The voice. That other worldly, “stop you in your tracks”, “goose bump” raising voice put the stamp of distinctiveness on the music of dcTalk. A voice only rivaled in the history of rock music by Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury. Kevin Max is that once in a generation voice.
With that voice and a probing, experimental heart Kevin Max has carved out one of the most enigmatic, controversial solo careers in Christian music. The eccentric, attention-seeking member of the CCM trio dc Talk, Kevin Max turned almost certain superstardom as a solo artist into an underground solo career marked by experimental forays into French pop, electronic, gospel, blues and crooner pop. Kevin Max came out of dc Talk as the voice that ruled the hit records, turned his back on the CCM machine by moving to L.A., adopted a “rock diva” stage persona and very quickly alienated his traditional audience.
Stripped of the pressures of CCM superstardom Kevin Max proceeded to build a solo career of experimental pop music, spoken word creations, published poetry and stage and film roles. In the process he has worked with rock icons Andrew Belew, Larry Norman and Van Dyke Parks.
“On everyone’s personal journey they’ve got to get to the truth,” says Kevin Max. “Without that, they’re living a lie. It’s getting outside the box, stepping outside our comfort zone when we really start to live.”
Kevin Max started singing when he was young. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, lived on a farm and rode horses and motorcycles. He was adopted as a baby by Max and Elaine Smith, and named Kevin Max Smith. He became popular in high school, to a degree, by singing in theatrical productions. He liked the sound of Bryan Ferry and Freddy Mercury’s voices. Kevin Max wrote poetry and enjoyed the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He was fond of watching The Smiths videos. Kevin Max became a founding member of dcTalk, was kicked out of Liberty University and released form his first post dcTalk label, Forefront Records. He was asked to be the lead singer of Journey and declined. Kevin Max performed as Joseph in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and played the lead character in the film “The Imposter”.
Kevin Max is a maker of art.
Let’s set that record straight right now. Kevin Max is a man of so many different talents and facets—including but not limited to seven full-length albums and three EPs, so stylistically different that it hardly seems possible that they could have poured out of the same person; five studio albums with his former band dcTalk; four books of poetry; a memoir; a children’s book; stage and film performances; live shows and spoken word collaborations—that it is often difficult not to view Kevin Max as some sort of Frankenstein monster of various talents and abilities, all thrown together by some brilliantly mad scientist in an effort to create a perfect patchwork of wild talents.
But make no mistake—Kevin Max is a passionate musician constantly toiling away in his workshop, always pushing his music and his lyrics into new directions and higher heights. He has been heralded with titles that range from “the bad boy of Christian music” to “the next Peter Gabriel,” but Kevin Max eschews any such stereotypes by constantly recreating himself from album to album and refusing to be pigeonholed.
Now, back in Grand Rapids Michigan, Max is settling in on his graphic novel series titled ‘Fiefdom of Angels.’ A soundtrack is being assembled to coincide and the novel which started it all is being edited and ready to send to publishers. The graphic novel series starts with the teaser issue which is unveiled this year during Art Prize 2001. Max plans to follow up the introductory comic with a three volume series, which will then be followed by the novel itself. There are further plans for ‘Fiefdom of Angels’ to be written into a screenplay and stage production. Max is currently releasing the first single from the soundtrack as a free download during Art Prize week, titled ‘Take A Bow.’
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More and more people really need to read this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you're not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.
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Genius.| Posted June 03, 2018
Kevin Max has one of the most outstanding, soul stirring voices of all time. He's original and one of a kind. He's consistently out doing himself. I have always been and will always be amazed by his genius. So excited for the new release "AWOL". Guaranteed to blow you away and inspire.
Fan from the beginning| Posted June 02, 2018
Kevin is one of those amazing artists that takes you on his journey. I often find myself realizing he's eloquently stated so many of my own feelings and experiences.
Kevin Max is always amazing| Posted June 02, 2018
Been following Kevin for just a few years. His voice and his music grabbed my attention first . I got to know him a bit through his posts and because he really loves his fans and wants to connect with them. He is one of my favorite humans. Honest and real. His amazing unique eclectic music keeps me coming back for more. AWOL goes to a whole new level of awesome.
DC Talk| Posted June 01, 2018
Last night me and my parents were watching the K-LOVE Fan Awards, and when Newsboys United came on stage, my dad mentioned how one of the artists on Newsboys United used to be on DC Talk. He said he wasn't sure what ever happened to Kevin Max though... Then I go on New Release Today and see this LOL. I'll have to tell him about this.
The singer and beyond.| Posted April 01, 2017
I have been a fan for 30 years and through all the ridicule and hate for Christian music from christian and non-christian I stayed a die hard fan. It's not just the voice, the words, the look or the spirituality....it's all of it together making the most iconic individual in music, to me, past - present - future.
I hope to work with you one day, Kevin.
Amazing!| Posted April 01, 2017
Kevin Max has probably the most amazing and unique voice I've heard. As a solo artist, he's great! And in a group, his voice adds a dimension unlike any other. His quote, "The voice your mother warned you about", fits perfectly; it grabs your attention and you just listen in awe! Love it! :)