AJ McLean, of the Backstreet Boys, is focusing his musical talents on the country music world. The father of two introduced his country side with the release of his solo single, “Boy and A Man.”
“It’s a love song that immediately grabbed me with such a great message about growing up and putting family first,” AJ said in an Instagram post. “Thrilled to have it as the very first single off of my upcoming album Long Road coming this Spring!”
The new tune, written by Rob Crosby and Dave Fenley (NBC’s The Voice), is a taste of what’s to come from the Florida native when he releases his country solo album, Long Road, this Spring.
“The reason why I gravitated more towards country — country music tells stories, AJ tells People. “It’s so raw and real. I just want to tell my story. I want to be able to tell people about me, my family, my beautiful wife and children and just feel the music. I want to make songs that everyone can relate to.”
“Boy and A Man” has AJ’s smooth as silk vocals singing to a woman, letting her know she deserves better and should be treated like a lady.
“Cause you deserve better than you’ve had before / Right now you’ve got a fella standing at your door / I’ll treat you like a lady / Ain’t just going to call you baby / A couple kisses and walk away / I ain’t playing no games / I’m just trying to say girl that I’ve got a plan / Cause I know what you’re missing / I’m a show you the difference between a boy and a man / Yeah I know what you’re missing / I’m a show you the difference between a boy and a man / Yes I am,” he sings in the chorus.
AJ is no stranger to country music. The 41-year-old his band, the Backstreet Boys, teamed up with Florida Georgia Line in 2017 for the hit single “God, Your Mama, and Me,” featured on FGL’s Dig Your Roots album.
In a December 2018 interview, the Backstreet Boy member spoke with One Country, hinting that a country tour may be in his future. And just who would he like to hit the road with if he could?
“To me, it’s a dream mashup to go on tour with Dan + Shay. They’re huge fans of us, we’re huge fans of them. I actually did a show in Iowa and they were the headliner and I introduced them,” he recalled to One Country. “Now, listening to their record, our sound is kind of sonically the same. It’s got that pop aspect and then it’s got the country aspect. That would be my first pick. Maybe my boy Chris Lane or Thomas Rhett or FGL. The list could go on.”
AJ’s first solo LP, titled Long Road is set to hit this spring.