Just writing that title made me choked up. I am still not over the fact that young and beautiful Christina Grimmie has passed away. Yet, was amazingly impressed with the way her team decided to share each of the four tracks off her Side A EP with each of the music videos that could be one long extended play final film that Christina starred in.
Snow White: This music video introduces us to the character of Jessica Blue who Grimmie and the music from the EP is portraying. Debuting on her Youtube channel on August 11, 2016, this one made me cry my eyes out because it was the first time I had seen new footage of Christina since that last performance video was shared. Yet, overall, whoever edited the music to match her lip syncing in the video did a poor job and I was worried all the videos were going to turn out this way.
Thankfully, the next video proved me wrong and set my worries at ease.
Her vocals slay on this track and coming from someone who hadn’t listened to the full EP, I was really impressed with the video, it’s editing, and the imagery and direction of this video. Christina stuns in that rooftop still. Wow.
This is by far my favorite music video because not only is this my favorite song off the EP because I relate to it but Christina sneaks in some of her personal values within it by having the lead grandmother say to Jessica: See that girl right there. She’s beautiful exactly how she is. Plus, you can really see Christina’s pure musical talent in this one and on this track.
One of the last tracks Christina ever performed live, this video is eerie because it shows Jessica at a live performance but to see Christina pretending to perform live knowing she isn’t ever going to again really shook me here. Yet, I love how beautiful she looks and sounds in this final video.
RIP Christina, you will forever be missed. You will forever be loved. Your music will live on to carry the message that was your life.
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Max Schneider has already made me cry. Now I know what you’re thinking but let me clarify. He made me cry because he followed me on my personal account via Twitter. As a Schneider Monkey (fans of Max Schneider; hinting to Max’s love for monkeys) since June 2012, I never thought the day would come when I would be noticed by such a talented and handsome singer-songwriter but enough fangirling, let’s get to chatting about who Max is for those who don’t yet know.
Max Schneider is an actor/singer from Woodstock, New York who started performing at the early age of three. He started out dancing on his coffee table and ended up dancing on a broadway stage where he starred in the musical 13. After this, he was signed to a talent agent at the age of fourteen, and went on to appear on many different television appearances, including being featured in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign alongside Madonna.
He’s best known (and I became a fan of his) after watching him alongside Keke Palmer in the Nickelodeon musical movie, Rags.
#FunFact: In Rags, @Maxgschneider sings in “Someday” a line in which his character sings, “Someday I’ll be the next big thing” How true that is today. #HellsKitchenAngel
He also was a star of the musical Nickelodeon show “How To Rock.” He’s been writing music and released two EPs, First Encounters in 2010, and Say Max EP in 2014. His music career took off when he started doing covers and posting them on Youtube. This and his acting career with Nickelodeon helped him catch the attention of Victoria Justice, who invited him to open for her on her “Making It In America” national tour.
His rise to fame came this year when he was simultaneously signed to DCD2 records, alongside labelmates Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and many notable others in the music world. He also released his first single from the label, “Gibberish” ft. Hoodie Allen. His music video for this track was used to promote the Youtube Music Awards.
This past summer, Max went on the Boys of Zummer tour with Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy. He just finished up touring with R5 on the Sometime Last Night Tour. After releasing EP’s since 2010, Hell’s Kitchen Angel is Max’s debut studio album.
Song by Song Review
“Hell’s Kitchen Angel”: The title track off the album, referencing to where Max grew up, the section of New York known as Hell’s Kitchen, this track’s musicality is soulful with sound of a music baby made by James Brown and Bruno Mars.
“Gibberish”: Max’s first single with the DCD2 record label, this track will have you dancing no matter who’s done you wrong. Featuring a rap verse by Hoodie Allen, this song never gets old is still one of my favorites off the album.
“Wrong”: If you’ve ever wanted to know what Max’s killer vocals sounded across an EDM-style backtrack, this song will grant your wish. It’s all types of wrong but as the song says, “it’s better when it feels wrong,” this song is a head-banger for sure, in every way.
“Holla”: Like the soulful Max Schneider signature version of Fetty Wap’s “My Way,” this song will have you singing along and it will definitely make you holla, holla, holla. As soon as I heard this song, I knew it was destined to be played on every radio station around the country. Top 40 radio, ya hear me?!
“Lights Down Low”: This will be played at my wedding, that’s a fangirl promise. As soon as I heard this song, I was blown away by how good the writing was (it reminds me of an Ed Sheeran song meets One Less Lonely Girl by Justin Bieber) and of course, Max’s soft vocals across an acoustic guitar track are like a Schneider Monkey’s dream come true. Now if Max could just sing this to me, one one one, all my fangirl dreams will have come true. Hey Max, holla at your girl. I’ve got Lights Down Low #OnRepeat for sure.
“10 Victoria’s Secret Models”: I’d love to see Max perform this during an upcoming Victoria Secret Fashion show but I love the vibes, the musicality, and the lyrics of this track. Dang, I’d love to find out who he wrote this song about. She must have been some broad.
“Home”: EDM musicality while Max’s vocals slay the entire track like some rock god ninja. Be careful, this is definitely an earworm in the making.
“Mug Shot” Say Max, OHH! A Schneider monkey throwback meets rap powerhouse Sirah. I was not prepared for her rap verse and it’s greatness on this track. Totally brought the musicality of this song up to a whole new Schneider level.
“Basement Party:” Since I’m writing this on a Friday night, this track is a head nod to the party lifestyle of New Yorkers, but it’s musicality will make you want to have a dance party anywhere you are: the car, the shower, in your bedroom all by yourself. Get it on.
“Lost My Way”: Concluding the album in a perfect finale of dance party meets Max Schneider vocal slaying ballad, it’s an honest song about remembering where Max came from and never forgetting that.
As a Schneider Monkey that has been with Max while he was still hoping for a record deal while jamming out on his ukelele even after the greatness of “Rags,” I couldn’t be more proud of Max’s success and this album. One listen, and he’ll have you saying “MAX!”.