When we think of 2000s Disney Channel teen queens, we think of Aly Michalka and her younger sister, AJ Michalka. They were everywhere between Aly’s starring role on Phil of the Future, their Disney Channel Original Movie Cow Bells and their chart-topping music (hello “Rush,” what a jam), fans couldn’t get enough of the sister duo. Then, they kind of disappeared. Well, the girls decided to focus more on acting and let their music careers take a backseat. Now, after releasing a brand new single, “Take Me,” 10 years later, they are opening up about what it was like growing up in the spotlight and how happy they are now that they didn’t reach mega fame.

Aly, who is married to Stephen Ringer, told Elle, “My husband encouraged us to come back to music. He saw us singing and writing round the house so he encouraged us to get back out there and write music and perform…[Finally] we just said, ‘Okay, let’s give this one last go.'”

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And one last go it was! Thanks to Stephen, fans are finally getting some Aly & AJ back into their lives. But, they don’t sound exactly like they used to. Aly said, “The music we were writing then was based on fictional relationships. We were thirteen and fifteen, we were writing with zero experience. Now that I’m married, and we’ve each had many relationships and heartbreaks, we’re coming at songwriting at a much different way.”

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As crazy as their lives were, it was nothing compared to what they could have been. Social media wasn’t as big and going viral was harder than just casually getting several million likes on Instagram. AJ said, “I don’t think we were [in the] mega stardom field, but I do know that our music had done well enough that Aly and I were recognized on a day-to-day basis, especially if we were together…Had we been bigger at that age, it can be really freaky and possibly damaging. I’m glad we didn’t experience Taylor Swift -level fame because I don’t know how that would work. Thankfully we had each other; I can’t imagine it as a solo artist. [Even] growing up with super-normal parents and a solid team around us, being under the microscope is definitely a weird way to grow up.”

Wow! It’s not every day where you hear a celebrity say they are so glad they didn’t or haven’t yet reach fame at the level of someone like Taylor. I guess it just goes to show how down to earth and normal Aly and AJ really are. Even though they love being in the spotlight, acting and sharing their talents with fans, extreme A-list status is not something they strive for. I don’t know about you, but we think this makes them super freaking relatable.

After all this, Aly and AJ seem to be living their best lives. There’s only one more question we have left. Would they ever return to Disney Channel? Coming back to the network is unclear, but Aly is down for a Phil of the Future reunion which is making our nostalgia skyrocket.

She said, “I mean, sure! I guess reunions are a big thing now. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It’s a funny idea. I have no idea what they’d do necessarily with the storyline, but yeah, sure.” The future is looking bright for this sister pair!

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This post was originally published on August 22, 2017. It has since been updated.

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