Spout Podcast
Spout Podcast

Episode 3 · 1 year ago

Ava Max

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ava Max is a bonafide pop princess, but as a first-generation immigrant from Albania, her journey to stardom is a unique one. Ava spouts off about her music, Albanian culture, her songwriting process, and the passing of her grandfather. 

...this episode of The Spout podcast is sponsored by just Jared dot com. For over 15 years, just Jared has been the go to source for up to the minute updates on film, fashion, music and so much more. Visit just Jared dot com or join the conversation with just Jared on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. This is the spout podcast where famous people spout off on more than what they're famous for. Here's Deanna Cruz. Hey, I'm Deanna Cruz. Welcome to the spout podcast with my girl Ava Max, Thank you for having me high. So have you been working a lot while you're at home quarantining and staying in? I just started writing again and it feels so, so good. I feel so ready and I my journals getting like whole again because I just have so many ideas and it feels good to kind of step away and then come back in it like it's just an overflow of emotions. I'm so excited to talk to me about your thought process when you are writing. It's all about anthemic music for me. I wanna be able to listen to music and go for a run or dance. dance all day, you know, in rehearsals and have that energy. I wanted to have that energy. I want the music to lift people up. I want people to feel like, you know, if they're having a bad day, they can put on the music, my music, and then they can just dance and not think, you know and and also have strong lyrics. I think strong lyrics is the number one thing in my music. Um, even now, writing, I can tell you like it's it's getting even stronger and more anthemic. If you don't think that was possible, it is, and I can't wait to really. It's new music, but I think it's just in my veins growing up in an Albanian household. My, my family and my parents and my aunts and uncles. They're very strong, especially the women in my family. You know, they're very outspoken and that's how I kind of was raised to be. And sometimes I got to shut myself because I'm just like Okay, girl here, a little too outspoken. Your first generation correct. So I'm first generation as well. My parents are...

Portuguese and yeah, so I remember growing up and I remember going to kindergarten for the first time and having such a hard time because, I mean, I grew up speaking Portuguese, you know, and having the hardest time speaking English. And I'm like and I knew some things because I learned from Sesame Street because what we spoke at home was Portuguese, right? We we didn't really speak English. My grandparents were here at the time as well. They ended up going back to Portugal. Yeah. So did you grow up similar to that? Like, was it Were you speaking, um, Albanian at home and then when you went to school, you were kind of like it was kind of a shock to you. Oh, yeah. My parents and my brother were all they were all born in Albania, grew up in Albania. My brother left when he was around seven, and then they stayed in France for a year. Um, when they escaped, Albania at the time was communist. And so when they stayed in France for the year, you know, it's funny. My brother started speaking french and I was almost born in France, so I could have been a French baby, and that would have been cool. Could have been eating Cristian since birth. But my dad wanted to come here. So I was born in Wisconsin. So they only knew Albanian when I was born. And so I only knew Albanian. So when I went to kindergarten, I didn't know English. Maybe just hi and bye. And then I had an e s l teacher up until, like, eighth grade, Mrs Spears, I love her. I read that your mom was an opera singer. Do you know how to sing opera music? It's crazy because I I remember them struggling a lot when they came to America. But I always remember my mom singing around the house and she had to have three jobs with my dad as well. Three jobs each. And they kind of have to give up on that dream. And she, you know, she went to music school and back in Albania growing up, and she loved singing offer and it came natural to her and we would sing around the house all the time and I would be so in all of her voice. It's so loud even to this day, I tell her she can break windows are so loud, her operatic voice. And so I'm just like I'll never be able to reach that. She's like Number one in our family. My mom, she's great, but I think I got it from her. You know, I...

...love that about my mom that I could share that with her. I think one of the important lessons to and I've heard you say this, too, is just never give up. If you have this dream, just keep going with it. Yes, exactly. And so that's why that stuck with me. Even when I would tend to forget my mom would remind me, Where's your mom now? Tell her to come over and sing a little opera for us, Probably cooking. She loves to cook. She's always cooking, and my dad's a lucky one because he gets free cooking all day. I'll be in Food is so, so good. I mean, we have a thing called choked it, which is like like kind of like meatballs, but Albanian style, a lot of good seasoning, garlic and all that. It just tastes so good. So choked this spanakopita from scratch. So it's kind of like a mixture of Greek, a little bit because it's so close to Greece. So, you know, we like to put cheese on everything, and so I kind of like similar, but I'll be What's your What's your favorite dish? Spanakopita. It's like I mean, I could I could cry. Okay. Right. And the shop, then. Okay. I guess we both now do you know how to how to cook these dishes as well? You leave it to mom, right? No, I've tried and I've tried learning. You know, this is her. She's like and I'm like what she's like. Get away from my kitchen. She's like, get away in her kitchen like you're distracting me. And I'm like, What are you doing? She's like, I'm just starting things I don't measure. And I'm like, Mom, how am I going to, like, show my kids? She's like, Well, just watch. I was like, This looks so confusing. So have you gone back to Albania? No, I was gonna go, but the pandemic and all this year, like we're supposed to be like a family trip. At least three weeks. Um, there in Greece and Italy and Germany, where we have all our family members. But we couldn't go. And it was so upsetting. Even my mom got really upset because she told everyone she was coming, and obviously something called Covid came...

