Gold Coast songwriter, producer, vocalist and keys player, Maximo has consolidated his reputation for original R&B and hip hop with his new single Hesitate.
The single is atmospheric and dynamic and provides a great new perspective for Maximo who is no stranger to the party anthem. Both in the studio and live his music is entertaining and engaging, with his live band bringing their own flavour to the songs with an acute sense of musicality. Whether it’s a night out or a night in Hesitate has got you covered. Jessie Ryan-Allen caught up with Maximo to get the scoop on Hesitate and his musical evolution.
Hesitate has a very distinctive sound and atmosphere. What kind of landscapes (in nature or otherwise) do you find inspiring?
It’s definitely different to any track I’ve made in the past. I actually wrote this song late one night driving home from a party, so in this case it was inspired by the surroundings on the way – imagine lonely streetlights in a cold, eerie fog. Otherwise, I usually draw more from personal experiences and emotions.
How have your musical influences evolved?
I’d say the biggest difference is that the music is becoming more “me” – both as an artist and an individual. I used to write tracks that had a solid groove and then put any old lyrics over them, but these days it’s a little more about the storytelling aspect. I’m definitely more interested in exploring the obscure – unusual arrangements, cool textures, rich harmony – straying a bit further from the more commercial sounding tracks I’ve made in the past. That being said, I was raised on hip hop grooves and sexy R&B progressions, so I kind of like how these influences continue to creep in. Oh and more melodies than raps these days.
What’s the first concert you went to?
Stevie Wonder. Way to set the bar high, right? It was incredible – I was only in high school and barely a musician when I saw it, but looking back on it now it was the ultimate concert. He’s an inspiration in every sense, but especially to me as a keys player.
What’s the first song you knew all the words to?
Oh wow… I used to have this cassette album (I know, right) of TLC’s CrazySexyCool that I used to listen to non-stop on our trips interstate to see family. Red Light Special was my jam. Although looking back now, I don’t think 5-year-old-me had the emotional capacity to understand what the song was actually about. Super inappropriate come to think of it, but hey, I think I turned out ok.
What’s the last song you danced to?
Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good) by Childish Gambino. I think it was at the gym, so really I shouldn’t have been dancing. 80s vibe and such a great melody, love this track. Gambino is a mastermind.
What adventures will there be for Maximo in 2015?
We’ve got a couple of releases coming up soon from some Brisbane artists I’ve produced, I’m currently arranging the live show for a promising Gold Coast R&B artist, been writing some Motown/soul music for another recording project, and will continue to write and record my own material. But aside from music, I’d really like to learn Portuguese and go travelling – explore some places I’ve never been before. Looking forward to everything 2015 holds in store!
Check out Hesitate at officialmaximo.com