When it’s tough to choose between careers, sometimes you decide to tackle them both. Just ask Aaron Carter, who currently balances his time between the unlikely coupling of country music artist and paramedic.

Carter, who graduated from the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College paramedic program and works for Alamance County EMS, has earned accolades for his talent as a songwriter and performer, including the 2022 International Singer-Songwriters Association Single of the Year Award for his song “This Town.”

“We enjoyed having a local celebrity among us,” said Erich Byrd, Rowan-Cabarrus Emergency Medical Services lead instructor. “Students and staff will be watching as both of his careers continue to unfold.”

Carter originally hails from East Tennessee, where he draws inspiration for his songs about small-town Southern life, family and relationships. Always a music lover, he learned to play the guitar and dabbled in songwriting in high school, but music was nothing more than a hobby until he and a friend co-wrote a song while hanging out back home in Tennessee.

“It sparked my desire to keep writing songs,” Carter says. “I decided to dig out some of the songs I had started before, and I just kept going.”

When he happened to reconnect with longtime friend and touring singer/songwriter Jeremy Neely and collaborated to create even more music, Carter felt he had hit his stride. “It just felt right, and my first single, ‘Hit Rewind,’ was born,” he said. “All of my songs have a story behind them, and almost all of them have something to do with a part of my life.”

Carter has achieved success with his music on streaming platforms, and radio stations are playing his songs, including a North Carolina station that asked him to perform “This Town” live on the air.

“That got a lot of attention, and when my classmates learned about it, they became fans,” he said. “All of the people at Rowan-Cabarrus – students and instructors – are phenomenal, down-to-earth, caring people. They became my family, and it meant the world to me that they supported my music.”

At 26, Carter has some time to figure out his final game plan, but for now, he happily divides his time between his two passions.

“I am maturing with my music, and I want to keep growing,” he said. “I don’t know where this is going to go. I’m going to chase my dream of making a living with music, but I also have a Plan B since I will always love being on a truck and serving the community as a paramedic.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).