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Max Malada

Growing up with only my mom, brother, and two grandparents was tough for me. They worked hard to give us what they could, but being lower middle class immigrants and with undiagnosed mental health issues, I came into the world instantly wanting to escape.

From a young age music was this escape for me. When I listened to my favourite CD’s, I opened up a landscape of beauty, love, and imagination that was free from the pain and misunderstandings of the real world. I always wanted to be a part of this world but without the resources for music education, I had to be content with my illustrations and my daydreamings.

My teenage years were especially difficult. I felt so alone, going to high school in a new city, depressed and not able to relate to anyone around me. My social anxiety worsened and took over me in ways that I still struggle with to this day.

As I became an adult and wandered from one college program to another, I started to realize that what I had been given in life was not enough, and that I would have to face my dreams head-on. I found drag, and started dressing as Max Malada as a way to explore theatricality, transformation, imagination, and gender expression.

I fell in love with the performing arts in late 2019 and took as many acting classes as I could. I felt I was finally finding out who I was meant to be, and how I could take my artistic skills and deep imagination into the real world. I was very excited to start my new lease on life… when suddenly all my acting classes were canceled in March 2020.

During the pandemic lockdown I realized that I was undergoing an intense spiritual crisis. Compounded with the realization that I was stuck in an unhealthy codependent relationship, I felt stuck and in despair. It was during this time that I solidified my intentions to create music; learning as much as I could online, playing the keyboard, and writing bits and pieces of songs. I wrote my first song alone in my car in a church parking lot at this time, on the advice of a mentor.

I underwent psychedelic assisted therapy in 2021 to pick up the pieces of my identity and ego. This was one of the most powerful experiences of my life, along with my training in Baby Clown later that year. These two experiences informed and reinvigorated what I could do as Max Malada. I realized how important it would be to use my identity as Max to connect with and empower young queer people who are growing up as lonely and frustrated as I did.

2023 has been my best year yet: going to school for Independent Performance and Songwriting, releasing my debut E.P. “All Hail”, and hosting a weekly viewing party for episodes of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. I am grateful for the support of the You Do You foundation, enabling me to release more music, learn more about the craft, and focus on bringing my art to new audiences. I am excited to continue making art that the world has never seen before!