...right. And a bunch of cancellations and a bunch of Hey, stay at home. So have your parents gone back? No. Okay, I've just been working, working, working since I came here. And, you know, I really wanted to do that for them last year. So hopefully, maybe later this year. If everything opens up, keep your fingers crossed, right? I know. I'm hoping. I mean, I don't know. I'm hoping a tour. I'm hoping to see my fans again in person. It seems like you have a really tight relationship with your family. Um, I know that when you release your album a few days later, your grandfather passed away. So I'm so sorry for that. And how was how was that feeling? It's like, you know, you have your album heaven and hell and Yeah, it's finally finally released. This something I've worked so hard on, right? And then, um, that happens and your grandfather passes away. So how did you deal with that? That was so horrible. It was It was kind of out of nowhere as well, because he was fine. And then within three days he was deteriorating like it was just like I heard, like actually the night my album came out on September 18th. I heard you know, he's I don't know what's going on with him. He's getting weaker. He can't really walk next day. Not feeling good stomach pains. The other day he was on a hospital bed and then it was crazy because it was really hard because they wouldn't allow my father because of Covid. And he didn't speak English. So he passed and it was peaceful in his sleep. And it was hard for all of us to watch him go, because again, it's like the longer actually you have your grandparents, the more you get close to them and the older you are, the wiser you are, the more you know how much they even mean to you. Because when you're young and they passed, like maybe you don't get to know them as much. But, you know, it taught me to really again cherish the moment with people I love. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for your loss. No, it's OK. Thank you. That's life. And I think the best thing we can do again is live each day, like to our fullest and...

...be around people we love. Did you ever get a chance to ask him his story? Um, my grandfather lived till he was in his eighties. And then I was like, Why did you choose my family Went moved to Connecticut. Why did you choose Connecticut out of all places, the U. S is so big. And then did you get that story from your grandfather when my family came to the U. S. You know, as immigrants? Um, they brought my grandparents as well. And so when they came over, he started working because he was so social. He was like a comedian back in Albania. He he played a clown on stage. He was like an entertainer, and that's why I got a lot of mine. He was an actor. He was in movies in Albania, and I need to find these films. But he was he was so incredible when he came here, he started working in the circus and working in the in like Ferris, and when they would come and so he would like, make the balloons. And so that's what he would do when he came to America because he had so much fun, kind of in that entertaining world. But then, you know, it was tough after my grandma died, and then he kind of just didn't want to leave the house. And it's harder when you leave everything behind like he did in Albania. Come here, lost his wife and then still have to go on, you know, with no one. And except for my family, obviously. But you know, it's a tough It's a tough one for especially immigrants, immigrant families, leaving everything behind. I saw that firsthand with my family, and it's it's It's a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, and it's a lot of sacrifice. And and, you know, that's mainly the reason why I didn't give up on my dream, because I'm like, Okay, if they can do all that crazy stuff and risk their lives leaving the communist country at the time, you know? Yeah, he would be super proud of you right now. Thank you. You're welcome. You are living the American dream, which is like, what a lot of parents, immigrant parents hope they moved here obviously for a better life for themselves, but also for their kids. So, yes, they would be super proud of you. More with...

Ava Max Next What for over 15 years, just Jared has been the go to source for up to the minute updates on film, fashion, music and so much more. I want to know where Ariana Grande went on her last date. Harry Styles was talking to which ex last night. Visit just Jared dot com now or join the conversation with just Jared on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Now back to the spout podcast. So first question on Google when I when I went on there was Does Ava Max wear a wig? You wear a wig once in a while, correct. I wear wigs on photo shoots and videos just because I don't want to fry my hair off because, you know, on set, you like strain your hair, you curl it, you spray it. It's like with all these chemicals. So I decided to wear wigs on music, video sets and photoshoots because I did, you know, style my hair once, and it was just so tough and dry the next day. I'm like, What if I do this every day? I have no hair left. So I'm like, you know what? That's what I'm gonna do. So I kind of protect my hair that way. But every day left, it's me. And then how did you do? It was by accident that you got the max. So tell this story because I found it really, really funny. Okay, so this is really funny. I was legit baking. And of course, I leave the cookies in for too long because I was messing with all these wigs cutting my hair. I was dying my hair like, you know, I had the whole day to myself the whole place, myself. I was relaxing. So this was about almost four years ago now, which is crazy. Cookies are running and started running down the stairs like I mean, sprinting like the place was like getting all smoke that bad. They were dead. They were like they were they black little cookies like And so I started going up the stairs and I forgot to cut the other side, and I'm like, Wait, I kinda like...

