Aaron Carter: New Era. New Aaron.

The world is about to be reintroduced to Aaron Carter. Since his launch to fame, Carter has had a roller coaster of a career, but now the former teen sensation is ready to stay on top.

Photography by Ben Miller.  Styled by Haley Camille. Written by Joanna Purpich & Frank Costa.


The young heartthrob began his musical career at only eight years old, skyrocketing to become an international pop sensation by age ten.  The now 28-year-old released his debut self-titled album in 1997, nearly 20 years ago. Shortly after, Carter signed with Jive Records, where he released his next album Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) in 2000. The album rapidly rose to the top, becoming triple platinum.  During the next few years, Carter performed as the opening act for successful pop acts, The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.

Aaron’s third and fourth studio albums respectively titled Oh Aaron (2001) and Another Earthquake (2002) also found instant success when both went platinum, with his fourth album reaching double platinum. Additionally, Carter released two collection albums titled Most Requested Hits (2003) and Come Get It: The Very Best of Aaron Carter (2006). Carter’s fifth studio album is due for release in early 2016.  Carter’s music career landed him the title of the youngest male solo artist to have four Top 40 singles.

Since then, Carter has performed at a number of awards shows (Billboard Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, American Music Awards), Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration television special. Carter also made television appearances on a number of scripted shows, including 7th Heaven, Lizzie McGuire, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.

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Photo by BenMillerPhoto.com

Carter then fell into the world of reality television in 2006, when he and his siblings starred in their own reality show House of Carters. The show, which ran for two months on E!, featured all five Carter siblings living under one roof. Later in 2009, the former teen sensation competed on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars with professional dance Karina Smirnoff as his dance partner. Although Donny Osmond triumphed as the winner of the show’s ninth season, Carter danced his way into the final five of the competition series. Aaron’s intentions for joining Dancing With The Stars were to jumpstart his career.

Back in November 2015, a Billboard article compared unruly Justin Bieber to Aaron Carter, asking music attorney Aaron Rosenberg, “How did Bieber not turn into Aaron Carter? What went right?” — Aaron expressed his distaste for the interview by telling us, “There’s things that are said in the media and questions and stupid things that I hear and I just laugh at it. I think to myself ‘oh should I say something should I tweet about it?’ Eh I don’t know if it’s even worth my time.”

He continued by stating, “But at the same time regardless of how I feel about Justin Bieber, whether I like him or not, I don’t even know the kid so how can you like somebody you don’t even fucking know so I don’t have anything to say about him personally. But his music’s good. I like his music.”

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Photo by BenMillerPhoto.com

While Carter’s early career found great success, the pop star was left with a dangerous addiction. Fueled by his stage fright, he developed an addiction to Xanax, taking more than three times the normal dose of Xanax at the height of his addiction. Aaron was blessed with an opportunity to escape the addiction after an intervention from his family.

Stepping in the theater world at a young age, Carter appeared in Seussical, a Dr. Seuss themed Broadway musical, back in April 2001. More recently in 2011, Carter starred in an Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks, the world’s longest running musical.

We had time to speak with Aaron during our cover shoot while eating Chinese for lunch to discuss his self-produced upcoming album, Fool‘s Gold, hid views on Justin Bieber,  importance of music education, Grammy‘s and more.

Contrast Magazine: What have you been up to? Tell me about this tour you’re wrapping up soon.
Aaron Carter: The tour is just some days to preview some of the new stuff that I’ve been working on myself because I’ve been producing a lot of my own music for the last 10 years but I haven’t really released anything. I’ve worked with other producers, but now I just feel like I’m getting to a point where I’m comfortable with the sound that I’m creating and that’s what I want to put out in the world.

CM: Awesome. What  goal would you like to achieve with this album?
AC: A Grammy.

CM: What is your single ‘Fools Gold’ about?
AC: Fools Gold is about a relationship thing where you know you do something bad in a relationship and you lose the person that you’re with because of a mistake that you make. And then that person goes fucking around with other people and you feel like they’re falling for somebody who’s not as good as you. It’s kind of complicated.

CM: It always is.
AC: Personal.

CM: What’s the biggest misconception that people have about you?
AC: I don’t even care. At this point in my life I don’t focus my energy on people’s opinions because it’s just a waste of time.

CM: Who are some of the people that you look up to?
AC: Producer-wise; Jim Jonsin, Deadmau5.. Let me think. Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin, Prefuse 73, Boards of Canada, Mouse on Mars, Nathan Fake, Jon Hopkins, Tycho, Phil Kieran… people like that.

