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.
A Retrospective: Maximillian’s Early Years
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.
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.