As a long-time and die-hard Backstreet Boys fan, I have followed the boys’ careers for 2 and a half decades. Early on, the boys did very little solo work, focusing any and all of their attention on the group.
Nick’s first album in 2002, Now or Never, was among the earliest projects any of them took on without the comfort of the group behind them. That project came with its share of controversy, but it also brought out a new side to Nick that many of the fans hadn’t seen yet.
Since then, each of the boys has branched out and done solo projects from music, to acting, and other non-music related projects. Reflecting on some of the work Nick has done, I generated my top 5 favorite Nick Carter solo projects (in no particular order because I love them all).
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a project; it’s just kind of Nick, as he is in real life with his family. But the fact that he lets us into his home, chatting with us like a friend at the dinner table while he casually mixes pancake or waffle batter and plays around with his kids is so heartwarming. For so many years, the boys were elusive and we had barely a glimpse into what their lives were actually like. Of course, that is their right and not at all out of the norm. But, as a fan, I always wanted to know more about each of them. Is the persona we see on stage really who they are in real life? What are their hobbies? When I first became a fan in the Backstreet Back and Millennium days, we had very little chance of getting to know the boys off stage besides an occasional tabloid picture. Now, with social media, we can get a glimpse into who they are as humans, not just performers. Spending the morning sipping hot chocolate from my BSB Fangirls mug and cooking my kids pancakes with Nick on a livestream doing the same is a fantastic way to start my day and something I never ever would’ve imagined I would get the opportunity to do. I know as a fan, we are not owed this opportunity, so I enjoy and appreciate every second of it and am thankful that Nick is so willing to let us into his life.
Solo Fan Events
Over the years, a few of the guys have done solo fan events. These events have been pre-show brunches, individual meet and greets or sound checks, Q & A’s, bowling, pool parties, birthday parties, and plenty of other things that I’m sure many of us have had a blast attending. I have been fortunate to go to a few of these including Nick’s birthday party a few years back at Top Golf. These individual events are so much fun because it just feels like hanging out with a lot of friends. When else can you get a personal golf lesson from Nick Carter? And he actually did help me with my swing! Similar to what I said before about the livestreams, the fact that Nick makes himself available to his fans for events like this just makes me proud to be a fan. His birthday party in particular sticks out because it was the first solo event I ever had a chance to attend. I was floored by the amount of time Nick spent talking to each of us and playing games with us and just being pulled around from fan to fan for picture and autograph and whatever else we threw at him. All the while, he never once complained or even made it seem like he was tired or frustrated or anything other than grateful. He was gracious, courteous, and found a way to help each of us create memories of just hanging out with a friend for his birthday. I especially can’t wait for these solo events to return!
I’m Taking Off
Although I’m a fan of Nick’s other solo music, this album is my favorite because I love and relate to each and every one of the songs on it in some way. There are no skips on this album. Every song is so beautiful and heartfelt, and Nick co-wrote every one of them. Admittedly, I wasn’t a Nick girl early on in my BSB fandom. This album came out around the time I was rediscovering the boys after the dark ages had dulled my excitement somewhat. I was still a fan, but I wasn’t as invested as I had been previously. When this album came out, I found myself getting really invested in the music again, taking the time to listen to the previous albums I’d (sadly) slept on and remembering all the reasons I had fallen in love with their music originally. I also had a newfound love and respect for Nick as an individual. Learning about his journey of self-improvement and seeing how far he had come was so inspiring, especially in a time when I was going through a lot of self-discovery and identity issues myself. This album represents that time for me. A time when I realized the power of BSB music again, and learned more about them as humans, which was not as easy earlier on in their careers. It made them more relatable and likeable in a different way than they had been before. I still play this album regularly because it gets me so fired up.
Nick has done his fair share of acting, from TV guest spots to writing/producing/directing/starring in a feature film. This short, which was released in a limited format, never got it’s due. The Pendant, which I would characterize as a psychological thriller, was also written, produced, and directed by Nick and he played the leading role. Nick has not been shy about saying that he does not think of himself as a good actor, but if you’ve ever seen him act in this, you’d know he was being modest. Not only did he play the part beautifully, the story line was also creative and well-told in a short film. This was the first time (as far as I am aware), that Nick stepped into a huge behind the scenes role in a film. It was also pretty cool to watch this project go from idea all the way to full-fledged movie (and even in a movie theater for the release party) simply because Nick put his mind to it. I am still lobbying for a Director’s Cut of this film…
The Masked Singer
Although the other projects aren’t actually ranked, this one might be my all-time favorite. I loved watching the Pink Crocodile take the stage and sing his heart out behind the mask. Sure, I knew from note 1 that this was Nick Carter. Most huge fans did. But getting to watch the pre-performance packages and learn little tidbits about Nick’s upbringing and his life through the years was such a fun piece of this show. And watching the judges’ reaction to his beautiful voice was priceless. People were finally seeing what many Nick fans have known all along: this man has serious talent. He has the voice of an angel with such amazing versatility. He can go from singing Leona Lewis to Britney Spears to Journey and make each song sound as if they were his own. That Toxic performance still gets replayed in my house and my 6 year old loves watching the Pink Crocodile dance around on stage and whack people with that long tail. I just loved that Nick got a chance to sing and perform uninhibited under that mask, and that he was celebrated for his voice and talent. He deserves those accolades. And we NEED those covers on an EP!
Honorable Mention: Crypto Nick!
Recently Nick has shared a lot about his adventures in Cryptocurrency and has become pretty vocal about why he has invested his time and money in a few of the tokens/companies. I listed this as an honorable mention because watching Nick discuss Cryptocurrency and all that goes along with it shows his genuine excitement for any project he gets involved in. When he is interested, he goes all in and it’s endearing to see his enthusiasm. Nick’s positivity and passion shine through when he believes in something and wants to share it with us. It’s something so authentic that you just have to appreciate Nick for it.
I know there are a ton more solo projects, activities, events, and all manners of individual Nick things that probably should have made this list. I am just grateful that Nick shares so much of himself with us and am looking forward to hearing more about any and all upcoming projects he has in store!