Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.
I like people to think a story is coming when my songs come on. At least something they can follow, but not too consciously. I think my sound is different than other musicians in my genre because it’s organic but not overbearing. I experiment but stay in my lane… I’m not combative with the sound and don’t want to be. Really just want people to pick up what they want to hear in the song and let it play into the next one!
Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.
I think artists realize that the “discovery” process is more on them than they could’ve ever thought, and that sound is at the pinnacle of subjectivity. You have artists that have all the talent in the world but don’t believe in “self-promotion” or regular releases figuring out that they better start believing or else their music will never get heard because people stopped looking… because there is literally 10,000,000 other streamable songs and artists dying to take your place. And it’s no longer a “I may take 3 years off and write game” even if you have a dope album. Consistency and regular new music I think is key to the new artist. Better people say they hate your last song, and you come back and prove them wrong, then them never hearing a song you didn’t make or didn’t release.
Tell us your experience as a musician.
I love being a musician. I retrospectively look at my relationship with music all the time where I watched it go from a curiosity to an interest to a hobby to a passion to a paycheck over 9 years when I opened Garageband for the first time at 16. And that’s the order it’s always been for me and I can’t say that about anything else in my life. It’s the only thing consistent with me. Only thing I can say I’m truly developing and growing into. I’ve never so easily gone back to anything after hating it at times. Like, wishing I had never heard a note in tune or been given this gut feeling I’m supposed to do this. But it consistently saves me; my own music and everyone else.
Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.
It’s the way of the ages but the money is still there, as much as you want or you’re willing to work for at least. I think it gives artists a chance that deserve it and may’ve not gotten it in the “You gotta know someone in the industry days” and that’s awesome. And if you’re an artist, I think we have to start looking at this from a professional perspective. This is now, more than ever, a day job. I learned this the hard way releasing digitally beginning unsigned with a fan base of zero. It’s so discouraging putting in day after day and song after song and not seeing the viral results or growth you want but it trains you to keep releasing, keep developing and getting better and you’ll see the results. Look at your idols; they have the same stories. If you truly know you are putting everything you can into it you’ll get what you want with the work you put it in.
Tell us how you see yourself in the coming time as a musician.
I’d like to really hone in on the styles in the genres I am keen on and establish my sound. I’m 25 now, and I’m slowly seeing the vision of myself as a professional in this industry. I love writing, rapping and singing, and then producing myself. That’s the only way I’ve been able to do this; mixing and mastering myself has made me super conscious about sound. I’ve already experimented producing others on my tracks so I think I’d like to develop my mixing and mastering and later on focus on producing more artists as well as myself.
Tell us five current artists that are your favourite presently.
Post Malone is killing it right now, Big fan of G Eazy and ASAP Rocky, Chance the Rapper and 6lack.
Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.
I think “Death of an Ego” is pretty fire. Plus, it really got me into rapping/singing over EDM tracks.
Tell us your dream and hope for the future.
Hoping to work into the rap/EDM scene and blow out some festivals, learn and grow over the next 10 years then give back to younger artists and find/produce talent. Through in a German Shepard, a house by the beach and a sexy girl in there and you can call that the game plan.
Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.
The work ethic lol. I think everybody has had to realize that if they want to keep the numbers up you have to keep up… with a lot more than just releasing music! Changing styles, genres, studying culture, social media, so much to keep track of as an artist!
Tell us your opinion on TV and radio stations playing the same songs from established artists mostly and giving little chances to independent artists.
To be honest I totally thought that was going to change or at least get better but it’s whatever. At the very most for me annoying, because I do hear them making an attempt to create their own forms of “discovering artists” but at the end of the day, the fan base for my music isn’t on the radio as much… it’s on streaming anyways.
Tell us the challenges you think independent artists are facing and how it can be tackled.
I think the short solution is easy; get over the fact you might have to spend some of your own cash to get your song a playlist now and then or invest in some Instagram ads. I’ve listened to friends’ music like “DUDE YOU NEED TO GET THAT OUT TO THE WORLD” … and their response is “Bro I put it on Soundcloud and it only got 25 plays I’m gonna go work at Pavillions” like bro no you just need to promote that. Promote yourself if you want to do this. It doesn’t make sense not to honestly. If you don’t, it says you aren’t confident in your music. Hands down.
Tell us your opinion on how corruption is affecting the society and how it can be eradicated.
It’s creating a negative energy… and you hear it first in the music. Some music now is just too opposed and counterproductive as far as its impact on society. Like I get it sometimes but at a certain point you become the monster perpetuating corruption with negativity and fire-with-fire approaches to music. Music is supposed to unify everyone, not just some. I think artists can do their part to focus on delivering truthful sounds with positive energy; doesn’t mean you can’t get a little weird and experimental but you know when you cross the line with your message so just stay true to the good word you hear in your head and it’ll eradicate the corruption.
State the links to your social media and stores.
@maxphilipsmusic on Instagram
Tell us what you think about using social media to promote music online.
It really helps you to build confidence in yourself and your music… I think it’s critical for artists to do.
Tell us how you start as a musician.
I started on Garageband when I was 16. I covered Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin bout you” and heard myself in my headphones for the first time… thought it was the coolest feeling. So I kept doing it and ten years later I’m here, wherever that is.
Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.
I haven’t performed live before. I just make it and release it digitally. But I have this fuzzy futuristic vision of blowing up a stage… I think an EDM concert would be super fun to do. Just the thought of people vibing with my music keeps me going. I like thinking somewhere out there, there’s a college party and some freshman’s having the time of his/her life while my song is on XD.
Tell us about you as a person.
I’m mellow, or trying to be. I’ve done a lot of cleansing and clarifying the last year, keeping only what I need and what I want to in my life to try to chill myself out and have a positive impact on the people in my life. I’m really trying to focus on the few projects I have been working towards for some time now that I want to make a life out of.
Elaborate on the story behind the song.
The story behind “Paper in my Pockets” is a breakup. Nothing special about it when you think about it. An out of the blue break up I was really affected by at the time, but I chose to dump the energy into a couple (few) songs and it shows you how long life is and how to not hold anyone responsible for making their own decisions.
Tell us the process involved in making this song.
My process for all my songs is pretty much the same. I jump into them quick when I feel a vibe. I had an instrumental I was wanting to record on for a while, so I wrote and recorded the song after I rapped a couple lines and felt a delivery. I didn’t have it all written out or styled out; I did that as I was recording.
List the people that deserved to be given credits for the making of the song.
Max Philips – vocals, vocal mix, and master.
Mantra beats – instrumental producer.
Tell us how you get fund to run your music career.
I am a graphic designer and I own a clothing line, so I have a few things I do to keep the bread up and throw some money at my music promotion when I can.
Tell us the genre of your music and the reason you decided to go for this genre.
I feel like the music is hip-hop/rap with electronic/pop vibes. I don’t know how you classify that. Honestly someone needs to stop categorizing music into subgenres because I can’t keep up. Like, what is downtempo acid jazz?… sounds sick though.
Tell us if you prefer to write your own songs or you prefer to write with professional songwriters.
I really enjoy writing my songs. I write them most times while I’m recording or same day because that’s when I feel like I’m most inspired. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t frequently write with others but I’m always open to having a convoy about it.
Tell us if you prefer to produce your songs or you prefer to work with reputable producers.
I would love to work with some reputable producers who hear my sound in another direction. Like I’ve mentioned in this interview, I think you have to be willing to work with others and try new things in this industry now more than ever.