled "Fool's Gold."
"I've been working on this project with my team," Carter tells BreatheHeavy.com. "It's been super cool. I've been enjoying the process."
Carter helmed his own label for the LP, Rakkaus Records, allowing him full control over the songs he creates.
"The project is about love."
The topic of love takes center stage in our interview. The forthcoming LP is titled LøVë, and will feature 15 songs revolving around his current romantic relationship (two of the songs he plans to release this year). "All of them are about her and they're all making the cut," Carter said.
"I would start the beats off, I would complete a rough version of a track, melodies, and then we'd write the song," he said of the creation process. After, Carter submits the track to his co-producer who resides in Germany. "They're half of it. We work as a team together."
Carter asserts six songs out of 15 are complete.
Why not drop a six-song EP now?
"We're on the fence about it right now. I am, personally."
"For me, I've been gone so long – I've developed into such a different artist. When you look at the content that people present like great artists like Zayn Malik, Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas... they release a full body of work."
"I'm not an EP artist."
"I bring in my love stories and things I'm going through at the present time. That's what this album is becoming about."
While Carter marches forward, he's eyeing his next single release – a song titled "Let Me Let You Go" that he describes as a "festival-type EDM, super dope track," or "dub trap."
"I just wanna keep putting out great music. Make my life about music, but real music."
"Success in music to me is overcoming adversity and persevering. I deal with a lot of judgement."
Do you feel like people have misjudged you?
"It doesn't even matter anymore. I just wanna put out music. It's like fishing. I know where the good fishing spots are; I'll cast my pole out. If I don't get a fish, I don't get a fish. But it's ok, because I can move to a different territory in that water. Maybe I'll throw [another] line in and catch 10 fish."
If he gets a bite, Carter will owe it all to, you guessed it... love.
"Love is important," he affirmed. "Embrace love and kindness and supporting people, but understand at the same time with love... comes hate. It's a very weird spectrum, almost like a ying yang that has to happen... I've dealt with love my whole life. Fans, relationships, family. I've dealt with love in a big capacity."
But love is hard.
"Nothing worth having is ever easy."