The Backstreet Boys‘ AJ McLean wants it the country way.
In an interview with Billboard at Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards, AJ revealed he’s making a country album but, as he puts it, “I’m coming in to disrupt country. I wanna come in and shake things up.”
AJ says he got the idea after Backstreet teamed up with Florida Georgia Line and scored a #1 country hit with “God, Your Mama and Me,” recorded an episode of CMT Crossroads with them and joined them on their Smooth tour.
“Y’know, I’ve always loved country, I almost moved to Nashville, that’s how much I love it down there, but after we did [everything] with FGL…something just kinda clicked,” AJ explains. “And I just got this overwhelming inspiration to just give it a go.”
AJ says his new music is “kind of country/pop/urban with my own flair,” adding, “It still has that country storytelling vibe as far as lyrics. But the songs are definitely gonna blow y’all away.”
As for how, exactly, he plans to “disrupt” country music, AJ says he’s following in the footsteps of his pals from Florida Georgia Line, who’ve successfully collaborated with a number of pop acts.
“Just kind of not being afraid to push the limits of production, push the limits of vocal, y’know,” he tells Billboard. “Let country take a risk. Because, look, FGL’s already doing it. That door is slowly opening. Hailee Steinfeld, Bebe Rexha, Jason Derulo — so those guys have done it right.”
“To me, they’re the black sheep,” AJ adds. “They’ve stayed in their lane, they just do ‘them,’ and look, it’s friggin’ working!”
No word on when we can expect AJ’s album. Backstreet is also supposedly working on a new record.
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