Ava Max went BIG with ‘Sweet But Psycho’

I’ve learnt that patience is key to anything remarkable. Patience is the number one thing. Even when I make a song, for instance, I want it out the next day, but I have to wait. You have to shoot a video; you have to figure out exactly what I want to portray in the song so everything in life takes patience.

What have you learnt about yourself throughout this insane year you’ve had?

Perseverance and really knowing yourself is key because in the beginning, let’s say 10 years ago, I moved to California when I was 14, I didn’t know who I was. I was just a girl who loved to sing and write songs so it’s very special for me to be here right now.

The asymmetric hair is an epic look – talk me through this hair journey…

This is a weird haircut but that’s exactly why I kept it. I accidentally cut one side instead of cutting both sides. I looked in the mirror and went, ‘I like this, and this looks like me.’ After getting crazy weird looks when I went to the grocery store, the mall. I was getting the weirdest looks and I was like, ‘you know what?

This cements everything. This is good. This just shows I can do what I want.’ Even if I get weird looks, I can still be myself. It’s ok to do what you want to do. You don’t have to go with the trend. You can do your own thing and set a trend instead. That is really why I did this.

If you think you are an overachiever, you should meet Ava Max. Her debut single, the insanely catchy Sweet but Pyscho , was Number 1 on the Official UK Charts for an ENTIRE MONTH and hit the top spot in 14 countries. In the process, the 25-year-old hitmaker has notched up 23.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Casual.

After spending a matter of minutes basking in the glow of Ava Max, I quickly realise she won’t stop there. Her latest single So Am I serves up a pure dose of pop with the dance routines to match. Again, it’s addictive AF.

However, on the cusp of extreme pop stardom, Ava is whimsical about her seemingly overnight success, “I’ve been doing this for a really long time and singing has only been my one dream and it feels really good that Sweet, but Psycho has been connecting because we all have dualities to us.”

Ava has more than one duality; she is layered like an onion as she talks me through some solutions to some Agony Aunt style problems in the video above. Who knew that alongside a cracking voice, being able to mimic Britney Spears seamlessly and dance her platform heels off, she is also a cracking stalker of boys? She’s a woman truly after our own hearts. Make sure you watch the video above.

Plus, here, from her LIVE appearance at the GLAMOUR Beauty Festival, Ava Max discusses why patience was key to her success, the story behind her asymmetric hair and shows exactly why she is our Nu-Gen Pop Idol…

How important do you feel image is to success as a popstar?

Image defines our expression. Image is something that is super important -especially with So Am I, which has a very strong message. It’s about being different, being an outcast and loving yourself for who you are even if you don’t look like someone else and you have a different background. It’s important to embrace that sense of difference, so I think an image that is in sync with the music is super important!

You really know how to create a banging track with an empowering message. What’s the secret?

It takes time. There’s always so many rough drafts before you hear the final product. Anything good takes time. I can’t even express how true that statement is. So Am I itself is about misfits and outcasts and I shot it in a high school because that’s where bullying starts. That’s where we start feeling insecure and sad about ourselves because people start judging us and try to put us into a format. Then as we get older society, our jobs, our workforce try to format us.

I don’t think we should be bubbled into one thing. We are so many things and that’s ok! This song is about embracing that in a world where we have Instagram. It can be very unhealthy to compare each other on social media. It’s a good platform to spread this message but it can also be unhealthy to you compare yourself, retouch photos and trying to look like someone else instead of just embracing who you are. I want So Am I to remind people to not think about what other people think about you, think about yourself and that will make you the most confident.

What advice would you give to someone whose getting trolled online?

First of all, beauty standards online are so unrealistic. Everything I see online is so, so, SO retouched and these young girls are looking up to these things and saying I want to look just like that. But that’s not realistic so I think it’s important to change beauty standards and show that it’s ok to be yourself. You don’t have to change every little thing and also self-expression is so important. I’m all for self-expression.

We are still suffering from a lack of representation of women across all parts of the music industry – what would you like to change?

We should definitely start up more organisations to progress faster. It should be changed already. The percentage rate is insane, it’s like 5% of songs made are produced by women. I also think women who do want to get into music shouldn’t be discouraged by the percentages. We’re the next generation that needs to get in there and change it.

Are you seeing a change in the music industry?

I’m seeing it more and more in the industry but outside of the industry, I think we need to see it a little bit more, outside of LA.

What everyday sexism do you face and how do you overcome it?

I feel personally in the music industry it was hard as a female growing up to get into rooms with male producers and to get my songs, I was writing recorded as I didn’t have a home set up studio. Now I wish I kind of did because that would have been a lot of easier, but it took a lot of time because of sexism in the industry but it’s getting better, I think.

What does empowerment mean to you and where do you get your source of empowerment from?

I came from a family of strong women, so I am very blessed. My mum told it like it was since I was little, so I came from a very strong household. For me personally, I started writing my music when I flipped Barbie Girl into Not Your Barbie Girl because I felt like I wasn’t anyone’s girl. When I heard that song growing up I never really thought about the lyrics, I just liked the melody. Later on, a few years ago, I switched it and changed the lyrics to, ‘I am not your barbie girl, I’m living in my own world, you can’t touch me there, you can’t touch my body.’ I think that was such a strong message. Also, as females, people think they can come close to us, touch us and get in our personal space just because we’re beautiful women. That’s not ok and people need to ask for our permission if they need to get near us like that in a sexual way. It started with that song and then Sweet but Psycho came along. Psycho is re-defined in this song as it’s about being passionate and opinionated in a relationship. We are not psycho.

Where do you get your fire from?

Not giving up. If you love something so much, you don’t give up. You just don’t. If you do feel like giving up, that’s normal. I’ve had times in the past ten years of trying and wanting this. I was down, I wanted to give up but it’s normal to feel that way. As long as you get up stronger, as cliché as that sounds, that’s all that matters.

What empowering message do you want to give to the GLAMOUR readers?

There’s so many. I can just start with loving yourself. Love who you are, where you come from, your background, where your grandparents came from. Embrace that! Go for what you want to go for in life. Don’t let anything stop you. It took me a long time to get to this point and if I HAD quit, I wouldn’t be here. Go for it. Don’t’ ask yourself what ifs. There are no what ifs. You can do whatever you set your mind to.

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