Ava Max
Ava Max’s single Sweet but Psycho is out now! Credit: Lauren Dunn

EXCLUSIVE: Ava Max Talks Sweet But Psycho and Upcoming Work

“If I had to describe myself, I would say that I am a bit this and that. I am a chameleon. (…) But sweet but psycho is a good description as well.” As far as we can tell, she is one of the sweetest people we have met. Read for yourself about our favorite new pop star.

“Ava Max” is a name you should learn and remember, if you haven’t already. The singer-songwriter is currently blowing up the charts with her latest release “Sweet But Psycho”. And rightly so. It is pop at its finest. Filled with a big chorus and the kind of production that reminds us of the golden days of the genre, it could well end up on many “Best of 2018” lists.

With a number one hit in Sweden, a nose for insanely catchy melodies and a feature on David Guetta’s latest album already up her sleeve, Ava is now basically just one step away from superstardom. Maybe even less as the first certifications are rolling in. “I actually just got the notice that [Sweet But Psycho] is going platinum [in Sweden] too, it’s crazy“, she gushes, amazed herself at how her rise is happening so fast. In between her travels around Europe, the singer caught up with CelebMix to talk about how it all started out and how she would like her way to continue.

Originally hailing from Albania – like basically all the greatest pop stars nowadays do – her family relocated first to France, then to the United States where the singer was eventually born. From a young age, Ava knew that music is playing in her veins. “My mum always sang around the house. So when I first heard her singing, I was mimicking her and always singing behind her, trying to be as good as she was.” From there on, she started practicing and honing her skills until “all of a sudden I was in a showroom competing and it just got bigger and bigger from there.

At age 14, she asked Pharrell Williams for advice on how to break into the industry. Inspired by her family’s courageous decision to leave their war-torn country in the past, she later decided to move to Los Angeles in order to follow her true calling.

But it was only when she met the legendary producer Cirkut (“Wrecking Ball”, “Starboy”, “Till The World Ends”) in a club that her dream finally turned into reality.  “I never worked with anyone as talented as he is. He is such a sweet person and very humble“, Ava gushes about the producer. Since then, they have worked on six tracks together and started defining what is now her signature sound. “I want my music to always be edgy, outspoken, and to give off a good vibe.” Bubbly, fun-filled and empowering, Ava’s lyrics reflect this desire. “I want to make my audience feel inspired through them. I want that to be heard through my lyrics.”

Hits like the feminist re-work of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” ensued to spread that message crystal-clear into the world. Appropriately titled “Not Your Barbie Girl”, the track features a slick electro-pop production accentuating Ava’s verses. “I can take myself on a dinner date, buy myself diamonds and champagne”, she sings during the hook just before going over to the chorus. “I actually came up with the idea to come up with a new version of “Barbie Girl” because I just wanted to get people inspired that you can do your own thing“, Ava Max explains about the creation of the track.

Shortly after this release, the singer dropped what is now known as her breakthrough hit “Sweet but Psycho”. The song deals with a a girl that makes you come back for seconds yet is “grab-a-cop-gun-kinda-crazy (…) poison but tasty”. It is a pure blessing for the pop landscape, and ended up being an anthemic track that is- rightly so- currently climbing the Spotify charts. “Cirkut made a beat in five minutes“, she talks about the creation of the song. On the topic of why she chose to create a pop song as such, Ava cites her influences as a reason. “I always sang songs with big vocalists in it, like Christina Aguilera, so my entire life I knew that I always wanted to do it that way, that I wanted to express myself with my voice.

What followed after would also end up being another highlight in her short career: the release of her collaboration with David Guetta on a brand new track for his latest album release. “Let It Be Me” keeps the singer in known territory. Crafting proper pop is what she does best after all. “The song itself started out on a piano“, the singer revealed to us during the interview. “Somehow David Guetta heard of it and Cirkut got in the room, too. It was basically like a big party in the room when we had it finished.” The finalized version reveals the singer longing for a lover to come to her, to “let it be me” when he is looking for someone to show him what love is supposed to look like. The infectious, summer-ready beat then leads into a post-hook that takes us all the way back to the 80’s. “It was actually David Guetta’s idea to put “Tom’s Diner” into the song and we kind of instantly knew that we had to keep it in there.” It certainly was the right choice to do so.

After all of these big achievements, what is next for Ava Max? What can a girl (who has worked with with such big names and achieved so much so early on) strive for?

In the case of the singer-songwriter, she definitely has her bucket list all set up. First of all, “I’m going to Berlin and Hamburg to do some promo and a couple of performances, my cousins from Albania also live there so I’m excited to see them.” In case you would like to see one of her performances for yourselves, you are in luck as the singer is already planing big things for the future. “My goals are to start touring, doing shows and hopefully get to meet a lot of my fans and just basically doing a lot of meet and greets.”

Music-wise, we can expect a lot more coming soon as well.  “I have a song coming out on Tuesday called “Make Up” with Jason Derulo. It is a very flirty song which I haven’t done yet so I’m excited. And there are also two other songs coming out by the end of this year.”

Bubbling with joy, we asked the most important question of the day. Will an EP follow soon? Or maybe even…an album? “An album for sure. I have been working on an album. And it is probably coming out for sure next year.

And in that moment, we could have sworn that we were in heaven.

We most definitely wish you the best of luck in your career and hope to see you during one of your concerts live. You are going to be a big star, Ava, we just feel it in our guts.

At the end of the interview, the “Sweet-but Psycho” songstress also gave us some advice that she wanted us to share with you, our readers. “I want you to know that it is okay to do things your own way. Be you.

Be sure to check out Ava Max’ music and to follow her on her socials.

Enjoying “Sweet But Psycho”? Tell us all about it, either by reacting down below or by tweeting us @CelebMix.


Written by Heiko

Hi, I'm Heiko, I'm 24 years old and a bit obsessed with pop music.
Want to get in touch with me? Contact me: heiko.celebmix@gmail.com