Birth name: Amanda Ava Koci
Born: February 16, 1994
Origin: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Bio: Born Amanda Ava Koci in Wisconsin, she was raised by Albanian immigrant parents in Virginia. She started singing at a young age and was already active in singing competitions by the time she reached high school. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue music full-time, she joined local disco revival producer Le Youth on his bright dance track “Clap Your Hands“, which became a summer hit in 2017. The next year, she showcased her Sia-esque vocals with debut solo single “My Way” (Atlantic) before following with “Slippin” and “Not Your Barbie Girl” which interpolated Aqua’s ’90s classic. That year, she also joined rapper Witt Lowry on his track “Into Your Arms” and David Guetta on “Let It Be Me” from his album 7. Ava Max issued her biggest hit to date that summer as breakthrough single “Sweet but Psycho”, an addictive pop gem produced by Cirkut (the Weeknd, Katy Perry, Rihanna), began charting across Europe. As the song built momentum across the globe, she signed with Full Stop Management, home to Charli XCX, Harry Styles, HAIM, and others.
By summer 2019, “Sweet but Psycho” had topped on over a dozen charts in Europe, as well as in New Zealand and on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. The sleeper hit was soon certified platinum in Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. Max followed with modest hit “So Am I“, which got the K-pop remix treatment with guests NCT 127. Gearing up for her official full-length, she released additional singles “Salt“, “Freaking Me Out“, and “Alone, Pt. II” with Alan Walker.
No damsel in distress, don’t need to save me.. Once I start breathing fire you can’t tame me.. And you might think I’m weak without a sword.. But if I had one it’d be bigger than yours.
Max kicked off 2020 with the single “Kings & Queens“, the fourth single from her debut album. Produced by regular collaborator Cirkut, “Kings and Queens” boasts a pulsing verse and a dramatic hook peppered with regal synths — there’s even a guitar solo that has a distinctive Queen-esque quality to it. The track finds Max delivering a message of female empowerment with a big voice and a few clever winks as she sings, “No damsel in distress, don’t need to save me/Once I start breathing fire you can’t tame me/And you might think I’m weak without a sword/But if I had one it’d be bigger than yours”.