Max Schneider performs as if he is one hundred feet tall. The moment he steps onto a stage, his larger-than-life personality transcends the limitations of his body and electrifies the entire room. With his arresting vocals and nimble footwork, he creates an explosive spectacle that captures and sustains the attention of his audience. Max’s passion for music radiates through in his sharp, emotive delivery and vibrant choreography, establishing an ambience of pure energy and excitement. His performances, while incredibly slick and well-rehearsed, feel the furthest thing from robotic. Never failing to inject one hundred percent of his effort into a single performance, Max is dedicated to creating unforgettable concert experiences for his fans.
“Every time I go on a new tour or start a new project, I love to figure out each audience,” Max says of his love for live shows. “My favorite thing to do is make a connection; it’s an amazing science that I think is so important to a band’s or artist’s career. It’s crucial to figure out how people respond to your work and make them feel like they’re a part of it.”
The 23-year-old New York native began performing at the tender age of three, always eager to put on a show for his family and friends. As he matured, he upgraded from a makeshift livingroom table stage to a brightly-lit Broadway one, scoring a role in the classic musical 13. While music has always played an important role in Max’s life, he spent his teenage years focused on acting rather than singing. It wasn’t until the release of his first official single, “Nothing Without Love,” in 2013 that he decided to make music his number one priority.
“I grew up doing a lot of live performances, and one of my favorite things in the world is to feed off the energy of every audience I have,” Max explains. “The stage is definitely a place that feels like home to me.”
Although a sizeable portion of Max’s rabid fanbase has been amassed through his work on the stage such as his ongoing contribution to Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa’s Boys of Zummer Tour, which rakes in a crowd of an impressive 20,000 people a night, a striking amount of listeners were first introduced to him via social media. Taking full advantage of the opportunities extended to him by Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and most fruitfully YouTube, Max has been able to reach new listeners across multiple demographics.
“Social media has been an awesome part of my career. Being able to connect with every single one of my fans every day is a blessing. We’re able to be like ‘we’re going to do a pop up show in this city, you guys should come out to it,’ and people will hear about it instantly and show up. That’s something previous generations never had, and it’s something I love being a part of.”
While on the road with Khalifa, Fall Out Boy and frequent collaborator Hoodie Allen, Max has taken special care to make room in his hectic schedule for recording cover songs and vlog-style updates to post on his thriving YouTube account. Providing a constant stream of new content to his fanbase is always a priority.
Through his thoughtfully crafted YouTube videos, Max has been able to impress everyday music fans and prominent industry figures alike with his powerful vocals. The young crooner’s irresistibly rich and compelling voice sounds far too robust to fit neatly within his modest 5’8” frame. Between his lilting lower register and sensual, goosebump-inducing falsetto, his voice is remarkably versatile. He puts his vocal prowess to excellent use, crafting his own infectious blend of R&B, pop, and classic soul. He infuses his genre-defying sound into each of the songs he covers on his channel, breathing new life into them and providing fresh interpretations.
His videos have sparked the interest of MTV and Pharrell, both of who have offered thrilling new opportunities to Max. In June, Max was named one of MTV’s three artists to watch of 2015. This sought-after honor helped him garner the massive amount of media attention he deserves and allowed him to perform at MTV’s annual Artist To Watch showcase alongside Raury and Jacob Whitesides at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. As astonishing as the perks of his MTV accomplishment have been, his work with legendary producer Pharrell is what truly has the potential to launch him into household name status.
“Working with Pharrell was pretty incredible; that was a dream come true. He’s always been an idol of mine and getting to be there in the studio with who was working with, Stevie Wonder and Snoop Dogg, was one of those moments where I thought ‘this is my life right now! This is what I’ve always dreamed about!’” he says, smiling.
Pharrell is one of the high-profile producers Max has collaborated with while piecing together his next solo album, due later in 2015.
He describes the album’s aesthetic as “very soul driven. It’s definitely rock and roll soul pop. It’s something you can dance to, but something that hopefully connects to you on a deeper level as well.”
His extensive work with Pharrell has pushed his sound in new directions, steering his sound away from the bubblegum sounds of his past and into newer, more complex sonic territories. Max is incredibly excited about his career trajectory; his eyes light up the second he begins to talk about his future plans and goals.
“I want to keep doing what i'm doing now,” he explains. “Honestly, it would be amazing to be on SNL or do other exciting things like that, but honestly, the thing that matters the most to me is the music itself and the people around me. Continuing to put out music to the people who respond to and care about my music is what I truly care about.”
Considering all that he’s accomplished at the ripe age of twenty three, there’s no denying that Max is in for a long, successful career. His raw, organic talent and boundless charisma will serve him well as he continues to cultivate his sound and expand his fanbase.
“I’m always working towards the next thing,” Max says of his work ethic. “Hopefully the buzz never stops; capitalizing on it is always the plan. I’m never waiting for something to happen; I’m always moving forward.”