A little over a year after Ava Max’s single “Sweet But Psycho” peaked at # 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2019 – she is climbing the charts again with her new hit, “Kings & Queens”. The success of the song comes at the perfect moment, as the pop singer-songwriter’s debut album, Heaven Hell, will be released on September 18th.
What was it like for Max to see “Kings & Queens” climb the charts? (The track also climbs from 24 to 22 on the Pop Songs airplay chart of September 19.)
“I feel so thankful just to release music and people are listening! Especially during a pandemic! “Max tells the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below).
“I know a lot of people are struggling right now. Music, for me, is medicine. And I couldn̵
Although “Kings & Queens” is Max’s second Hot 100 hit, it has quickly amassed huge streaming numbers in recent years. Collectively, his songs have garnered 1.17 billion streams on demand in the United States, according to Nielsen Music / MRC Data. Unsurprisingly, “Sweet” represents 692 million of that sum, but it also amassed large totals for “Kings” (94 million), “So Am I” (158 million), “Not Your Barbie Girl” (73 million) and ” Salt “(50 million). All of these songs, with the exception of “Barbie”, are included on track 15 Heaven Hell album.
Below are some highlights of Max’s chat with the pop shop podcast, including how he is “living proof that it can take more than 15 years to become any industry,” what he thinks is a supporting tour. of Heaven Hell it might look like (“it’s going to be wild”) and because there are no ballads on the new album.
Can you tell us how “Kings & Queens” got together?
The song actually came together in a lot of different ways. It came in parts. Like, Madison Love and me, we – I mean, if you want to be technical – (we wrote) the verse and the pre-chorus, and we wrote that part. And then the chorus we got from RedOne (co-producer and co-writer), but it was completely different from what we have now. So it wasn’t called “Kings & Queens”. It had nothing to do with anything you feel right now. It was just the melody. (sings “da da da da da.”) And we were like, “Oh, that’s great.” But then we made it ours and (co-writer) Leland, Madison Love and me, and (co-writer / co-producer) Cirkut, we walked into the studio and just did it for what it is now – “Kings & Queens “.
We saw that you have Desmond Child listed as a songwriter and that left us for a second, but then we realized the (interpolation of the song written by Child “If You Were a Woman [and I Was a Man]”) How did this contribute to the song and melody?
You know, Cirkut and RedOne walked into the studio and did their magic. And after we all heard it, we loved it. I mean, it was just more of a production thing.
“Kings & Queens” has this empowering vibe – it’s very fierce. You talked about how the song transformed over time. Has that always been your goal to have a song that fits the “I’m a Fierce Woman” theme?
I think for me, as you can see, it’s a theme in all my songs … I think you can say that surely I’ve been told “no” many times. And I’ve gotten to the point where I look back now, and I’m like “look who’s laughing now?” Like, for example, the new song I just released (called “Who’s Laughing Now”). And it really means a lot to me too. These hymns, I think, can help someone else I’ve passed something to. And besides, I’m living proof that it can take more than 15 years to make any industry, and for me it was the music industry. But in the end you can do it. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I know, you know, there were times in my past that were dark, and I never thought I’d make it. And now, you know, I look back and I’m so happy that I continued and didn’t choose a different career.
Your new album (Heaven Hell) has been in the works for a while, so how does it feel (it’s almost out)?
It looks surreal … now it starts to look real. Until now it didn’t feel real. (Editor’s note: This interview was taped in August.) Like, OK, here we go, it’s on its way out. And I can’t help it. He’s coming out. (Laughs.) People will listen to it, and people will judge it, and people will love it, they will hate it. You know, I tend to be very polarizing, and I’m aware of that. And I’m fine with that. And I’m excited to see what people’s favorite songs are.
You get that kind of “what will people think about this song?”
You know … there are a couple of songs on the album that people don’t expect from me. They are sounds a bit more beautiful and lively. Like, not like upbeat and dance. There are two that are a little softer and I feel like people will definitely say “oh, OK, not all songs are super optimistic”. But there are no ballads. It’s like a mid-tempo. The only mid-tempo. (Laughs.)
Interesting. Why did you go against ballads on this album?
Because they are all or nothing. It’s like, I really feel like that. I really am. And I couldn’t just have a ballad. If I have an album with a ballad, I need at least four solid ballads. And we just didn’t want to take away the dance and hymns that were already there. So I think maybe one day I’ll have an album full of ballads, we’ll see. (Laughs.)
The last time you were on the podcast, about a year ago, you talked about hopes of touring together. Do you still have a vision in your mind of getting music on the road next year, after COVID? Have you already thought about what a tour could be like?
I have. It will be very, very theatrical. And it will be wild. Wild is the word. Like, it’s going to be really crazy because I’m a visionary – I really see things before I finish a song. I know exactly how I want the video to be, what colors I want in the video (be it). Is very strange. I’ve been like this my whole life – as I see it in my head moving forward. So, I’m really excited to do a tour. We had one scheduled for the United States, actually, in September and October (2020). But we couldn’t announce it, so we canceled it, because, you know. So I was excited about it, but you know, something called the pandemic coup. (Laughs.) … I just know I’m thrilled to be back on the road and can’t wait to do my first official world tour for Heaven Hell.
Elsewhere in the new episode of the Pop Shop Podcast, hosts Jason and Keith discuss the launch of the two new Billboard charts: the Billboard Global 200 and the Billboard Global 200.Excluding US Plus, there is a weekly chart of Queen coming to her. first, and so far only, the number 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the 1980s The game.
The Scoreboard Pop shop podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop Scoreboardthe weekly charts of. You can always count on a lively discussion of the latest pop news, fun statistics and stories on the charts, new music and guest interviews with music stars and people from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear ScoreboardSenior Charts Director Keith Caulfield and Senior Director, Music, Jason Lipshutz each week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)