Louisiana native and social media star Aaron Carpenter features in the new issue of HERO, speaking about living life so publicly and his music career ambitions.

“Over the past six or seven months I’ve been in the studio at least four times a week, really just practicing and exercising my writing and recording and nailing down my sound because I don’t want to be coming out of the social media space releasing music that sounds amateur.” He explains in the issue. “I want it to be something that people can respect.”

Though he may have become a household name through social media, music has always been the ultimate goal for the 19 year-old. “It’s something that’s always been there, I just never knew how to go about actually doing it. The idea of having this sort of platform would have been super crazy. It’s definitely made it more possible for me.”

A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Aaron’s influences are still changing and feeding his musical output. “The more I experience the more I have 
to write about and I’m just writing real stuff, real situations I’m going through. I want my music to be something I believe in. When I sing my songs I want to be believing what I’m saying. For the past few months I’ve been taking inspiration from older R&B artists like Bobby Womack, James Brown, Al Green and Marvin Gaye.”

 

Aaron Carpenter for HERO 18, photography by Brad Elterman. Jacket and jeans from LEVI’S; sunglasses by PORSCHE DESIGN

“The more I experience the more I have 
to write about and I’m just writing real stuff, real situations I’m going through.” – Aaron Carpenter

Aaron Carpenter for HERO 18, photography by Brad Elterman

Having downloaded Instagram in 2011 at the insistence of his older sister, Aaron has quickly shot to fame with a fast growing following of 4.4 million on Instagram alone (at the time of this article). Though a seemingly public outlet, social media has had a very personal effect on him: “When I was fifteen my stepbrother, my stepdad and my very close cousin all passed away in the same year and I told my story publicly because I wanted to show people that everything happens for a reason. I do miss them a lot but people shouldn’t dwell on the past and enter that spiral of misery or depression.” He reveals, “It feels good to know that people can relate or be inspired by my story, also to hear people’s stories helped me.”

Reflecting on the effect that his mass following has had, Aaron goes on to tell us about the ‘cyber family’ he has gained off the back of his fame. “I have amazing friends I’ve met through the internet. I literally met my room mate
 and best friend through the Internet and the support from him and people via the internet is incredible.”

Buy the new issue of HERO here.