From the ‘90s to the 2000’s, Aaron Carter was many people’s teenage crush. He got his start as a pop and hip-hop singer at a very young age, going on to release four studio albums that sold millions of copies worldwide. He toured with his brother, Nick Carter, and the Backstreet Boys and made guest appearances on Nickelodeon, Broadway and, later on, Dancing With the Stars. Although he’s most associated with his nostalgic early hits, such as “I Want Candy” and “Aaron’s Party,” the singer has been back in the news lately talking about his new music and personal life. After a series of health issues and weighing only 115 pounds, Aaron appeared on The Doctors in 2017 to address his unhealthy appearance and drug-related arrests. Carter tested negative for illegal drug use, but ended up admitting himself into a treatment center in Malibu, California to deal with old and new traumas, which had manifested into an eating disorder that was causing his malnutrition. Since treatment, Aaron has spoken openly about working to improve his mental and physical health, gained weight, released his first album in 15 years, LØVË, and is in a new serious relationship. “It’s hard for a lot of people to do that,” he said about talking publicly about his health, “but I have to be able to identify with myself.” Here, he speaks candidly about getting treatment, the inspirations for his latest album, and his love life.
How has your tour been so far?
It’s been incredible! It’s been an amazing turn out. Sometimes people come and they wanna see a lot of the nostalgic stuff, but I’m starting to move past that. The numbers are doing really great with my new music, so I’m focusing on essentially being a new artist.
Tell me a little bit about your latest album LØVË. It was born from two relationships that didn’t work out, right?
Yeah, it was born from feeling not understood in relationships and what I was going through personally. It all started with I had just broken up with someone and then I got the idea for this album called LØVË. I actually wrote the title down on my phone, designed it—it’s been crazy.
And it was your first album in 15 years! What made you want to get back into the music arena with a full-length album?
I just wanted to prove that I could produce my own music, that I could write my own music, and that I could identify with it so that it would be me. A lot of people don’t know the experience I’ve had with music and the bands I grew up with. I learned so much from these old school cats and I picked up on a lot of stuff, like Justin Timberlake did, I did the same thing. And at the rate I’m going, it’s just about being able to identify with myself.
Definitely. The album also came after you had been dealing with a lot of health issues, correct?
Yeah. I’m always dealing with health issues because I have an eating disorder, so I deal with that constantly.
I read an interview with you where you said, while you were growing up, that you always thought you wouldn’t make it to 30. So here you are, 30 years old with a new album out and on tour. That must feel pretty great.
It does, and thank you for reminding me because sometimes I forget that I’m so blessed to be where I am and especially with my music. My fans are so supportive and [have been] through my growing up, just like they did.
And when you were in treatment working on your health, you also started the beginnings of some new songs, right?
When I was in treatment—I was in there for almost three months—they really did a great job with me. They let me be with myself and really focus on—I had my laptop the whole time—focus on my music every single day. And just taking care of my health and medicating, doing therapy, seeing my therapist and psychologist three times a day, and being on that schedule for three months, just kind of rebooting myself. And then also focusing on music and having that by my side the whole time.
Do you think you’ll be releasing some of those singles, or maybe a full album, in the next couple years?
Yeah, for sure! I mean, I’m always working on music, but I like to be very selective and not overdo it. I have a really great team to work on it with me. I’m proud of the work I did [on LØVË]. I followed my vision. I want to be a real artist, to show my fans I’m the real deal.
And you’re currently dating Lina Valentina, how’s that going?
I fell in love with her instantly and she fell in love with me. I bought a house and we’re starting to picture our future!