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#MusicExchange: MaxX & Love

MaxX & Love is a music duo born from the blues. Their music is largely influenced by their lives and is conveyed through a musical form of storytelling.
Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

The duo opened a show for Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse at Snatch 32 in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 30 October, which was for Mabuse’s pre-70th birthday dinner. Mabuse remarked at the time: “2022 could be the band's breakout year.”

The band close off the year with four more shows - 16 and 17 December at SowaarBar in Pretoria, 18 December at Sinkshack, Bronkhorstspruit and 19 December at Menlyn Mall, Pretoria.

I spoke to the band last week:

BizcommunityThe new decade means:

New beginnings and endless potential. It’s full of questions, possibilities, hope and fear all at the same time. But best of all, they’re all the furthest thing from the end.

BizcommunityFame is about:

Responsibility. The more you have, the more people follow what you say and even emulate what you do.

BizcommunityRetirement will happen when:


BizcommunityI don't do:

Background music. We work so hard on a show so we can create and offer an experience to be engaged with.

BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?

It helps bring meaning to life. It offers perspective to an otherwise chaotic world.

BizcommunityMy music is about:

Our philosophy is the answer, the blues is a feeling. We honor that every time we perform.

BizcommunityWe would love to co-write with:

Joe Bonamassa and Jack Garratt.

BizcommunityWhere do you go for inspiration to create?

As Picasso said: “Inspiration finds me working”. Doesn’t matter where or when.

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Getting to play, in every sense of the word.

BizcommunityThe song you must do in every show?

I’ll Never Fall in Love - our first original song as MaxX & Love.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage?

The moment Love left MaxX on stage mid song to go and dance with the audience. It was a beautifully spontaneous moment because what was happening on stage surpassed just us, the audience had become a part of the performance and Love just had to join them as they joined us.

BizcommunityOur heroes:

Jimmy Page, Joe Bonamassa, Elmore James, Michael Jackson and Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino).

BizcommunityMy style icon:

Johnny Depp.

BizcommunityWhich living person do you admire most and why?

Donald Glover.

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?

1957 Fender Hawaiian Resonator.

BizcommunityIt’s your round, what are you drinking?

Whiskey on the rocks.

BizcommunityDream gig to do:

Keeping the Blues Alive Cruise.

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

Our showmanship (and stank face!).


Climax (for MaxX) and Chabbs (for Love).

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?

Well aside from being musicians, we’re both actors as well, so that.

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood Blockbuster and why?

MaxX: Jimi Hendrix or Robert Johnson in a biopic!
Love: Prince or Smokey Robinson in a biopic!

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself?

Dynamic, eclectic, perceptive, weird and outspoken.

BizcommunityFive favorite SA albums?

Inganekwane by Zoe Modiga
Ngiwu Shwabada by Sibusile Xaba
Welcome to This World by MABUTA
Buffering juju by dumama + kechou
Real by Dan Padlansky

BizcommunityGreatest movie ever made?

I don’t think there is one. Not for us at least. Too many are too great.

BizcommunityWhat books are you reading?

We don’t really have the patience for reading, so that’s a very on and off kind of thing.

BizcommunityWhat songs changed your life?

Since I’ve Been Loving You by Led Zeppelin and Sondela by Ringo Madlingozi.

BizcommunityWho do you love?

Each other.

BizcommunityWhat is your favorite word?


BizcommunityFavorite fashion garment:


BizcommunityGive us some real proper slang and what it means:

“What’s your bite (pronounced baaryt)?. Well… This can mean what’s up with you, what’s your problem, what’s going on? Love came up with it.

BizcommunityTop of your bucket list:

Performing around the world.

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement:

Successfully getting this MaxX & Love thing going. We’ve been playing as musicians for a while separately and coming together was both very difficult and very easy.

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?

People’s laziness and sense of entitlement.

BizcommunityWhat is your fear?

As far as the music goes, nothing. We both have philosophical fears and doubts but music has always been a safe place for us.

BizcommunityHappiness is:

Being on stage. A whole experience of its own.

BizcommunityOn stage, I tend to:

Close my eyes. I zone out and let the music take me.

BizcommunityThe best life lesson you have been taught?

Study the masters.

BizcommunityDo you get worked up whilst watching a sports game on TV?

As an athlete, MaxX never watches sports. Love is an Arsenal fan and anyone familiar with Arsenal knows that Arsenal fans are constantly worked up.

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?

As present as possible.

BizcommunityDo you do charity work and if you do, what do you do?

We participate in an initiative called Young Aspiring Thinkers that aims to introduce youth to as many career options as possible, create career conducive networks or communities and connect them to work and entrepreneurship opportunities.

BizcommunityWishes and dreams:

To tour the world, keep growing as musicians and as much as we want to share our story, we want to experience all that life has to offer.

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About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz