Dee Lee Interviews Max Black | Syracuse University Talent

Max ZupanovicMax Zupanovic, a junior film major at Syracuse University, has had one crazy ass summer. He’s been interning for Assorted Studios, a local studio in Dover, PA, that specializes in music and video production. Through working with the studio, Max has had the opportunity to film concerts, music videos, reality TV shows, and more. He’s filmed concerts for infamous bands such as Kiss, Motley Crue, and S.O.S, while also filming music videos under director Melo Paul for upcoming artists such as MBEyeline. Recently Max, under the name Max Black, has worked with studio head and producer Jesse Landes, better known as DJ Labrynth, on some fresh ass tracks, also collaborating with Assorted Studio’s rapper and singer Shann Beezy in the process. They’ve recently released “Bass,” a catchy, upbeat hip-hop/electro fusion track that was stuck in my head after the first time I heard it. I’ve interviewed Max to find out a little more about who he is and what he’s all about.

1. Where did you grow up?

– I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Middletown, PA, but I don’t expect you to know where that is. When I was younger I used to have my mom driveand drop me off in the borough just so I could walk around town with my friends, visiting people. You know the place is kind of bum-fuck when the best thing to do is just walk around smoking Phillies blunts, and I mean the ACTUAL blunts straight out of the box, guts and all. I mean we were younger so we thought that shit was badass and fun enough. At the same time, Middletown gave me a billion memories so I could never say a bad thing about it. It’s a cool town.

2. How do you feel your childhood affected your swag?

I literally could not imagine having a better childhood. I know everyone says their parents are the best, but I’m gonna say the same shit too cause I truly believe it. They’ve always given me everything I wanted and more, supported every decision I’ve made, and allowed me to be myself. I remember seeing the music video for Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” in the fourth grade. Seeing all these dudes walking around in chains and fur coats, surrounded by girls was wild to me, so I wanted to do they same shit. I swear I must’ve been the most ridiculous looking kid at my age, rocking du-rag’s, chains, rings, bracelets, and even fucking velour suits until about seventh grade. My parents, as irritating as it probably was to have a young Eminem walking around, supported me every step of the way. I may not wear the accessories now, but my love for the hip-hop genre is still the same. It might’ve been different if my parents would’ve had me in Nautica, listening to Bruce Springsteen every day. I also have some of the coolest motherfuckers you could ever meet for best friends. I’d be lost without their friendship so I’m thankful to have grown up where I did.

3. Who are your favorite artists?

As far as rap goes, I fuck with Kanye, J. Cole, Big Sean, Wale, Jay-Z, and Drake the most right now. Used to be a die-hard Weezy fan but some of his material is getting so corny I can’t even play it. I don’t just listen to rap though; I like alternative, EDM, and mostly all other genres except country. I will never ever play country music over something else. I’m not a cowboy.

4. If you could work with one artist who would it be?

Kanye West. My man has the Midas touch when it comes to producing and expressing creativity within tracks. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is so good I would pay $100 for a copy if that were what they were charging, maybe even more. “All of the Lights” gives me the chills every time I hear it.

5. What made you start getting into creating music?

I just wanted to emulate famous rap artists so much, man. Plus there we’re a bunch of local rappers in my town that made music, tracks that bumped too. I’ve always been creative with writing so I decided to stop being so shy and make music of my own. I started recording and collaborating with one of my boys, Dylan Wetten, back in the ninth grade. His lyrics are vicious, real talk. He was so frequent with crazy rhymes, so I guess he inspired me to be the same way.

6. Where did your name come from?

I could tell you it’s my last name, but it’s not. I could even say it’s meant to be ironic because I’m a white hip-hop artist and the majority of the artists in the hip-hop genre are black, so it’s meant to show race doesn’t overpower value or talent…but that’s not it. I might as well just tell you the truth. I just like the color black. My car is black with black rims. My general wardrobe consists of mostly grey and black. Even my fucking earrings are black diamonds. I wear so much black that whenever I used to wear a yellow or orange shirt in high school it was a big deal. So I’m Max Black, and there’s no deeper meaning then that. It’s a cool name, I don’t care. I wouldn’t be comfortable making music under anything else.

7. What inspired you to make “Bass”? What was the production like?

– I’ve always loved the hook on this electronic song by Classixx called “I’ll Get You.” I used to listen to the song just for the chorus, thinking how catchy it was and how cool it would sound if it were part of a hip-hop track. I asked DJ Lab if he’d flip it into a beat for me before I went back to school. He cranked it out that day in less than two hours and told me to start writing. I was so into the song that I finished writing and we began recording that night. Problem was, I wrote the first verse like it was meant to be sung…and I can’t fuckin’ sing. I wasted an hour or so trying to sound like Trey Songz but then I had to just come to the sad realization that it just wasn’t gonna happen. DJ Lab called in one of the studio’s artists Shann Beezy, who’s voice is a thousand times better than mine, to lay down the first verse that I wrote…and he killed it. Other than my horrible vocal attempt, the rest of the production ran smoothly. I don’t usually make songs as upbeat as “Bass” so it was a fun experience, plus it’s undeniably catchy.

8. What’s the meaning behind the lyrics?

Basically the song is about my attraction to girls who’d like to let loose. I’m not really the type to go for the shy wallflower, and I’m never gonna get turned on with some orchestra playing classical music in the background. I like my music loud. I’m young; I have energy. I just want everything I do to be incredible and exhilarating, whether it’s in love, work, life, or whatever…

9. Where’s the best place for people to hear more of your music and/or contact you?

It’s early for me right now as far as having professionally produced songs, but you can find a couple other tracks, cyphers, and freestyles on my Youtube page, as well as some film work I’ve done. I’m best reached through email or Facebook as far as contacting me goes.

10. How do you like Syracuse and how would you describe your weekend on your campus?

Syracuse is so fucking amazing. It’s to the point now where I no longer look forward to summer because I have to leave school…there has to be something wrong with that. Thursday I go to the bars, Friday and Saturday there’s usually a party at my fraternity. I’m a brother of Phi Kappa Psi, so it’s rare to catch me going out at night without anyone in my house. ‘Cuse’s bar scene is crazy and our sororities are some of the best in the country, so there’s never a dull moment over the weekend. By the way, is the shit to find parties!

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This kid has so much swag and potential, he is definitely worth checking up on.

Check out more about Dee Lee here.