Joey McIntyre Flexes Songwriting Muscle For Solo Debut

Singer Joey McIntyre is no longer a New Kid on the Block, and he's hoping that the March 16 release of his solo debut, dubiously titled "Stay the Same," will help prove that to fans who remember his days in the teen-phenom group.

Although Joey's been performing for years, he tells MTV News that he's just now beginning to write his own material. It seems that back in his New Kids days, his mind wasn't really on making music -- or at least, the process of creating it.

"Back in the day," McIntyre admitted, "we didn't obviously write a lot of our stuff, and I especially didn't because when I had my down time I wanted to go play basketball, hang out on the corner, you know what I mean? I was only fifteen years old. But now, you just can't really describe it, to be able to sing your own lyrics, it's pretty cool. So I'm excited about that."

McIntyre helped pen the first single from the

album, also titled "Stay the Same," which has jumped up into the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.