For any millennial who grew up watching Disney Channel, Aly & AJ were legendary. Icons, really. With catchy AF songs like "Rush" and "Chemicals React," the blonde sister duo delivered anthem after anthem. To this day, "Potential Breakup Song" is one of those throwback jams that has fans belting out every lyric while being struck with a wave of nostalgia. But music isn't the only thing they were known for. From 2004 to 2006, Aly Michalka portrayed Kelly Teslow on the Disney series Phil of the Future – which by the way, remains to be a series classic. And the girls' Disney Channel Original Movie Cow Belles. I mean, that one never gets old.
But even with all this success, the Michalka sisters never felt like they reached their full potential back in the day. From a fan's perspective, this is a totally twisted notion, considering we all wanted to be them as children watching the network – but the girls really didn't know where to turn after their whole Disney Channel era came to a close.
"I think we felt like we’d done so much as young kids that we didn’t know how to top ourselves. We were like, Is this where it ends? Is this as good as it gets? Maybe we’re done. Throw in the towel. During those 10 years, there was a time when were like, 'Maybe we won’t put out music again,'" AJ Michalka explained in an interview.
Her sister Aly added that they had a lot of other stars to be compared to, which led to feeling some pressure.
"I don’t think we ever thought we reached success. We were actually frustrated we didn’t reach higher success. We never really celebrated those moments, and maybe we should’ve celebrated some more than others. But I don’t think we ever looked at each other and thought, We’re here. It was more like, We’re 50 steps behind," older sister Aly added. "Part of that is comparing ourselves to other people that were coming up at our age, but we also had another path. We were songwriters at our core, which not a lot of young artists can say. That was a huge thing for us to take pride in, and when it wasn’t coming naturally, that’s when we stopped."
Despite the fact that the sister duo, which was known as 78Violet for a brief period of time, may have taken a break from the music world for a while to work on their acting careers – but that didn't mean it wasn't a part of their lives. They took the time to experience life, which then resulted in getting the inspiration necessary to dive back into creating music together.
Aly said, "The more we were living life, the more we were stocking up on memories, events and experiences that we would eventually write about. But for AJ and I, it wasn’t a matter of us taking a break, because we didn’t really take a break – we took a break from music and continued with our acting careers. We were just tired and uninspired."
Even though the talented siblings may have felt they didn't reach peak popularity back in their teenage years, they admit now that they are glad they never reached Taylor Swift level fame. And who could blame them? They've done very well for themselves. Not only did they just release their comeback single "Take Me," but they're releasing an EP titled Ten Years in honor of the decade that has passed since their superstar prime. So let it be known – Aly and AJ are back and ready to slay once again.