After launching his career as a teen Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling and Christina Aguilera, Tony Lucca has enjoyed a steady, incredibly prolific music career.
With nearly two decades of experience in the music industry under his belt, Lucca is releasing his first self-titled album. Tony Lucca, on Jan. 27.
His decision to make his 10th full-length studio album a self-titled one was no accident: This is “honestly, creatively, just such a fresh start” for Lucca, he tells PEOPLE.
“This music is as much ‘me’ as anything I’ve ever put out,” he explains, going on to say that if there was any way for him to introduce himself and his music to people, it would be with this album.
In a PEOPLE exclusive, check out the world premiere of the music video for the lead single from Tony Lucca, “Delilah (When the Lights Go Out)”:
“The song is basically about a girl who steals your heart,” explains Lucca, 38, telling PEOPLE that the video involves a certain amount of “physical escapades” – he’s not lying!
On The Voice, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine
The “fresh start” Lucca refers to certainly includes his career as a musician post-The Voice. Before finishing in third place in the singing competition’s second season on Team Adam Levine, there was no shortage of drama between Lucca and his former Mickey Mouse costar, Aguilera, 34.
However, the two have effectively buried the hatchet despite Lucca facing a torrent of criticism from Aguilera during his tenure on The Voice, for which she eventually apologized on the finale.
That said, the two are not exactly pen pals.
“I haven’t seen her or spoken to her since that moment [on the finale],” he says.
There’s no drama there, though – with Lucca now based in Nashville with his wife, Rachel, son Liam, 12, and daughter Sparrow, 5, he and Aguilera simply don’t run in the same circles anymore.
Furthermore, following the release of With the Whole World Watching, the EP he released in 2013 on Levine’s label, 222 Records, Lucca is no longer on Team Adam – but it’s not over any ill will.
“He’s a busy dude. I didn’t do nearly as much with him as I’d hoped I would,” Lucca admits, “but it wasn’t that I didn’t understand why. He’s the perfect example of hard work paying off.”
On Former Costars: Timberlake
As is the case with Levine, Timberlake and Lucca remain in touch, but distantly. Prior to Lucca’s tenure on The Voice, Timberlake directed his former costar in a commercial for his tequila, 901 Silver. Later, Timberlake even endorsed Lucca’s run at the Voice title. (This is partly why Aguilera found so much issue with Lucca, though it was obvious by Levine’s continued support and praise that Lucca had an enormous amount of talent to back up his celebrity endorsements.)
With Lucca an old hand at fatherhood, Timberlake hasn’t yet discussed the Timberbaby with his former costar, but Lucca is confident that Timberlake would be a “solid parent. Far and away, [Timberlake] is one of the most impressive people I know. One of the coolest people I know.”
On Former Costars: Gosling
“When I was living in LA, I seemed to bump into Ryan Gosling more than anybody else,” Lucca says. Though it’s been a little while since Lucca has run into Gosling, 34, now that Lucca is in Nashville, Gosling managed to make a teenage dream come true for Lucca’s niece!
While Gosling was directing Lost River in the Detroit area in 2013, Lucca’s niece was staying in a hotel on a cheerleading weekend and saw Gosling in the hotel’s lobby. She went up to him, introduced herself as Lucca’s niece and snapped a pic.
“Such a genuine guy,” Lucca says. “Even though I wasn’t there, it’s always nice to hear that that’s the case.”
On Former Costars: Spears
Finally, while Aguilera did spill to Lucca that Spears, 33, used to have a crush on Lucca, he laughs it off.
“It wasn’t so much about having a crush on me as it was about her wanting to meet Keri Russell, who was my girlfriend at the time,” he says. (We feel that feel, Brit.)
Lucca’s self-titled album won’t be released until Jan. 27, but you can buy “Delilah (When the Lights Go Out)” on iTunes now.