Photo credit: Warner Music Group

Ava Max knows what it’s like to fight tooth and nail to get what she wants. Born to hard-working immigrant parents who moved several times during her childhood, the distinctive pop star was used to demos being stolen, musical partnerships falling through and living on $20 a week before catching her big break in the late’s 2010’s. It’s no surprise, then, that she has little tolerance for self-centered romantic partners — exemplified gloriously in her newest single, “Maybe You’re the Problem.”

There are many facets to Ava Max’s unique music and persona. Comparisons range from Lady Gaga to Dua Lipa, while the singer cites Mariah Carey and Fugees as personal inspirations. Yet on “Maybe You’re the Problem,” Ava Max exchanges her signature sound for something much more 80’s-inspired, while a cherry-red hairstyle replaces her famous asymmetric blonde “Max Cut.” Furthermore, her usual sassiness and in-your-face confidence shine even brighter than normal. On the track’s content, Ava Max notes:

“Everyone always says ‘it’s not you it’s me’ but sometimes the problem really isn’t me, it’s you!! ’Maybe You’re The Problem’ was so much fun to create. This new music I’ve been working on is the most personal music I have ever made.”

The beat on “Maybe You’re the Problem” is relentless — the perfect arrangement of retro and modern to fit the rightful frustrations about the song’s relationship. With a chorus like, “But with you, it’s always my fault / And your short fuse, just like a time bomb / And I think you should take a second just to look at your reflection / Baby, maybe you’re the problem,” it’s not hard to relate to Ava Max in her anger. Yet there’s also a playful side to the song, especially in the video-game, revenge fantasy story it portrays. Ava Max knows the person she’s with isn’t great by any standard, but she can at least have the time of her life calling out the B.S. before taking her leave — and moving onto the next stage of her nonstop, upward career.

Stay tuned for more announcements about Ava Max’s upcoming album, anticipated to drop sometime this year. You can hear and watch the lead single, “Maybe You’re the Problem,” below!

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