Ava Max
Ava Max

Ava Max

About Ava Max

Before the thumping club hit "Sweet but Psycho" shot up charts around the world in 2018, Albanian-American artist Ava Max almost quit the music industry: "I was like, if this doesn't do it, then I think I'm going to have to pick another career, because I've been at this for 15 years," she told Apple Music. But her perseverance finally paid off thanks to her slinky hooks and sweet-salty delivery that can both sting and seduce with just one syllable. Born Amanda Koci in 1994, the singer/songwriter grew up in Wisconsin and Virginia before trying her hand in L.A., first at age 14 and then again at 17. She spent the next several years handing out demos and getting rejected by a number of labels and producers. But in 2014, she met producer/songwriter Cirkut, who helped her find her voice. She took on the stage name Ava Max—to honour both feminine and masculine qualities—and solidified the transformation with her asymmetrical "Max Cut" hairstyle. This theme of dichotomy extends into her music, with the cheeky feminist twist of "Sweet but Psycho" and then her 2020 full-length debut, Heaven & Hell. The concept album—split between bright, Gaga-esque disco anthems like "Kings & Queens" and the darker dance-pop fizz of "Salt"—conveys two powerful messages: be yourself and don't give up. "I would not be talking about female empowerment ... or having this much of a voice," she said, "if I didn't go through those obstacles."

  • HOMETOWN
    Wisconsin
  • BORN
    16 February 1994

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