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Art & Life with MAXI

Today we’d like to introduce you to MAXI .

MAXI, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I started playing music at a very young age. From about 5 years old I was always drawn to it as I watched my mother play piano and sing. Growing up there was always music playing in the house. From Madonna to Earth Wind and Fire I was always dancing and singing, Sade being my all time favorite. Playing piano was my introduction to musical performance but I always felt limited, like I knew there was something more. It wasn’t until I was about 8 years old when I heard Slash play a guitar solo that I knew that was my true calling. I remember being a little kid playing air guitar to one of his solos, I remember how good it felt. It was like getting all my feelings out at once while truly expressing who I was and who I wanted to be. From then on I fell in love with guitar and later singing around 12 years old. When I gained the confidence to sing was when I also gained the confidence to write, writing my first song at 12. In high school I started playing in bands at the local bars that were weary of letting a young kid like me in. Playing in blues bands at dive bars was where I started to understand the culture of the musician and how hard it was and what kind of work you had to do for it to work. Taking this hard nose approach to college I started a band with some incredible musicians and had a great run for 5 years doing multiple east coast tours. After some success and much failure I decided to move to Los Angeles, a life long dream to pursue a solo career. Being here three years I have played with some of the most gifted musicians and met the most amazing people. Every day is a struggle but I feel incredibly blessed to just be here making it happen and collaborating with such amazing people. Sometimes it truly feels like a dream!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art is music. I release soul. pop, r&b records. I mainly play guitar and sing however I also play bass, piano and produce as well. The music I release can be described as “sexy, feel good and upbeat.” My goal really is to make people dance! I want to entertain and create a party, I want people to let go and just have fun. My music and the inspiration behind the music typically comes from heartbreak and more importantly how to deal with it. I think on the outside I come off as tough and manly but deep down I’m just a helpless romantic writing love songs. If theres one thing you should know about my music is that its baby making music. Its very sexual and love driven. I really want people to “make love not war” have fun and just let go. I create because its an innate characteristic. I was born with this, I was born to entertain.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
The definition of success is a tough one. Some see it as how much money you have in your bank account some see it as the happiness you hold on a daily basis. For me its a blend. Being a musician is not easy. Its an every day struggle that takes massive sacrifice and dedication. Sometimes when I’m short on rent, my bills are over due and I can barely afford to put gas in my tank, yeah it doesn’t feel like success. But other times when I’m on stage and people are dancing in the audience having fun, no amount of money could make me feel that way, make me feel like I’m home and safe and more importantly happy. Someday I do hope to be more financially successful and blend the happiness with financial freedom. But for now I feel like a rich man doing what I love even though on paper I’m broke as fuck. I truly believe that success in this business is not about how talented or skilled you are, its all about how hard you work and your perseverance. It takes a warrior to make it in this, you have to attack it not let it attack you!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way to see and listen to my work is through my website and socials. My website is iammaxi.com and my instagram is @iammaxi. I also hold a few residencies around Los Angeles one being at Mixology 101 at The Grove every Thursday 5-8pm the other being Margot in Culver City every other Wednesday 7-10pm. The best way to support is to listen! As you know now a days its very hard to stand out in such a big crowd. My biggest blessing is for someone to click on a song and just listen!

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Image Credit:
Justin Shudo and Liz Viggiano

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