Want to know where MAXO gets his inspiration? The songwriter himself runs us through his tunes

Harbouring an impressive track record for upbeat, vocal and impressively emotional jams, MAXO is the velvety smooth Australian voice taking the pop world by storm.

With his current single Without You doing the rounds, we were eager to dive a little deep on MAXO’s past. Straight from the artist himself, here’s where each one of the man’s singles do date came from.

maxo without you
Photo: Mus. Musgrave

From friends’ weddings to visions of the future, MAXO gleans his sonic inspiration from just about everywhere.

Won’t Let You Go

This was the first single I ever released and I was lucky enough to get introduced to producer Craig Porteils (Guns N’ Roses, Billy Idol, Shannon Noll) to record this one with up in Sydney. The song is actually about two completely separate events that I was thinking about whilst writing it, all merged into one love song. The first verse starts out about my family who were all headed away and weren’t gonna be here for my 21st birthday, so obviously was devo about that and then the second verse was about an upcoming wedding I was performing at.

The chorus was non-existent before tracking in the studio as I had the post-chorus as the main chorus of the song in the demo, but Craig insisted it needed that extra hook. I couldn’t come up with anything before the day of recording, so I just decided to jump in the booth and freestyle and the first take was a go. I was also lucky enough to have Sharlotte Gibson, a friend of Craig’s who was visiting from the US and has toured as a backing vocalist for acts such as Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and many more, sing backing vocals on the track for me. That’s the beautiful voice you can hear in the background.

Lost & Found

For this single I ventured down to Melbourne to record with producer John Castle (Vance Joy, Megan Washington, Josh Pyke). Lost & Found is about the struggle of depression, and about finding the right help, opening up and how much talking to someone can help.

We powered through this recording but in the studio I wanted to add more to the track where we added the outro hook, which I hope as a listener gives you that get up and get out ‘F**K Yeah!’ vibe.

Meant To Be

This one is scary, I have absolutely no idea what I wrote this about, it could have been inspiration from a movie (where I get a lot of my inspiration for songs from) or just thinking about going to the coast, but the actual events happened and the lyrics came to life word for word all bar one. Maybe I was looking into the future when I was writing it.

The song is about a couple in love who get away to the ocean and get engaged. I received a call from a friend asking if I was available on short notice to head down the coast and perform on a boat where his friend was planning to propose to his girlfriend, which I did. I played them Meant To Be and they absolutely loved it, ended up making it the theme for their wedding and flew me over to Bali to perform it in the ceremony. I had not actually planned on releasing Meant To Be until possibly the EP or album but as fate has it, the groom co-financed the song to be produced with my mate Carl (who may or may not be whistling on the track) for a mother’s day present for his now wife.

I recorded Meant To Be again up in Sydney with Craig Porteils and we actually had a professional whistler come in to do the whistling on the track as well as myself and Carl, but Carl will still claim it and I just do it live.

Live In The Moment

Live In The Moment is definitely the most fun to play live and was one of the most enjoyable to write. The song breaks away from my normal serious/lovey music and brings out a more carefree, upbeat, ‘living in the moment’ side. The song is about breaking away from the conformity of society and just letting your hair down and not worrying so much about everything.

Again, I recorded this one up in Sydney with Craig Porteils and this one took forever! Not that we were having problems, just scheduling, I think we started in October 2016 and didn’t finish it til February 2017, I even managed to have Without You fully complete before we finished it. When we did have time to record it went on without a hitch and as usual I always like adding things in on the last day of recording such as the “Ayo’s” throughout the song.

Without You

My current single Without You is about the craziness of love and how hard it hits you. I was luckily enough to record this one over in Nashville with Dean Scallan of SSM Nashvile along with another song due out later this year. Recording this one was a real eye-opener and was done so fast, having a lot of session musicians playing on it all at once was awesome and then heading to a completely different studio to record vocals was so different to the recording process I’m used to.

On recording day I was crazy nervous as I had lost my voice earlier that week and wasn’t too sure I was gonna have it back in time, so we recorded all the instruments in the morning and saved vocals til night time so I was able to warm up my vocal chords all day. I actually wrote Without You in LA back in 2014, so it was fitting and exciting to record it back in the US.