CM: Do you have any big names featured on this album?
AC: No big names featured. I’m not really looking to use anyone’s name for a piggyback or anyone to cosign. I’m more interested in proving myself and taking what I have and what’s been built for me and my career and reintroducing myself to the world.

CM: Sexting or phone sex?
AC: Sexting.

CM: If you could hotline bling one person who would it be?
AC: No comment, Haha!

CM: Fuck Kill Marry. You have to fuck one, kill one and marry one: Nicki Minaj, Kim K, and Kate Moss.
AC: Nicki Minaj, fuck. Kim K, kill. And then I guess I’d marry the last one.

CM: Marry Kate Moss. Not the worst thing that can happen. — How do you feel about being compared to Justin Bieber lately?
AC: You know it is what it is. We’ve kind of had similar careers. I’ve been away from the scene though and doing something a little different. And sometimes I just got to keep my mouth shut. But sometimes fuck it who cares? I’m going to open my mouth. What are you going to do about it? There’s things that are said in the media and questions and stupid things that I hear and I just laugh at it. I think to myself ‘oh should I say something should I tweet about it?’ Eh I don’t know if it’s even worth my time.

But at the same time regardless of how I feel about Justin Bieber, whether I like him or not, I don’t even know the kid so how can you like somebody you don’t even fucking know so I don’t have anything to say about him personally. But his music’s good. I like his music.

CM: How do you feel about Billboard Magazine’s interview with his attorney and comparing his path to yours?
AC: I thought the question was a little demeaning because Aaron Rosenberg you don’t even know what I’m doing or who I am. And to see their camp of letting questions – I think it’s hilarious that the question verbatim was ‘How did you get Justin Bieber to not turn out like Aaron Carter?’ Ok, well I didn’t turn out dead. I’m still focused. I’m producing my own music. I’m writing every day. I’m in the studio with people. I’m on tour I’m performing always. I’m consistently making money. So I don’t know – how did you get Justin Bieber to not turn out like me?

CM: The world will never know. — Recently your backlash because of a tweet you said about Michael Jackson. What do you want to say to the people who didn’t understand your post?
AC: Well first of all you’re all idiots for misinterpreting something then doing exactly what I was explaining that people shouldn’t do that I was experiencing.

So I did a show in Orlando and everybody was talking about me being skinny and talking behind my back and it was causing me a lot of anxiety. And then when I was in the car on the way to the airport after the show I did with Joey Fatone and all of these people, my limo driver was ‘yeah you know you’re amazing blah blah blah but you need to eat more. You’re like the white Michael Jackson and your performance was amazing but you need to eat more.’

And little does this guy know, I opened up for Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden, I performed a song with him. I did a charity song with him called “What More Can I Give” This is all documented and stuff. I smashed a birthday cake in his face at his 42nd birthday party. People don’t even know the relationship that I had with Michael.

And what I was saying was that when he passed me the torch was he passed me the torch on how to love people and to not judge people. Why do people think that Michael looked the way that he looked? He did that because he felt so judged that he constantly had to change his image and do that kind of stuff and that’s what I meant. And everybody attacked me and misunderstood. It’s just fucked up because people look for a reason to jump onto somebody but I’m the last fucking guy you should jump on because I’m too intelligent and I will put you in your place with intellect and facts. So if you want to come at me like that, anybody out there like that – you’re messing with the wrong guy.

CM: And you and your brother were very close to Michael.
AC: Yeah we were very close. And I was even closer with him than [Nick] was.

CM: Was he a big mentor for you musically?
AC: Yes, absolutely. Michael called me, was there for me. He was always in touch. We spent a handful of times together, but from the concerts to the birthday parties to the song that we performed together, the song that we recorded with him in the studio that he personally vocally produced me on. He would call me all the time and check in with me and touch base.

CM: You recently performed for VH1’s Save the Music. Why is music education important to you?
AC: Because it’s something that I focused on and honed in on making beats and making music and doing all that stuff. You know, it’s something that was a good outlet for me so I truly support it. — Anybody who wants to be involved in music, my best advice is you have to do it all the time. You have to practice as much as you can and surround yourself with people that are better than you that you look up to as references and templates.


Written by Frank Costa
frank@contrastmagazine.net | @FeistyFrank

Interview by Haley Camille
haley@contrastmagazine.net | @HaleyCamille

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