Ava Max Talks new album Heaven & Hell in Covershoot and Interview


Photographer: Charlotte Rutherford

Stylist: Mimi Cuttrell

Hair: Dimitris Giannetos

Makeup: Anthony Nguyen

Styling Assistant: Sophie Shannon

Hair Asst: Angelina Jordan

Interview: Miles Holder

The road to Ava Max’s album Heaven & Hell hasn’t been the easiest, pushed back due to the global pandemic and recorded over a two year period, despite the many swords forged against it, Ava Max still persevered and today releases the highly anticipated album. The album is an amalgamation of everything we as listeners have come to love about her music during her career, while also showcasing a new vulnerability and sides of her artistry not explored in her previous work. We caught up with Ava to find out more about the project, her artistry and of course, her FAULTs.

Let’s chat about the album, starting with your 2019 hit, ‘Torn’

Torn was released about a year ago and I’m really excited that it’s on the album because it really makes sense with Heaven & Hell and being torn in between the two.


Tell us about your album track Rumours?

Ava Max: Rumours is a new addition and I wanted it to have more of a double meaning with the lyrics.


Tell us more about your new song entitled, ‘Naked’.

‘Naked’ is exciting, we have a video coming out, and it’s just very vulnerable and probably the most vulnerable song on the album.


Naked is very personal to you and a different to your previous tracks, did you set out to really change things up with its release?

Ava Max: It’s not something I planned; originally it wasn’t even planned that it’d be on the album- it was just a vulnerable song, but it’s still an upbeat pop song, and that’s the cool part about it.

There’s a lot of pressure on musicians to release single after single, how does it feel to now be releasing an album?

Ava Max: It’s crazy and exciting to have a full project. I feel like it’s been a long time coming, and I feel like I’m so ready for it to be out. I’ve had the album for a year. My tour and the pandemic pushed the release date back so now I’m just excited for everyone to hear it all in its entirety.

You’ve been grinding away for years, what keeps you motivated when you fail?

Ava Max: My family, I love doing things for my family – they’re my backbone.


What’s the most significant change you’ve seen in yourself as an artist since the My Way era?

Ava Max: Patience! I struggle with patience, sometimes I have it, and sometimes I don’t know it’s this continuous inconsistency.

If you could go back to the start of your career and leave yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Ava Max: Just to keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t regret anything, so I think I’d say “go for your goals”.


Ava Max

What’s been the most challenging hurdle you’ve had to climb to bring your work to another level?

Ava Max: It’s funny, I speak about how inconsistent I am, but I’m more consistent with my music if anything so I’ll always be releasing music.


What do you want your art to say about you?

Ava Max: That I am unapologetic and that I don’t care what other people think.


Female artists who reclaim their sound and sexuality are often ridiculed in the press, how does it feel always to have to deal with this societal pressure not to be your true self?

Ava Max: I think for me; personally, I don’t think about [criticism] too much. I think that’s the best thing about having super hardcore parents is that they were always telling me what I was doing wrong growing up. For me, the criticisms online don’t bother me as much as someone else who didn’t grow up with parents who were very strong on the topic.


What is your biggest fear?

Ava Max: My biggest fear would be not being able to do what I want to do with my music.


Do you ever fear being misunderstood and people perceiving your art different to how it was intended?

Ava Max: I think everyone is going to shift your work and change the way you’re perceived and I knew that from day one when I released ‘Sweet but Psycho’ that people were going to compare me to a different artist. People compare woman non-stop; it’s just a sad reality.

What’s something new you’ve learned about yourself in 2020?

Ava Max: That being home all the time isn’t as bad as it seems. It’s definitely very weird because we’re used to travelling around so much and being around people but isolating definitely wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I really thought that I was going to lose my mind!


What’s something you’re looking forward to after the album?

Ava Max: I hope that the pandemic will go away!


When you look back through all the songs you’ve ever released, what was the hardest one for you to write?

Ava Max: ‘Kings and Queens’ because it had so many different lives and people involved, but I still wanted it to have a strong message, so I kept going back and forth with it.


In your own words can you describe what makes your connection with your fanbase so special?

Ava Max: My connection with my fanbase is definitely a strong one, especially since I’ve only been in the public eye for two years. I can’t imagine where we’re going to be in two years from now.


What is your FAULT?

Ava Max: I’m 5’2! I feel like I always have to wear heels because all my friends are taller than me, but I feel like it’s okay because we’re all different shapes and sizes.