AJ McLean is ready to show his country side.
The 40-year-old singer may be gearing up for a new album with the Backstreet Boys, but he’s also been working on his own solo project for quite some time. ET caught up with the musician during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards red carpet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday, where he dished about diving into country music and his stylish getup.
Arriving in a burgundy suit, white button-up, black skinny tie and glitter Dolce & Gabbana shoes, McLean told ET, “Normally I do not like to wear a suit. I actually hate it, but this is the only suit of all my suits in 25 years that I actually had tailored to fit me perfectly. I stood up on the little box, measurements everywhere, and it’s my all-time favorite suit.”
McLean is no stranger to country music. The Backstreet Boys collaborated with Florida Georgia Line in 2016 for the hit single “God, Your Mama, and Me,” and did an episode of CMT’s Crossroads last year. Entering into a new genre really inspired McLean, who is now diving into the Nashville sound for his upcoming solo music.
“Doing that song with [FGL], “God, Your Mama, and Me,” and then doing Crossroads, the Smooth Tour, just kind of being submerged in the whole Nashville scene, was so inspiring to me,” he confessed. “And out of all genres, country is probably now one of my favorites. It’s all about telling a story; every song is so relatable to anyone, but my goal is a little different. I want to come in and I want to disrupt country. I want to shift. I want to shake things up just like FGL did. So you guys are in for a treat.”
“I’ve been doing some writing, as well as working with some very talented writers back in Nashville,” he teased. “So we’ll see what comes of it.”
As far as the sound he’s going for, the raspy-voiced singer says he wants to bring “that pop/urban aspect to it,” as well a “soulful kind of Chris Stapleton/Sam Hunt vibe, but with my voice. So you guys are definitely in for a surprise.”
Meanwhile, McLean, along with the rest of the Backstreet Boys, recently wrapped filming the music video for an as-yet-unknown single. The five members had been busy over the last week, sharing videos and pictures of what to expect.
For more on the Backstreet Boys and their collaboration with FGL, watch below.