Brian Littrell spent the Backstreet Boys' six-week hiatus planning his future as a record mogul and television and film producer.
The singer has gone into business with his wife, Leighanne Littrell, forming a music label and entertainment production company called BriLeigh Productions.
Littrell insists that the family-oriented company does not signal his retirement from one of the world's most beloved boy bands but he does plan to make it his day job when the group eventually cuts back on touring.
"I love being a Backstreet Boy, and I love performing, but the odds of actually traveling the rest of my life are slim," he said Tuesday while en route to a Backstreet Boys video shoot.
"I plan on making my schedule centered around being home more and doing less traveling not necessary sitting behind a desk all day dealing with business, but being a family man and being a husband. ... If I could have it my way, it would obviously be to still make Backstreet Boys records and move forward in business ventures like BriLeigh Records."
The Littrells have been mulling the venture for two years but finally got it kick-started over the last month while Backstreet Boys took a break from their tour so A.J. McLean could go to rehab (see "Backstreet Boys Postpone Tour As A.J. McLean Seeks Treatment").
The couple will focus on building a small roster of acts for the record label first, but they plan to delve into film and television projects by the end of next year. Their first release will be the soundtrack to the indie film "Olive Juice," starring Leighanne in the lead role and featuring cameos by Brian driving a horse-drawn carriage and McLean playing a club DJ.
The soundtrack, which Brian and Leighanne produced and assembled, will feature Backstreet Boys' "The Perfect Fan" as well as cuts by Los Angeles singer/songwriters Judith Owen and Brett Laurence, Joseph Graye and the Average Joe Band, and actor/musician Joe Pesci. Brian co-wrote the title track with J. Michael Davis, a local Atlanta artist who also performs the song.
"I was playing golf with the producers of the film, and we were talking about somebody producing the soundtrack," Littrell said. "I jumped in the car to leave the golf course, and I pretty much had the [title track] written by the time I got home."
Littrell said he would have performed on the track, but the Boys' record company said no. "I don't want to go solo right now, and that would have been everybody's perception," he said. "J. Michael is a longtime friend of Leighanne's. He actually sang at our wedding a very talented guy."
"Olive Juice" is due on video in early October, while the soundtrack will come out October 23.
Though BriLeigh Records has not yet signed its first act, Littrell said the label has offers out to a few artists, whom he declined to name until the deals are inked. He said the scope of the label will be broad.
Backstreet Boys will resume their tour Friday in Milwaukee (see "Backstreet's A.J. 'Psyched' To Return, Says Howie D" or click for photos from the tour). Littrell said the break has been good for everyone.
"We're looking forward to getting back on the road, and A.J.'s doing well," he said. "We're heading to Milwaukee tomorrow to start pre-production and rehearsal and get back in the saddle. A lot of times just having down time is a good way to prepare for a tour. You have to have your life in order to continue on and take care of business.
"We're all very concerned about A.J.'s well-being," he continued. "With him being out on the road with us, we're all like brothers we can take care of one another."