Ava Max has sort of just appeared in the music industry. All of a sudden her name was mentioned more often than anyone else after ‘Sweet But Psycho’ shot to number one in the UK charts and fourteen other countries, but there’s more to her than just this song.
‘Sweet But Psycho’ is a strong pop song, and that’s all there is to it. There’re no attempts at mixing in different genres in a way never done before, nor are there any big collaborations to get recognisable names for promotion. It’s just Ava Max and some modern sounding music, and it’s a banger.
Similar to Rita Ora, she was born to Albanian parents, and she began singing professionally in America. As with almost every singer on the planet, she stunned audiences from a very young age with the quality of her voice, which could be placed down to genetics; her mother gave her some opera singing genes, and she’s taken these and put a pop twist on them. If it wasn’t for her parents moving from Albania to America in pursuit of pastures new, Ava wouldn’t have found the encouragement to make the move herself from Wisconsin to Los Angeles – ever since, she’s been gaining more and more fans and is quickly becoming the biggest new pop start to come out of the states.
Despite her sudden success, it was only 2017 when she had her first professional credit as a singer on Le Youth’s ‘Clap Your Hands’. A mixture of Ariana Grande and Sigrid, ‘Clap Your Hands’ was remixed countless times by several DJs including Armand Van Helden, spreading the track and her vocals to the biggest audiences possible.
Ava Max’s first single came in the following year. ‘My Way’ – not a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic – could easily feature on the same family tree as Bishop Briggs’ album given its empowering lyrics and minimal yet strong production. This, too, was remixed several times and followed by ‘Not Your Barbie Girl’ which, yes, does sample *that* song. But it adds original verses in what Cool Accidents described as a ‘feminist revamp’ of the 1997 track for the 2018 age. She also released ‘Slippin’’, a collaboration with Gashi.
So Ava had already done a lot and worked with some big names. It was obvious she had the quality of an arena filling singer and the correct personality and vibe to keep herself trending for weeks. Now it just had to happen.
It was December 2018 that she released ‘Sweet But Psycho’, and the inevitable breakthrough moment came with the track hitting the top of the charts across Europe. It only reached 35 in the US but that didn’t matter. He status as a big pop star was confirmed, and almost as a reward, she was invited on to David Guetta’s album 7 as a guest star on the track ‘Let It Be Me’.
David Guetta is one of those artists who can just give fame to someone with the click of his fingers. The album also featured Anne-Marie, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and Jess Glynne to name a few; a crop of names with which Ava can now be associated.
The upcoming year promises to be exciting for Ava. Four music awards are currently pending: ‘International Song of the Year’ for ‘Sweet But Psyho’ at both the Danish and Swedish Gaffa Awards, while Ava herself is nominated as a ‘Rising Star’ and ‘International Breakthrough of the Year’ at the Global Awards and back in Sweden respectively.
Her debut album, whenever that may happen, is bound to go straight to number one, and a similar breakthrough in America is surely just around the corner. This is just the beginning for Ava Max.
Written by Oscar La-Gambina