YoungArts scholarship winner Max Schneider has come a long way since his 2010 theatre win in the prestigious foundation’s annual awards for the arts. He has starred in a Nickelodeon film alongside Keke Palmer and even appeared as a regular cast member of NBC’s Crisis. His presence in music is just as strong as his screen time. His song “Stick Up” (alternative version of “Mug Shot”) was used in the trailer and featured on the soundtrack for the new Veronica Mars film and his YouTube channel has over seven hundred and eighty thousand followers. On May 13th, 2014 Max released his extended play The Say Max EP. He showcased his vocal talent in the four songs of the EP, which he also co-wrote.

The songs featured on the extended play are “Streets of Gold,” “Mug Shot,” “Darling,” and “Puppeteer.” “Streets of Gold” starts off the EP by setting a blissful vibe with lyrics about a beautiful love and protecting that love. “Mug Shot,” continues the upbeat vibe with Max’s high note falsettos, catchy lyrics, and a beat that gets the listener moving. “Darling,” my personal favorite, is quite unique from the other tracks as it is the only ballad. The track tells the story of the breathtaking moment when someone falls in love and in his mind lingers on the desire to see the person again. The soft song with the strong piano presence makes for a nice transition to the last song “Puppeteer.” “Puppeteer” ends the EP with the same strong upbeat vibe it began with and leaves the listener wanting more.

Having recently had the chance to see Max live, on his Say Max Tour, I saw that Max’s musical abilities extend far past just being able to sing. At the concert held at Webster Hall in New York City, Max played the guitar, ukulele, and keyboard all while singing along to not only his songs but also works by the great Michael Jackson, James Brown, and even the currently popular Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. During the concert he brought out his friend, and also uprising artist, Hoody Allen. The two performed a mashup of songs that included Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” Fall Out Boy’s “Young Volcanoes,” and Nelly’s “Hot in Here.” Max also debuted his song “Shot of Pure Gold” announcing that it would be part of the new album he was working on.

The native New Yorker put on an energetic show lasting a little over an hour and filling up the concert hall with not only enthusiastic fans but also much of his family. After the concert was over fans were able to snag a few pictures with the band before being scurried out by security that wanted to narrow down the room to just family. While talking cameras with Max’s videographer, I heard a few of Max’s cousins describing his growing popularity, pointing out how even they had to wear special identification stickers just to prove their relation to him. However, perhaps a bit more tedious for his family, Max’s fame is only beginning to rise as he continues collaborating with more artists, putting on more shows, and producing greater music. He is preparing to play on even bigger stages, for bigger audiences, and with much more security. With his undeniable talent and passion for music Max Schneider is an artist to watch.

Image courtesy of the author