Backstreet Boy Howie D Discusses Debut Family Album 'WHICH ONE AM I?'
On Friday, Backstreet Boy Howie D. will release his debut family album, WHICH ONE AM I?, a collection of songs that offer musical reflections of his own childhood, as a young Howie Dover comes his insecurities to discover his true self.
Produced by Grammy nominee Tor Hyams, the songs inspired an upcoming musical theater production, Howie D: Back in the Day, which will have its world premiere next year at the Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. But the inspiration for the album came from Howie’s sons, James, 10, and Holden, six – his two sons with his wife of 11 years, Leigh.
Howie D on inspiration for his new album:
"The album was inspired, believe it or not, by my son. About, five years ago, when he was five-years-old, I had a hard time just relating with him with music that was out there. And trying to be a father as much as I could when I’m off from Backstreet Boys here and there. I really wanted to make sure I had that quality time with him and I had a really hard time struggling because I was like, ‘I don’t understand. There’s great movies that are out there like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and ‘The Minions’ that kids and adults can enjoy together.’ But, I just couldn’t find any connection with any music out there."
When asked to describe the album in three words, Howie said: "Inspirational, Humble, Funny."
Howie D on his album inspiring his musical:
"I’m very proud, actually, that this CD, believe it or not, inspired a musical. It was never intended to be a musical. I decided first I just wanted to write a CD and I told all my fans out there five years ago — and when we went into the writing process we finished it all probably within two months. But, as we were writing it and recording it, we realized this is actually a musical here. And this is a story that needs to be told because there’s a lot of kids that can probably relate to that journey of finding yourself."
Howie D details his musical:
"The musical, I’m actually very proud. I’m gonna be in the first run of it, playing myself. It’s called ‘Howie D Back In The Day.’ We have a great theater in Omaha, Nebraska. A theater called the Rose Theater that’s accepted it. We actually workshopped it here in New York at the New Victory Theater. And, I’m very proud that I was able to accomplish something … I’ve always wanted to get back to doing musical theater. It’s always been on my bucket list to come here to do maybe Broadway or something like that. Never did I think I’d be doing my children’s musical theater, but it’s my way in."
Which One Am I? focuses on a variety of subjects and relatable struggles Howie faced in his youth and learned to overcome. Topics include Howie’s struggle to fit into his identity as an American kid of mixed race heritage, worrying, and being in his sibling’s shadow. Howie grew up in Florida as the son of a Puerto Rican mom and an Irish-American dad and says he never knew quite where he belonged.
The album includes the single "No Hablo Español," which came out May 10th and deals with Howie’s struggle to fit into his identity. The video, which was shot at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, stars Howie’s son, James, who plays a younger version of Howie. The video also features Howie’s mother.
A second single, "The Me I’m Meant To Be," is a power anthem celebrating individuality, whose style will take moms and dads to the Backstreet days while also delivering an important message to kids.
A few of the songs from the album will be featured in the musical Howie D: Back in the Day, debuting January 31, 2020, with Howie performing in the 12-show debut run.