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Aaron Carter wouldn't last a winter if he moves to Nova Scotia, says Halifax friend of U.S. rapper

Aaron Carter in front of the Yarmouth home he claims to be moving into permanently.
Aaron Carter in front of the Yarmouth home he claims to be moving into permanently. - Aaron Carter / Instagram

Former teen idol Aaron Carter once claimed in a song that he beat NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, but could he beat a Nova Scotia winter in reality?

A Halifax-based music professional who toured with him during his early 2000s heyday doubts it, and advises fans and haters to take his claims that he's moving to a new home in Yarmouth with a Shaq-sized grain of salt.

"Winter? Try the fall," says Wayne O'Connor, who befriended Carter while serving as his production manager when he played sold-out shows with hits like Crush on You and Aaron's Party (Come and Get It).

"I can see him coming back to Yarmouth from California in November and going, 'No thanks! House for sale!' "

The Florida-raised, California-dwelling pop singer stirred up a tweetstorm during a brief visit to Nova Scotia for a show in Halifax this past weekend, with social media posts saying he’d bought a $629,900 Yarmouth house he described as “a F****** CASTLE” with a fireplace in every room and “maple syrup on tap,” after initially saying he was buying $5.5 million Kaulback Island (assessed at  $3,256,500 and featuring a luxury home) between Chester and Mahone Bay. As of this writing, they’re still on the market according to online listings.

He also posted pictures of himself posing with the Trailer Park Boys, dressed in Sunnyvale Correctional Facility orange prison jumpsuits, presumably for an upcoming appearance on the long-running Nova Scotia-shot comedy series. In one tweet he joked that he was actually being detained by Canada Customs.

After meeting Halifax tattoo artist Nadia Katherine at his show at Argyle Street bar Sniggly Wiggily’s, Carter booked a session with her on Monday, and the tattooist later shared a pic of his new neck tattoo of a roaring lion on social media.

“Thank you for your kindness @aaroncarter, it was an honour to meet you and tattoo you,” Katherine later posted on Instagram.

“I know he was here, and I know he looked at houses, but that’s all I know,” says O’Connor, who received a FaceTime call from Carter on Saturday before the show. “All that came up in the conversation was, ‘Hey Wayne, I’m moving to Canada! I’ve always loved it here!’

“I’m actually boggled that with all the (crap) that’s been going on with him over the last couple of months, he actually got into Canada to do the show. If you were going the other way, as a Canadian going to America, and had one-10th of what he’s had on social media, you’d be sent back.”

O’Connor works with his wife Sheri Jones in the artist management company Jones & Co., which has handled the careers of artists ranging from maverick fiddler Ashley MacIsaac to Grammy-winning songwriter Gordie Sampson and the pop-folk trio Port Cities.

When he worked with Carter, he was hired by parents Jane and Bob Carter, who took over control of their son’s career from manger and convicted fraudster Lou Pearlman, who later died in prison in 2016. O’Connor recalls Carter’s reputation for being a prankster, even as a teenager, a trait he feels the singer has taken to the next level on social media.

“I wonder how much of this is just him being a performer and being an extremist to freak people out,” he says. “The other day I saw a post where he said, ‘It’s all a joke, I never got face tatts. #Punked.’ But you see the buzz and he’s still got it all over his face. ... I think he knows how to play the media, whether good, bad or whatever.”

Carter and his former production manager reconnected for the first time in years around three years ago, when he called out of the blue while O’Connor was on a promotional tour in Alberta with Port Cities. He recalls frequently flying down to the Carter family compound in the Florida Keys where Aaron’s brother, Backstreet Boys heartthrob Nick Carter, had bought a house with his parents and siblings owning houses around it. O’Connor would be given his own house, which they called the Cuban House, to stay in while they spent weeks planning for upcoming tours.

“It’s an amazing place,” he recalls. “The grounds were full of golf carts, ATVs, scooters, and dogs like you wouldn’t believe. Their mother was going to start breeding dogs as Carter’s Pugs, and there was a dozen of them living there.

“His sister Leslie would go out on tour with him and sing with his band, and his sisters Angel and BJ would do makeup and help out backstage, and they were all on salary from Aaron.”

O’Connor acknowledges that Carter has his difficulties, citing his recent estrangement from his brother Nick, but when they talked on the phone it didn’t seem like 15 years since they last worked together.

“He seemed like exactly the same kid I knew,” says O’Connor. “He sounded exactly the same, although he does swear more now than he did as a kid. But it’s not like I hung up going, ‘Wow, who did I just talk to?’ I knew exactly who I talked to.

“I had some flashes back to Ashley, who still calls me every week. He just buzzed me while we’ve been on this call, but it’s sort of the same sort of thing. He went through his own weirdness, but he still sounds like the same guy to me.”

There’s no doubt that Carter probably needs some time to clear his head, in the wake of recent news reports of his quarrels with his siblings and disposing of his collection of firearms. He also tweeted that he was heading to Cairo and buying a home in South America, but O’Connor says with his desire to stay in the limelight and be present on social media, it’s unlikely he’d be able to get away from it all anywhere.

“Nova Scotia is about as far away from California as you can get, but how far away is anything these days? You can go wherever you want, but you’re still right there. Nothing’s far away from anything anymore.”


U.S. rapper Aaron Carter claims he's moving to Nova Scotia

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