...them. And I started wearing it a few days and then some people were like that is hideous. And then some people were like, Oh, that's kind of cool. I've never seen that before. It works. It works A matter of fact, I have a hair appointment in a couple weeks, and I was like, You know, maybe I should do the max. Do have keep the other side long. It's a lot of my name because I can't do a regular ponytail. Has to be a bun. Okay, just looks odd. So how have you How have you been keeping busy during covid And have you been working out at all? Are you like a fitness guru? Do you like working out? No, that's no. She's like, I like eating and that's about it. If I want to, like, lose like Oh, let's like a couple of pounds, I kind of like fast things like from like, you know, from, like 8 p.m. Like the next day 12 or something. What is the first thing you want to do? Once Covid is done, I know that things are going to be different. There's going to be a new norm, but if everything were to go back to normal. What's the first thing that you would want to do? Touring? I cannot wait to travel the world again. I mean, I don't even know that's like anymore. I'm thinking I'm looking at pictures and I'm like, Damn girl, you went everywhere around the world. Who is that? I'm like, I don't know what that is because it's been so long. I don't even know if I'll be okay flying in a plane. I'll be like, I'll be freaking out. I'll be like nothing here. I know people are flying right now, but I just I haven't long. Okay, February I was. I went to Paris for a video without Walker. So that was the last time. And let me guess you're walking around Paris or France like total zombie like not really appreciating. What's that? You know, because you're like, Oh, God, I'm so tired from the flight. Am I right? I was. I don't know if I ever posted this and how you knew this, but that last trip I went with my girlfriend Tasha, and so we were just We have pictures of us like we couldn't even open our eyes. because we were so jet like we didn't sleep on the flight...

...at all. And so But we have to do the video. And so we're like, we're like, we have to see the Eiffel down. Do you credit walking? And I'm not getting you. Well, I got lost a little bit of parents, and they were like, we gotta go back and take an hour now before this video shoot because we were there for only 48 hours, so I wanted to end with, uh, your avatar's. Okay, Super fans. I posted up a question on my Twitter yesterday, and it was funny because all of a sudden it started lighting up like I you know, I tweeted and then I closed the closed the app, And when I open, I'm like, Whoa, what is all this number? One question I kept seeing on there is when are you getting the music video for my head in my heart. Okay. You know what's funny about that? I can't say anything yet, but I have to say something is coming. I can say something is coming for sure in the next month. Okay. All right. Here's the other question. too. If you weren't doing music, then what? What would you be doing? Oh, my God. I've said this multiple times. I'm not even kidding you. This is what I would do. I would be in a tear designer. I'm not kidding. I love interior designing. Like as you can see, my butter fractures and my Maryland. I love putting things together. I love putting colors together. Wild colors of like neutrals. Like I have a thing for, like in interior decorating, like I really love. Awesome. Do you like doing that with fashion, too? Yes. Fashion. Oh, my God. It's kind of like fashion you put together close. We put together furniture painting. It's like color schemes. I love that so much. All right, so shout out to Angelo. He says he loves you a lot. He loves you. Tons. Uh, he wants to know what your quarantine go to when you're at home. So let's say your quarantine go to food when you're at home. My gluten free. I've been trying to say gluten free while the...

...pandemic Because I'm not in your eating. The best friends I'm like This is a good time. So gluten free pasta with my Rowell's marinara sensitive marinara sauce and bacon bits and shaken. Let's see, uh hey r F 10, she says, What's your favorite song on the Heaven and heart and sum it up in about three words. She loves you a lot. By the way, that Heller head and heart she Yeah, she probably heaven, heaven and heart She wrote My favorite song on Heaven and hell has to be No, this is how fun. I was happy now because I really love the video and I love that. I got to play a lot of characters and I wrote that treatment kind of to show how I felt growing up, like trying to make it in the music industry. And like like basically saying now, who's laughing now? That all the people that didn't help me, um, let's see. And Joe Blue Music wants to know what's the hardest song that you've written? Heard? It's not just saying maybe, like, maybe lyrically or what took you the longest to write what was kind of, I think, you know, kings and Queens had a lot of lives, and it had different lyrics. Um, and it took a minute to get, like, pop champagne and raise the child because we had so many different things in there. But then we wanted to keep it fun, but also impactful. We didn't want to make it because it was we had a We kept going back and forth instead of making the course full impactful. We thought, you know, let's mix it, make it fun and kind of meaningful, you know? And not like it was like a good mixture. It turned out great. It turned out great. Uh, final question. And this is from me. What can we expect from you moving forward? Like, Is there gonna be another album? Maybe in 2021 or 2022? I know you said you've written a lot of music, so, you know, during quarantine, I promise you guys, there will be no shortage of music. I have a lot of music coming always and forever. I...

...think on the album spectrum, you can't just give away my thanks a bunch. It was great talking to you. I appreciate it to see the full conversation at spout podcast on YouTube. Follow us at spout underscore podcast on I G twitter and Tick tock plus now spout podcast on clubhouse Next week, Little Nas X spouts off. Do you find it easier to date now that you came out a little bit like, Can you be more yourself? It's definitely easier, because before fame, I dated maybe like 23 people and none of the relationships, like ever, like anybody knew what besides us to, you know, be sure to listen to the next spout podcast on Apple podcast Spotify or wherever you get your podcast. The Spout podcast is presented by Alpha Media, produced by Guerillas Sound, hosted on Sounder FM and created by Phil Becker about yeah.

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