Max Restaino

Exposed meets Max Restaino. Multi-instrumentalist and local lad, Max, is set for big things – having signed a deal with Universal Records and releasing his debut single ‘Obvious’ this month. We popped along to his second home of the world famous SteelWorks studios for a cuppa and a natter to find out how it all went so right.

Max – introduce yourself to our beautiful Exposed readers…
Hello! I’m a musician singer/songwriter, I play an accordion, saxophone, piano and guitar – and now I’ve got a single coming out called ‘Obvious’ on May 3. Pretty exciting.

What’s your background then?
I grew up in Millhouses and started gigging around at some of the city’s restaurants. I didn’t actually get into singing until about five or six years ago – I used to just play accordion and saxophone. With the accordion, my granddad brought it from Italy for my brother, but he didn’t really like it – so he just gave it me and that’s how it all started.

We’re at Steelworks studios. This place is legendary. How’d you end up here?
I’ve been doing a placement Elliott Kennedy’s Steelworks Academy, but I’ve been coming in since I was small – just helping out or making a general nuisance of myself.

What’s Elliott like to work with?
He’s great, he knows so much about music and what works – from song structures to the best chords to use. He’s known as the ‘song doctor’. I’ve learned tons from him.

I understand you’ve already worked with a few famous names as well. I guess you see a lot of familar faces coming through the door…
Yeah, I have. I actually worked with Gary Barlow. Elliott told me he was looking for an accordion player and asked if I was up for it – so I was like, ‘yeah, alright then’ (laughs). Next minute, I find myself in London recording one of his songs – ‘Let Me Go’.


I’ve heard that Peter Kay’s a fan as well?
(Laughs) Sort of. I’m a fan of his, at least. They did all the music for Phoenix Nights Live here – so I ended up doing some backing vocals for that.

You’re 18, working with the stars, and signed to Universal – that’s pretty much living the dream, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s really cool!

What was it like when you put pen to paper? Was it like “I’ve made it now”?
I’ve never really thought of it like that. I’ve always just been concentrating on the music, really. I don’t write anything to try and make it into the charts – I just write what I personally like.

What does your family think of it all?
They’re really supportive, always getting me to do little shows and stuff – like my niece’s birthday an’ that (laughs).


New single then, ‘Obvious’, tell us what it’s all about?
The story’s basically about someone trying to make it obvious to someone else that they like them. But… it’s not that easy. The video was done around Sheffield – some of it here in the studio.

Are there plans for an album down the line?
Hopefully. There should be another single after ‘Obvious’ then an EP. I’ve been working on a lot of songs.

Finally then, what’s the big picture?
I suppose it’s just a step at time. The dream is to be an established artist and sell out venues – but ultimately just to make a living out of music would be amazing. It’s something that I love – and this is just the beginning of the journey.

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