Nick Lachey recently dropped the new 98 Degrees record "2.0," hit the road with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men for The Package Tour and has hosting duties on new NBC series "The Winner Is" and just saw a fourth season of "The Sing-Off" greenlit for later this year – but Lachey says becoming a new dad which is his greatest achievement.
In fact, the 39-year-old pop star was so moved by fatherhood that he squeezed in making a solo lullaby record "A Father's Lullaby'.
HuffPost Canada Music chatted to Nick about reuniting with 98 Degrees, why he loves Canada and fatherhood – from the highs of breakfast bonding with infant Camden, to having to watch his TV host wife Vanessa suffer baby blues.
Camden is gorgeous! Did you always plan to make a lullaby record?
I hadn't considered it but when I found out we were pregnant you start to experience all these emotions and feelings and for me music has always been the place to express that. I'd never heard about a guy doing a lullaby record, so I did some research, reached out to Fisher Price and here we are.
You've spent most of your career singing love songs. How was this different?
Making this record was a lot different to a pop record. The goal of a lullaby record is to soothe and put to sleep, so you have to simplify everything. It's actually hard to sing that softly and gently!
Do you sing Camden to sleep?
Every time I put him down, I sing a song I wrote the melody to when he was in the womb. I used to hum to him, then after he was born I wrote the lyrics. It's called "Sleepy Eyes."
What's your favourite song on the record?
"Father's Lullaby' because the two most important men in my life are my dad and son and that song's about passing on a lullaby that my dad used to sing to me, to Camden. One day he'll sing it to his kid. It's about the love and tradition passed down from father to son, so it's a special song.
How is love for a child different?
It's just all-encompassing. You would do anything for your children – not that you wouldn't for your wife or someone else you love but there's a sense of protectiveness and responsibility that comes with your child which you don't feel in any other relationship. He has changed my life in every possible way.
What's the most rewarding part of fatherhood?
When they start to recognise you and get excited when you enter the room. I go get him every morning and that expression when he looks up from his crib and has a big smile... He and I have breakfast together then get the paper. It's father-son time, which is really special
And the proudest moment?
Wow … the day he was born. Being there in the room, as part of the surreal experience of watching your son being born – I've never been more proud of my wife, our relationship and the beautiful product of that.
What's the biggest challenge?
Time! Being a parent is a 24-hour job and you have to delegate responsibility between the two of you and still make enough time for yourselves and your relationship.
The first child is a test to any relationship. How has becoming parents affected your marriage?
There are always challenges. Any couple will tell you that you have to consciously make time for one another. But the experience of bringing a life into the world and caring for him together has also brought us closer.
Vanessa recently spoke about suffering baby blues. What was that like from a father's perspective and how did you support her?
It's hard for a guy to fully understand – it was hard for her to even understand what was going on. Sometimes there are hormones and changes that you don't understand and it can be a little dodgy for awhile but you just have to support each other and that's what I tried to do … let her know I was there and that everything was going to be alright.
How would you describe her as a mother?
Fantastic! She's a natural. Being a mom is something she's always wanted to do, so she takes it very seriously, has done a ton of research and Camden adores her. He lights up when she walks in the room.
You've started a family during a super-busy time of your lives. How difficult is it juggling 98 Degrees' reunion with family life?
It can be challenging, but there's also something really satisfying about making it all work. The most important thing is my family, but it's also important to keep your identity and continue to work, so it's a good problem to have and one I've tried to embrace.
Will Vanessa and Camden join you on the road?
Yes. He changes so much everyday that I couldn't wrap my head around not being with him for so long, so they're going to come out for a little bit. I don't want to miss too much.
Especially at this age – he must be starting to develop a personality…
A ton of personality! And he's starting to crawl. I don't want to miss his first steps or his first "Dada'.
What was it like getting back on stage with 98 Degrees for the first time in over a decade?
Awesome. It didn't feel like it had been 12 years. It felt like just yesterday. Afterwards we agreed it was a blast and said, "Let's do more.' There's nothing like being on stage every night in front of fans who are so excited for you to be there.
Are you looking forward to playing Canada?
Canada is where 98 Degrees got our first gold record. In many ways it's where we started, so I have a lot of love for our Canadian fans – and what they meant and continue to mean to our group. We always have a blast there. I've also spent a lot of time in Vancouver for film projects. It's a great country with great fans and we're excited to go back!
A lot of older boy-banders say it's better being in the band when you're older and wiser. Would you agree?
Yeah – when you're successful the first time around it can be overwhelming. You're on this rollercoaster ride and don't necessarily stop and appreciate what's going on. We're all approaching this second go-around with a lot more perspective. We recognize we're incredibly blessed to do what we're doing and we're cherishing every moment. It's great to be able to come back and do it at a more mature age.
Looking back at being in the band in your twenties – what was the hardest part?
The schedule! We were all over the place and would be so fired up or so exhausted we didn't have a moment to appreciate what was going on. In hindsight I can, but I wish I enjoyed it more while it was happening.
So apart from your recent words of wisdom to avoid dating Taylor Swift… what's your advice to the latest wave of boy-banders?
Ha! I would say enjoy the moment. Don't get so caught up in the pressure or schedule that you don't enjoy what's going on.
You're in an awesome place right now both personally and professionally. When you look back, what's been the biggest challenge?
The self-doubt. Once you convince yourself you can do something, you can do anything you want. Then it becomes an adventure you're happy to be on. But it took awhile and a lot of nerve for me to move to L.A. and try to become a musician. Those early struggles were the hardest part.
How would you sum up your life as you approach the big 4-0?
I feel incredibly-blessed with the things that have happened and the position I'm in. The second chapter of my life is about raising a great family and enjoying the moments I share with them. The first part of my life was about me and doing things I wanted to do. Now it's more about giving them what they need and want.
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