Howie Dorough steps out with solo debut

Better late than never. At least that’s how Howie Dorough likes to think about things. As a member of gazillion-selling band Backstreet Boys, Dorough has seen and toured the world. Over the past decade, each member of the Backstreet Boys has embarked on solo endeavors while still keeping the group in tact.

With the release of Back To Me, due in stores on November 15, Howie Dorough is the last Backstreet Boy member to throw his hat into the ring of solo records. And while the record contains a generous helping of songs that any Backstreet Boys fan would find appealing, Dorough branches out from his roots, infusing electro-dance beats with modern pop music.

Last week, The MusicNerd Chronicles had the pleasure of speaking with an animated and chatty Dorough about his new solo effort and how being on his own isn’t quite as scary of a prospect as some might expect.

Why the decision to release a solo record at this point in your career? I can only imagine you’ve got your hands full enough with Backstreet Boys commitments alone. 

Dorough: I have been very fortunate to have found a balance between my personal life and my professional life that allowed the record to happen right now. And though it seems sudden to the rest of the world, I have actually been working on this record for the past five years. It was really over the course of the past year and a half that I finally buckled down and put the finishing touches on it.

How did you decide upon which musical direction you would take with this group of songs?

Dorough: My mother is Puerto Rican so I have always had a deep passion for Latin music. But rather than focusing upon one specific genre of region of the world, I wanted to make a record that could be enjoyed by people world-wise. I didn’t want to completely stray from people’s perception of what I am musically; the record has ballads as well as a number of mid-tempo tracks which I feel is what people are expecting to hear. But I also tried to push the envelope when it came to the pop direction though. I wanted to have a big Eurodance/David Guetta-like vibe in many of these songs.

Is it at all intimidating being out “on your own” as opposed to having your brothers in the Backstreet Boys behind you?

Dorough: It is an absolutely exciting prospect. The five of us came from individual backgrounds but agreed from the outset that we wanted to give each other space to spread our wings. It wasn’t all that surprising that each of us have made solo records; we have always been very supportive of one another. Making a solo record was a huge challenge for me in the respect that I didn’t have the other three or four guys to back me up. The record is 100% me and was a big reason why I took the time to make sure that each of these songs truly fit my voice. I ultimately had an open canvas to make decisions whether they were good or bad.

You’ve taken on helping to manage bands in the past few years. The groups you work with must feel as though they have struck gold to have landed you in light of the massive success you’ve experienced.

Dorough: I have always been a firm believer in helping others mostly because I had help when I was starting out. I love helping others and being in management is just another outlet that I am fortunate enough to use to express myself.

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