The first thing Lance Bass did after performing his new single for friends and family was to walk up to his boyfriend. It was a tender embrace that capped off a night in celebration of his single "Walking On Air."
The gathering at Pearl's Liquor Bar on the Sunset Strip brought out Bass' inner circle that included friends AJ McLean, JC Chasez and Jamie Lynn Sigler, among others.
For Bass, who hadn't been in a recording studio in more than a decade, it was an evening that took him back to his roots as a singer.
"I was very nervous to release [new] music," Bass told Billboard right before hitting the stage Wednesday night. "It's been quite a while since I've been in the studio, but it was amazing to get out there. I don't know what people were expecting from me, but as long as they're loving it, I'm happy."
"Walking On Air" was written by producer/songwriter/singer Anise K. The song features Bella Blue and Snoop Dogg as well.
"I've been thinking about music for the last couple of years and nothing really resonated with me at all until I got this song from Anise K," Bass says. "I listened to it for the first time and I thought, 'Oh my gosh that's a hit.' I have to be a part of this and I signed on immediately and went to the recording studio 3 days after that."
For Bass, the appeal of the pop song is that it can be played in nightclubs around the world and yet it can also be performed acoustically the way he and Blue performed it at the single release party.
"It's fun, good dance music and that's what appealed to me," Bass said. "It had this really cool almost Arabian sound to it with the sitar which I really love and I don't think it's used enough here in America, so that was very different to me and knew it would stand out."
Nearby watching the performance was 'N Sync pal Chasez who said he's happy for his friend for stepping out into the spotlight again, as a singer.
"I like the fact he's trying something different and decided to step into the front," Chasez said. "It's nice for him to sing a lead line and get some attention for it. It's a big deal for him and it's taken a bit of courage for him to do it. I'm proud that he did it."
Backstreet Boys singer McLean agrees.
"Why not? If you've got it, do it," McLean adds. "He's got a great voice. Take it and run with it. He's never really had that chance. Now we get to hear him."
Sigler, who calls Bass one of her best friends, said that the song is catchy in a way that you want to hear it again.
"I'm excited for him to get back into music," Sigler said. "He's so excited to perform, it's been a long time coming. I think he should get back into the studio. He was just waiting for the right song and project. This came together so naturally for him."
Bass, who as a child performed with a church choir, says that country music is in his heart as well. As for recording a full-length album, that remains to be seen. However, he's already eyeing new music in a year that will keep in busy.
He recently executive produced the documentary "Kidnapped for Christ," a story about the abuse of LGBT youth at an evangelical Christian reform school. The film, directed by Kate Logan, was recently seen and warmly received at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
This year Bass is also planning on getting married. He proposed to his fiancé Michael Turchin last year and while the pair have not had time to sit down and plan a wedding, the celebration will likely happen at the end of 2014, the singer says, adding that they'll keep the wedding song under wraps for now.
"I'm just a small town boy from Mississippi and I really didn't know that you can dream this big," Bass said. "I love the entertainment industry, every aspect of it. Behind the camera, in front of the camera, acting, singing, producing, writing. I'm always learning, I'm always improving and I want to continue the rest of my life being able to be in this industry that I love."