Photo courtesy artist

Max Hershenow (best known as one-half of the duo MS MR) is making his solo debut this week under his alexmaax moniker.

He's just shared a hypnotic first single called "Bets Off," which arrived today with an accompanying video. It finds the Los Angeles-based producer fully taking the reins—and even the microphone, finally, for the first preview of his upcoming EP, which he began working on back in 2018.

"I always thought of myself as a potential vocalist. I was convinced there was this voice deep inside me that just needed to be unlocked in the right way," he says. "But I was insecure about its rough edges, and gradually developed a complex around singing. Eventually I resigned myself to being a producer and songwriter, even telling my mom to stop asking when I was going to start singing because it made me too sad. But the urge didn't really go away, and over the past few years a few things changed: MS MR came to a gradual end (or hiatus or whatever), and I started working with a vocal teacher who encouraged me to explore the outer edges of my voice in a freer way."

He adds: "I learned to face my voice with curiosity and playfulness instead of dread. I started hearing it differently, relaxing into its strangeness and specificity, nuance and limitations. Little by little I understood how to strengthen and nurture it."

The result is "Bets Off," an elegant, enchanting offering which draws notable influence from the likes of Perfume Genius and ANHONI. 

Watch the new video below.