Ava Max on Her ‘Polarizing’ Haircut & the Surprising Story Behind Her Stage Name

Ava Max
Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Rutherford. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Ava Max knows her haircut is “polarizing.” “It’s a love-hate thing,” Ava tells StyleCaster about her signature half-short, half-long hairstyle. “It’s very polarizing.”

As she’s explained before, Ava’s haircut came from an accident after she was baking cookies while cutting her hair and forgot to cut the other side. “It’s weird. I feel like it’s me now,” she says. “I talk to some people and they’re like, ‘I can’t imagine you with a different haircut.’ I’ve gotten used to it. It’s funny. Every single time I get a haircut, my hairdresser comes over and he’s like, ‘Alright. Let’s do this one side.’ We always joke about it.”

As represented with her haircut, duality is a theme throughout Ava’s career. The concept is also seen in the titles of songs such as “Sweet But Psycho,” “Kings & Queens” and her current single, “My Head & My Heart,” which released its music video on Thursday, February 24. “Last year, I was in the pandemic and I felt torn about a lot of situations. What food to eat. Just everything, so it felt very good to write it with a friend of mine and also a producer I work with a lot,” Ava says about the inspiration for “My Head & My Heart.”

Ahead, Ava talked to StyleCaster about the story behind her stage name, her dream collaboration and her reaction to the “Kings & Queens” TikTok trend.

Ava Max

Image: Courtesy of Charlotte Rutherford.

On the inspiration for the sound of “My Head & My Heart”

“The interpolation of the ‘la la la’ was really fun to add in cause I grew up listening to that. The ‘90s track It was a really different experience. I had been in a pandemic and I wanted to go out and go clubbing. We’re all stuck in our homes and I want to make people dance.”

On how “My Head & My Heart” is different than her past singles

“‘My Head and My Heart’ is a lot more fun, and the music video was actually in the club and is completely different than any other videos that I’ve done. The music video is about being torn in between your head and your heart. It’s very vulnerable, but it’s also very dance inspired.” 

On her reaction to the “Kings & Queens” TikTok trend

“I love them all. The transformation TikTok videos are my favorite. The beauty glam transformations. [I came across them] randomly, and obviously my friends sent them to me”

Ava Max Heaven Hell Ava Max on Her Polarizing Haircut & the Surprising Story Behind Her Stage Name

On the story behind her stage name

“My first name is Amanda and my last name is Koci. I always hated my name growing up. I never liked it. It’s always been so boring to me. Even in school in kindergarten, I would tell my teacher to call me something else like everyday and it would be a different name everyday. One day, I didn’t answer and she finally said ‘Amanda’ and I answered and I had to be Amanda. Albanian parents don’t usually give their children middle names, and so I wanted a middle name and I chose Ava. I was just called Ava since I was 13. I told everybody to call me Ava, even my parents, but they still refuse to this day. And then Max came about because Ava felt so feminine and I feel masculine at times, so I felt like it was the perfect duality.”

On her Grammys snub 

“If it happens, it happens. I’ll be grateful, but I don’t live my life for awards. I live my life to make people happy and to give and giving is my number-one priority. 

On a genre she wants to experiment with

“Rap. I’m just kidding. I actually rapped a little in ‘Not Your Barbie Doll.’ You know what it is? I feel like I’m such a loud person. I just want to scream and shout and talk my words all the time. And I’m like, ‘Wait, girl, you sing. So just sing it.’ Speaking of rap and rappers, I would love to work with Megan Thee Stallion. She’s also a fellow Aquarius, which I like because I’m into astrology.”

Heaven & Hell by Ava Max is available on Amazon.

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