Aaron Hines returns to Charleston to celebrate the release of his EP Love Now Or Later that blends soul, R&B and pop | Provided

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Hines is stepping into his full potential. The Charleston-native-turned-Texan spoke to the City Paper ahead of the Oct. 28 release of his biggest personal project to date, an EP entitled Love Now Or Later.

“I’ve gotten comfortable with who I am as a person, and I’ve gotten comfortable with my journey,” Hines said.

This confidence comes from years of experience using music to foster connection. Growing up in a military family, it was difficult for Hines to cement friendships when moving so frequently, but he realized that he could bring people together by performing music. 

“It was an easy way to just connect with somebody,” he said. “Maybe [we] don’t have anything in common … but we can appreciate and love the same music. I think I already figured out very, very quickly how people responded to that ability.”

Winning his eighth grade talent show solidified his instinct that creating and performing music was what he was meant to do. Already a gifted vocalist and drummer, he learned the piano, and, a few years later, the guitar. 

Hines appeared on season 21 of NBC’s The Voice in 2021, which afforded him the opportunity to foster incredible connections, a new network of support and a heightened sense of responsibility for his craft.

“As an artist, we are in full control of our career,” he said. “I had this cool platform. I wanted to make sure that I gave them something worth listening to and watching.”

The TV experience ignited Hines’ creativity. He released three singles this year: “MAZE,” “Jaded” and “Chocolate Covered.” The songs show him pairing rich, emotive vocals that call to mind soul and gospel greats with of-the-moment R&B and pop energy. 

“I think what inspires me is just being curious. That’s the foundation of my creativity,” Hines said. 

The Love Now Or Later EP contains the previously released three singles, plus four new tracks. “I think everybody’s going to have a song that connects directly and deeply with their experience,” he said.

Hines also works as the creative director for a church in San Antonio, balancing personal creativity with ministry. 

“Here’s what I’ve found: I’m supposed to be in both spaces. I believe that we grow in uncomfortability,” Hines said. “And I’ve always kind of been a risk taker. I’m a believer, I’m a Christian. I also love God. And I don’t think I have to choose.” 

Hines is celebrating his EP release with a hometown show Nov. 13 at downtown jazz club and bar The Commodore, one of the first places he ever performed. Charleston artists LaFaye, Jeremy Navar and Tommy Brown will support him on the stage. 

“It just made sense to do my concert in my hometown,” Hines said. “It feels like a full circle moment.”

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