AJ McLean has had 20 years of hits with his pop band the Backstreet Boys, but he’s ready to carve out his own individual path in country music. After debuting two songs in 2018, McLean is ready to officially release his first song to country radio with “Boy And a Man.”
“It immediately grabbed me,” the singer told PEOPLE of the track written by Dave Fenley and Rob Crosby. “It’s that growing up type of story — a becoming of who you’re going to become. For me, personally, I’ve always tried to be old-fashioned. I try to always be a gentleman especially when my wife is concerned, from opening the door for my wife to getting up to make her coffee in the morning — always putting my family first.”
“‘Boy and a Man’ is that growing up story about finding that one true love even when you’re super young and never wanting to let that person go and really just hanging out for the long haul,” he continued. “I wish that I would’ve met [my wife] Rochelle back when we were kids, but that’s not what destiny had set out. It’s a beautiful love song. It has such a great message.”
Strong messages and telling stories is exactly what drew McLean into country music, especially after collaborating with Florida Georgia Line on the smash hit, “God, Your Mama and Me.” The ability to share more of himself with music lovers made writing his debut country album, Long Road, a fulfilling task.
“The reason why I gravitated more towards country — country music tells stories. 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.”
McLean will share his music with fans in the spring of 2019 when Long Road is released. Until its debut, check out some exclusive photos from his time in the studio above and listen to “Boy And a Man” below.