Kevin Max is listed in the credits for the following albums:
|Keyboards, Lead and Background Vocals
|Addicted to Jesus
|Michael W. Smith
|Change Your World
|Free at Last
|Don't Censor Me
|Free at Last Extended Play Mixes
|Never Say Dinosaur
|Welcome to the Freak Show
|TEN - The Birthday Album
|Worthless Pursuit of Things on the Earth
|The Prayer of Jabez
|Producer, Songwriter, Piano, Keyboards, Tambourine, Handclaps, Vocals
|Reset & Rewind
|Featured Vocal (Blue)
|Kings & Queens
Kevin Max Smith is an American singer, songwriter, and poet. He is best known for being a member of the Christian pop group dc Talk. As a solo artist since 2001, he has recorded four full-length studio albums, one Christmas album, and three EPs.
Born Kevin Max Smith, he legally shortened it to "Kevin Max" in 1997, as a tribute to his adoptive father. Kevin was himself adopted by the Smith family and grew up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. His adoptive brother was named Derek. Kevin showed incredible vocal and musical talent early in his life. Renowned for his unusual vibrato and multiple octave range, his voice grabbed attention immediately. His talent grew while at Grand Rapids Baptist High School (now known as NorthPointe Christian High School) and later at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. While at Liberty, Max started a band called 'Connection' and was known around the campus as 'the rock singer.' Max was dismissed from Liberty University for unknown reasons following the first semester of his freshman year. He returned the following semester and shortly thereafter joined the Christian music group dcTalk.
While at Liberty University, he met fellow dc Talk bandmates: Toby McKeehan ("tobyMac") and Michael Tait. They formed dc Talk and went on to achieve great success in both Christian and mainstream music. The band went on to win four Grammy Awards, 16 GMA Dove Awards, and other recognition. However, they decided to take an extended "intermission" in 2000.
In recent years, Kevin Max has attempted to create a name for himself apart from dc Talk. While he does not shy away from vocally defending his faith, he has expressed a desire to create art with a universal appeal. He insists, "My music is for a Christian and a Buddhist to pick up and still enjoy, as well as for an atheist. But it is there to prod and ask questions: What is my worldview? What do I believe in, and why do I believe it?"
Max's first solo album, Stereotype Be, released on August 28, 2001, was praised by Allmusic for "[combining] pop, rock, and world music to create a versatile and intriguing project." Artists Adrian Belew, Larry Norman, and Tony Levin contributed to the album. It became a turning point in Max's career, as the project was a foreshadowing of Max's own brand of style and alternative music. He would become known as the 'enigmatic' and 'independent' voice of the band, creating work that would take on many different directions that skewed far from the initial sounds and lyrical content of the dctalk music.
While Stereotype Be has developed a considerable cult following, it wasn't well-received in the Christian music market. Soon after its release, Max was dropped from his Christian label, Forefront Records. Undeterred, Max began to slowly build his solo career through live shows and word-of-mouth. He released independent albums via his website, including an EP entitled Between the Fence & the Universe and a spoken-word collaboration with Adrian Belew entitled Raven Songs 101, both in 2004.
In fall of 2004, Max's word-of-mouth strategy finally began to pay off. He played the title role in the Visalia Theatre Company / Hutson-Cavale Productions revival of the classic Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Later that year, he signed a new deal with Northern Records and released a second full-length album, titled The Imposter, said to "contain...a sound that recalls the passion of early U2, the soul of Jeff Buckley, and the ambiguity of Blur, on October 18, 2005. He released a Christmas album, titled Holy Night, in time for the 2005 Christmas season.
In April 2007, Infinity Music announced that Kevin Max signed onto their label for his next project. The Blood, was released on December 26, 2007. According to Max, "The Blood is not a classic hymns cover project or a white/homogenized version of black gospel or soul music. It's a sensitive and stylized adaption of the music that was at the root of rock and roll, blues and popular culture."
In February 2008 Kevin Max starred in the independent film The Imposter. Kevin plays a character named "Johnny C", a singer who becomes addicted to OxyContin and loses his family and job as a Christian music star. The movie also features Tom Wright and Troy Baker.
In 2009 Max released Crashing Gates through dPulse records and was critically praised as returning to his experimental side in the rock and pop genres.
Early 2010, Max began to change the direction of Cotes d' Armor ( a remix project) with label dPulse records and included UK Electronica band PWEI (Pop Will Eat Itself) on production, announcing a double vinyl and disc selection. The single 'On Yer Bike' was produced by industry veteran Tedd T known for his work with alternative rock band MUTEMATH. Currently the project boasts remixes done by Graham Crabb of PWEI and members of 3kStatic.
As of February 2011, Max had formed a supergroup with Broadway singer Tony Vincent and longtime collaborator David Larring. The band is tentatively named "Bad Omens;" the three were writing songs when Tony Vincent decided to drop out to pursue theater interests, leaving the new band in a state of pause.
In 1997, Max married Alayna Bennett. They divorced in 2003. In April 2005, he married Amanda Lynn MacDonald, but stated in an interview that earlier the two had "a secret wedding and marriage vows were spoken and we had binding agreement together in front of a spiritual leader, but we decided to go with the public ceremony a little bit later." Their daughter, London Ava Kay Max, was born on October 7, 2005.They lived in Hollywood, California, until July 2006, when Max and his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. In December 2006, Max announced on his website that he and Amanda were expecting the birth of their second child (a boy) in June 2007. He was born as Wilder Liam Max at 7:00PM on June 6, 2007. Kevin Max and family have moved back to Nashville where Max secured a new recording contract. On March 24, 2009, Kevin Max and his wife Amanda welcomed their third child, Knightly Christobal Max. In August 2010, Max and family moved back to Grand Rapids Michigan as a result of discovering that their second child, Wilder Liam, was diagnosed with low spectrum autism. The Grand Rapids Press covered the story on the front pages of the entertainment section, explaining in further detail, the reasons for Max returning to his home state. Fourth child Lady Charlotte Max was born on October 7, 2011, sharing a birthday with older sister London.
Kevin Max. (2012, February 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:51, February 19, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kevin_Max&oldid=477334762
Nashville, Tenn.: GRAMMY® winning band dc Talk will bring group members TobyMac, Michael Tait and Kevin Max together for a performance aboard the Jesus Freak Cruise, departing from Miami on July 11, 2017. Marking the first time in 16 years fans will be able to see the band perform, the cruise will travel to the ports of Nassau, Bahamas and Half Moon Cay (Private Island). TobyMac and the Diverse City Band, Newsboys, Kevin Max, Finding Favour, Capital Kings, Ryan Stevenson and Hollyn will perform alongside dc Talk on the Jesus Freak Cruise line-up. Tickets will be available for purchase on May 16, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. EST by visiting www.JesusFreakCruise.com.
"Watching Kevin lean into his faith and watching his kind way with people has been deeply inspiring. Kevin is full of vision, passion, and enthusiasm. His determination to create beauty with words and melodies for the sake of the kingdom will bless and encourage those of us searching for the fingerprints of God." - Jamie George, Pastor of The Journey in Franklin, TN and author of Love Well.