Pop star and fashion mogul Aaron Paul will be performing his songs, including his new hit “Pop Star,” at Pride Fest this year on June 24. The vivacious performer will be struttin’ his stuff in several venues prior to Pride and will be available for a meet and greet after each.

I caught up with Aaron and had him answer some questions regarding his music, Pride and the release of his brand new book.

What does it mean to you to perform at Pride Fest in NYC?
Well, it really is a big deal for me, as I’m sure as with all the other artists that I will be sharing the stage with. Pride is such a NYC institution and is also one of the biggest, most-attended events in the city events calendar. Thousands of people attend Pride, and not just only members of the LGBT community. These days you see actual families participating and observing the event with their young children. This tells us that Pride registers truly within us all. All the different colors of the spectrum and community should have Pride! It’s such a fun, vibrant, colorful event, and I’ve been asked to perform as part of this year’s Pride Fest for the first time in my career. So I plan to really bring it on that stage and deliver a performance that will get everyone into the spirit and meaning of Pride. That means I’ve gotta go shopping for some new shit to wear.

You’ve just come out with a new record. Tell us about it.
Yes, the first single and music video “Popstar” from my new album “Dance” is coming this summer 2018. It’s such a fun, funky, cheeky song. And my second collaboration is with UK pop/rock musician Simon Bradshaw of WeatheredMan. We just recently had a hit in the UK with our duet together, “Hand in My Pocket.” “Popstar” is, I think, one of my best songs ever, cause it really just speaks about me. I never really take myself too seriously, so this time I get to poke fun at myself on this record. I have been a pop star for almost most of my life, so I think I’m allowed to joke and laugh publicly at myself at this stage of my career. “I wear makeup and women’s clothes”—some of my lyrics in the song, LOL!

And you’ve released a new book.
Yes, “I Don’t Care: Lessons in Life, Love, Music and Boy Bands,” co-written with NYC journalist and LGBTQ activist Nathan James, who really is just a superb writer. It’s my pride and joy and life story, and we spent a little over a year writing it together. It’s just a witty account of my life journey so far and gives the reader a full insight about the music business, from my past being in a boy band, Worlds Apart, being discovered by and working with Simon Cowell, and finally making my mark as a legit solo artist in my own right this present day. The book is like a guide for anyone wishing to have a career in the entertainment industry, with all the positive and negative stuff you can run into. It also speaks about living in one’s truth and accepting who you are, a message for everyone to learn. Life is truly, in fact, a journey, and myself and Nathan have penned a quick, fun, must-read all about my incredible and insane journey. It’s the perfect book to read while being on the beach this summer. You won’t want to put it down.

What is proudest moment of your career?
OMG, there are just so many to mention. I have been very lucky and fortunate with this amazing career, with the places I’ve been and people I’ve met, and some of the acknowledgements along the way. Performing earlier this year at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in NYC was a proud moment. Also writing this incredible book is pretty high up there now also. I can now add author to my credentials. And the fact that I can touch people’s lives along the way through my platforms of music, fashion and now writing books is very rewarding.

What’s new on the horizon?
My album “Dance” will drop this summer, all brand-new songs written by me, and a few remakes thrown in the pot too to make you dance harder, LOL. I have a duet on the album with legendary writer and nightlife king Michael Musto. How did that happen, you ask? We are both huge Diana Ross fans, so naturally, being the queens that we and to give a nod back to our diva Diana Ross, we remade her big classic hit “Muscles,” which is just killer! This will be the next single and video released over the course of this summer. Michael sings his butt off on this record, and it was a real honor to sing with such an icon and someone who has contributed to the fabric of our pop culture like he has, and still continues to do. I’m still pinching myself with this one. WOW. Michael Musto is singing with little old moi. I’m def gonna say more fashion, music and more and more. Aaron Paul is 100% on the horizon.