STORY WRITTEN BY DAVID KLEINMAN
For 21st Century Media
It’s inevitable for anyone in the entertainment industry to experience ebbs and flows throughout their career. For a child star, the parallels are magnified exponentially as they’re simultaneously carving out their identity professionally and personally while the world scrutinizes each and every move.
At 26, a 17-year veteran of stage, screen and predominantly song, Aaron Carter has experienced the trappings of fame and success that are as old as the business of show itself. First came the millions of records sold, the world tours, the unbridled screams of countless adoring tweens. The pitfalls that followed when it all came to a screeching halt, Carter doesn’t regret for a minute.
“Through pain comes strength” he declared in a recent phone interview. “I’m happy with all the stuff that I’ve gone through. If I had taken the squeaky-clean route growing up my whole life, how would I be able to relate to those people that have gone through stuff? I use it as a positive thing now. I can relate to people who go through the same things, maybe on a different level.”
Granted, the singer known for his Top 40 hit “Aaron’s Party” still knows how to have a good time. Of all of the dozens of upcoming performances scheduled on his “Wonderful World Tour,” including District N9ne on Oct. 31, there’s one Dutch date in particular that he’s very much looking forward to partaking in.
“I will definitely be enjoying Amsterdam and everything it has to offer,” Carter said through a stifled laugh. “Amsterdam is the most magical place place in the whole world. I love Amsterdam, not gonna lie.”
It’s the type of unabashed candor that has endeared Carter to Millennials all over again, enabling him to begin his proper second act. On his various social media accounts Carter exposes himself on a daily basis like few stars ever will; from tweeting his exact whereabouts in real-time to posting his cell phone number on Instagram, it would seem that nothing is off-limits when it comes to connecting with the followers.
“They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Keep your fans close but keep your super-fans closer. Maybe girls hold on for a little too long that I have to like pry away, stuff like that happens. There’s girls who want to come up on stage while I’m in the middle of doing a song, attempt to do a back flip and totally just fall on their head. All kinds of hilarious things happen, especially at meet ‘n’ greets.”
Most performers offer a photo opportunity, an autograph and a warm greeting at their meet ‘n’ greets. Luckily for his admirers, Carter is not like most performers. It’s not unusual for Carter, a “Dancing with the Stars” alum, to spin the ladies around and dip them Ballroom-style, plant a kiss on a cheek or on the lips and so much more.
“I’m not going to say that I won’t date my fans because I have, on numerous occasions. I met a girl at a meet ‘n’ greet in Nashville on the “After Party” tour that I ended up dating for nine months. It’s a little harder trying to find something serious but you never know, I keep my eye open.”
Even if the devotees don’t depart the Philadelphia concert with Carter’s heart, they’ll surely be leaving with some nostalgic memories brought up to speed to present-day. Aided by a post-pubescent vocalist, the sugar-sweet pop hits take on an evolved flavor as the tastes of his audience have matured with time.
“It’s crazy to think ten years later I’d come back, singing these songs and singing them in their right keys. How I sounded when I was younger was amazing and listening to myself, I’m better now. Doing the songs from my past, it’s a part of who I am so I’m going to represent it. I’m not going to hide from it because it’s helped me establish a relationship with my fans.”
As for if he’ll be dressing up for his local Halloween performance, perhaps as James Franco in response to the Oscar Nominee’s recent Carter-inspired blonde locks, he keeps it in the fashion of aiming to please, requesting “suggestions for what I wear. I let the fans decide.”
IF YOU GO
What: Aaron Carter
When: Friday, Oct. 31 8 p.m.
Where: District N9ne, 460 N. 9th St, Philadelphia
Tickets: $18 pre-registration, $25 at the door with various VIP options $50-$400
Info.: For tickets, call (215) 769-2780 or check www.aaroncarterontour.com