Ava Max took fans behind the curtain in a major way on Monday, Dec. 7's Daily Pop.
As part of an exclusive conversation with E! co-hosts Carissa Culiner, Justin Sylvester and Morgan Stewart, the singer-songwriter opened up about everything from her debut studio album Heaven & Hell to the origin of her signature "Max Cut" hairstyle. Oh, and "Kings & Queens" Ava's smash hit that you've almost certainly heard at least once.
"As a collective—the songwriters—we were listening to it over and over again," the 26-year old star said, recalling how "Sweet but Psycho" was born. "We were like, the lyrics aren't right yet. This could be the theme song to female empowerment, to everybody doing their own thing, while popping champagne. But how do we not make that, like, corny?"
Ava's ultimate goal was to make a song "that sounds great" and that "people want to dance" to," she explained, "but we also wanted a strong message behind it. It's very hard to do all those things."
As a result, Ava spent almost an entire year working on the tune. She revealed that "Sweet but Psycho" took just as long, but as for the rest of the songs on Heaven & Hell, those "came quite easy."
The album's name came naturally, too. As Ava explained, "Heaven and hell is everything we go through in life. It's really the ying and the yang; the duality of life. Life can be so spectacular, and then it throws you a curveball. And I feel like, no matter how amazing life can be, it will always have downfalls. And we've got to learn to cope with those things and relationships and our careers, with who we are, [to become] the best versions of ourselves."
"I've definitely been through the wringer in my life," the pop star continued, "so I had to name it Heaven & Hell."
The long-awaited album is unapologetically Ava; something she attributes to the notion that she doesn't "hold anything back."
"I really believe in giving it all. If you're going to go, go all in," she said on Daily Pop. "One hundred percent, all or nothing. I don't believe in going just a little bit if that makes sense."
Take her dramatic hairstyle, the "Max Cut," for example. A shoulder-length bob on one side and long, flowing hair on the other, the cut was actually the result of an accident, Ava revealed.
"Everyone thinks I made up this story—which, it sounds like a made-up story—and my mom even said, 'Girl, that sounds crazy. Did that actually happen?' I was like mom, it actually happened," she began. "I was baking cookies one day by myself at my place. It was about four years ago. I started cutting a bunch of wigs, coloring wigs. I was going through this whole thing."
Ava continued, "I'm like, 'I want to change my look.' And then I walked downstairs forgetting to cut the other side, pass a mirror, look at myself, and go, 'I literally look sweet but psycho.' It makes sense!"
Watch the complete Daily Pop interview with Ava Max in the above clip! You won't want to miss a fun game based on the pop star's very own song, "Sweet but Psycho."