add to queue

Ava Max is Listening to Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, and Ava Max

Photos by Charlotte Rutherford.

This is “Add to Queue,” our attempt to sort through the cacophony of music floating in the algorithmic atmosphere by consulting the experts themselves. Our favorite musicians tell us about their favorite music—the sad, the happy, the dinner party-y, the songs they want played at their funeral. In this edition, we speak with the chart-topping “Sweet but Psycho” singer Ava Max, who recently released her anthemic debut album, “Heaven & Hell.” From pop legends like Mariah Carey to tracks from her own burgeoning pop career, Max shares what’s on her playlist. 


ERNESTO MACIAS: I’m sure it’s been a crazy week. We’re leading up to the release of your debut album. So how do you feel?

AVA MAX: I’m so excited. I feel like I’m dreaming literally every second until it’s actually out. But I mean, I’m just so happy that people are going to actually have the album finally because I’ve had it for so long. So now I’m like, “Take it.”

MACIAS: What is the last song you listened to?

MAX: You know when you can’t think? “Sway With Me,” it’s with Saweetie, from the Birds of Prey soundtrack.

MACIAS: Do you have a song that makes you sing no matter where you are? 

MAX: Well, really any Destiny’s Child song, but definitely “Survivor. “ Because I feel like it just gets me pumped. I’m like, “I’m a survivor.” You know? 

MACIAS: It’s such a power anthem. Okay. Let’s see if you remember this one. Where was your first concert and who was playing? 

MAX: The first one was I think a really bad one that I’m not going to mention, but Beyoncé was one of my favorites growing up. I went to a Beyoncé concert and it changed my freaking world.

MACIAS: Do you remember the first music video that left an impression on you?

MAX: I liked a lot of Britney Spears videos, but this is tough. So, “Toxic.” I thought was really iconic because it was just such a great theme and it was so animated. I guess, it was just so good. Everyone’s seen “Toxic.”

ERNESTO: I think it’s such an impactful video for a lot of us that got to experience it.

MAX: It inspired us to do creative things.

MACIAS: Britney Spears all the way. What’s a song that always puts you in a happy mood?

MAX: [Singing] “Umbrella, ella, ella.” Rihanna.

MACIAS: If you were hosting a dinner party, what kind of songs or artists would you put on the playlist?

MAX: A dinner party? It would have to be a party-party. Not a sit-down party. Probably like “No Scrubs,” TLC, maybe “Jumpin’, “Destiny’s Child. 

ERNESTO: What about a post-breakup playlist?

MAX: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” that one. You’re like, “This girl is crazy.”

MACIAS: It’s nice to hear people having fun. What about getting ready to party playlist?

MAX: I would say probably, “Drunk in Love,” Beyonce and Jay-Z.

ERNESTO: I’m sensing a Beyoncé theme here. 

MAX: I just love Beyoncé. I am such a huge fan. Oh, and “Doin’ It Right,” Daft Punk.

MACIAS: Oh, that’s a good one. All right. What album or song takes you back to your youth?

MAX: Mariah Carey. Any Mariah Carey album takes me back to my youth.” Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey takes me back to my youth.

MAICAS: If there was a song that you could play for the entire world and you think that it could save the world, what would it be?

MAX: I feel like it would definitely be a Coldplay song. Right? He’s like so good. Let me think. Right? Am I crazy? “Paradise” or “Yellow.”

MACIAS: If your life were a TV show, what would be the theme song?

MAX: This is a tough one, but I would say “Sweet but Psycho.” You can do so much with that concept.

MACIAS: Out of all the songs that you are releasing soon, which one are you most excited or nervous for people to hear, your fans to hear?

MAX: “Call Me Tonight” is a really special one.

MACIAS: Why is that song special to you?

MAX: One, I’ve always wanted to work with the A Strut team, and I did that with Cirkut and Shellback and a few other artists as well, like Tove Lo. “Call Me Tonight” is a really special one because I’ve never worked with some of those people.

MACIAS: Amazing. I don’t have any more questions.

MAX: You can let everyone know that I’m actually sweet but psycho.

Listen to Ava Max’s “Add To Queue” playlist below, and follow Interview on Spotify for more.