MAX finds his soul in soul music

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Makes a tour stop at World Cafe Live

ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitter

It took awhile for Max Schneider to find his true artistic path.
The 23-year-old New York native, who performs as MAX, acted on Broadway and modeled with Madonna for Dolce and Gabbana. He acted on Nickelodeon and tried his hands at several different styles of music until the world got a major taste of him on rapper Hoodie Allen’s 2014 debut album “People Keep Talking.”
But MAX, who will be in Philadelphia Oct. 26,  says that with the soulful sounds of his latest EP, “Ms. Anonymous” — which includes the Allen collaboration “Gibberish” — he’s finally found the right stylistic fit.
“This feels like, musically, the place I really want to be, like I finally really, really now what I want, and that’s a really wonderful feeling I haven’t felt before” MAX says by phone from a tour stop in Chicago. “I’ve always listened to a lot of soul music growing up — to James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, that style of music. And I think for a long time there were certain points where I would try not to copy that for my specific sound.

“So for a long time I put out different things, trying to find a sound, like a lot of artists do. But I feel like ‘Ms. Anonymous’ is the best reflection of the truest, genuine representation of who I am.”
MAX plans to stay in the lane, too, for his next EP — which he’s almost finished — and an album that will follow later in 2016. He’s been developing material with Pharrell Williams on material, as well as Travie McCoy, Jake Sinclair and Tim Armstrong of the punk rock group Rancid, who also works with MAX in the R&B side project Wichita.
But as comfortable as he is now, MAX doesn’t discount the music he’s made to get there.
“I honestly feel very grateful for every opportunity I’ve had,” he explains. “I’ve been able to have an interesting, diverse career, and I’ve learned not to limit yourself or put yourself in a box.

MAX performs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of DCD2 Records)

MAX performs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
(Photo courtesy of DCD2 Records)

“It’s funny; throughout my life people have said things to me like, ‘Yeah, this is the big break.’ I feel like so many times I’ve been at the start of something new. There’s been a lot of new beginnings, which I love. I love starting over and over and over again while also continuing with the choices I’ve made. I wouldn’t trade what I’ve done so far for anything.”

IF YOU GO: MAX brings his Sounds Like Gibberish Tour  to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Oct. 26. Concert is at 8 p.m., doors open at 7. For tickets, check http://tickets.worldcafelive.com/

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