Read Time: 6 minutes

In Hindsight: Maximillian Revisits His “Too Young” Self

We peel back the layers to Danish singer, songwriter and hitmaker Maximillian

 

 

 

Whenever someone brings up the past, our common knee-jerk reaction is to kill the topic and move on, insisting that our past doesn’t define the present. And while it doesn’t, many of us still prefer to never open Pandora’s box of memories. As a result, we leave no room for discussion when reminiscing about the less glamorous parts of our yesteryears, whether it’s our own experiences of teenage angst or a couple of bad decisions that led to a series of better-forgotten consequences. But for Danish singer Maximillian, he wears his past like a badge of honor. After drawing inspiration from his formative years, he finds himself in a different place.

 

Had you been on TikTok in mid-2020, you’d know his song, Beautiful Scars. “But I wouldn’t change if I could restart / I ain’t gonna hide these beautiful scars,” he sings over an upbeat pop melody. While some would associate this song with simpler times, many listeners found solace in his lyrics. Beautiful Scars has Maximillian baring his soul for all to see. “I think it’s so relatable because everyone has something about themselves they don’t feel comfortable talking [about] or showing. So if everyone started doing that, I think we would like to see an increase in happiness all around the world,” muses Maximillian, candidly.

Zara short sleeved button down and Acne Studios track pants

The viral track led to millions of streams and even a triple platinum certification in the Philippines. Two years later, he released his debut album, Too Young, and now he’s touring around Southeast Asia and touching different lives in the process. On the topic of ever expecting his music and career to reach such heights, Maximillian says, “Not in a million years. I would have been happy if one person told me that ‘Hey, your song helped me,’ because that was the whole thing when I wrote it.”
 

 

After all, the Copenhagen-based singer would’ve appreciated support from at least one person, so imagine how he feels after receiving so much love from millions of people from different parts of the world? Up ahead, we get to know Maximillian better.

A Retrospective: Maximillian’s Early Years

Looking back at his younger years, Maximillian shares that he began singing at the tender age of three. From banging on tables to moonwalking à la-Michael Jackson with his own little glove, the singer-songwriter and his family knew that music was in his bones. He recounts, “I think my parents noticed that I liked singing, so I sang until I was 11. Then I stopped because I was hanging out with people who didn’t think it was that cool. And I wanted to be cool, so I stopped doing that.” Maximillian shares that he then entered a bout of teenage angst. He expounds, “I just became like this really bad behavior kid. I didn’t have any respect for the adults and was thrown out of school a few times. So I had to get homeschooling and everything.”
 
 
But the tides changed when he and his father bonded at a Pink Floyd concert. He recounts that pivotal moment: “I didn’t know Pink Floyd. But this one part of the concert where the whole room went black and like these red lasers, capes started shooting up from the stage before falling. And then Roger Waters came up to the stage and started singing, ‘We don’t need no education!’” When Maximillian witnessed the crowd go wild, he realized he wanted to do that. “I want to be the one on the stage, having that kind of impact on people,” he admits. And if the large crowds greeting him in each show are any indication, it’s a dream that’s come true.
 
 
This flourishing music career is also a product of Maximillian getting back on his feet. After making it good at boarding school, he chose to sign with a label instead of going to college. He explains, “Instead of going to school every day, I went into the studio for a whole year. I practiced how to write, how [to] record—all these little things you don’t really think about when you say you want to be a musician.” But, of course, his journey to get that career also came with some doubts, especially after endless songwriting sessions but no releases. Nevertheless, Maximillian soldiered on with help from his team, who kept telling him, “It’s going to come. Just keep working.”
Videography and Editing Keit Rivera

Eytys denim pants

A Peek Into the Present: Staying Too Young

The thing about human nature is that we feel a constant need to one-up ourselves. We want to reach our peaks and aim even higher, sometimes to the point where we actually forget to enjoy the moment. But for Maximillian, he didn’t feel pressure to recreate his success with Beautiful Scars when working on his debut album, Too Young. “I just want to write something that means something to me and then really work on it. I think if you start comparing successes, you’re going to end up making the same song,” he shares. The opening track to the album, Turn Around, began the idea of his debut album. Maximillian recounts, “Because [Turn Around] was something that didn’t sound like all the other things I made. It’s exciting. It’s interesting to try making sounds you haven’t heard from me.”

 

Too Young, the title of his album, also serves as an act of embracing his feelings. After all, people in their 20s still receive comments that sound like, “You’re still too young to know about this.” Instead of chalking them up as insignificant memories and allowing others to invalidate his heartbreak and past, Maximillian welcomes the pain wholeheartedly. He reveals, “I’d rather have someone telling me that it’s a part of life than getting told I’m just ‘young.’” He doesn’t even have time for toxic masculinity, squashing the mindset that men shouldn’t feel their feelings. “I never really cared about that whole ‘men don’t cry’ thing,” he proclaims. “Because it’s bullshit.”

Now, at 23, Maximillian is also at a crossroads of growing up and staying young. To find the perfect balance between both directions, Maximillian just rolls with it all. “Take everything with a grain of salt. I’m enjoying my youth; I like going out and having fun, being a young guy in Copenhagen. I think it’s important to live your life. Sometimes I need to take a break when I’ve been working too much. I need to live my life to be able to write about it.”

If Maximillian were to write a letter to his younger self, it would go something like this:

 

“It’s going to be rough. But it will turn out okay in the end.
You’re going to get heartbroken. You’re going to feel so sad when you just feel like nothing’s working.
But you’re also going to have a great time, meet a lot of great people and see the world.
I wouldn’t spoil anything. Just hang tight.
Buckle up.”

 

In an era where we focus on the next big thing, it’s easy to forget the path previously taken. But if there’s anything we can learn from Maximillian, there’s no harm in looking back from time to time as we move forward.

Photography Erwin Canlas
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Story Kai Franco
Fashion Direction Nicole Blanco Ramos
Styling JL Crespo
Beauty Direction Elisa Aquino
Grooming Ida Siasoco
Production Wonder
Location Secret Studios
Special Thanks UMG Philippines Inc
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