“Sweet But Psycho” was the debut single from American singer Ava Max and her debut album “Heaven & Hell”, which was released earlier in the month, on the 18th September 2020. “Sweet But Psycho” was written by Max, Andreas Andresen Haukeland, Henry Walter, Madison Love and William Lobban-Bean, with producer Cirkut (Henry Walter) in charge of production.
“Sweet But Psycho” is a pop, dance-pop and electropop was apparently inspired by Max’s interactions with her parents, but elaborated on the track’s true meaning in an interview with radio JAMS 96.3: “The track is about a girl who is misunderstood in a relationship. She thinks she’s going out of her mind and psycho. But in reality, she’s just a strong, independent female. In the end, the guy loves all of her sides – sweet, psycho (as he likes to call it).” The song (and later, the music video) was met with both positive feedback, but also negative. Many mental health organisations in Ireland attempted to have the song banned from the radio, as they believed it stigmatized mental health and also downplayed the real life traumatic experiences of those in abusive relationships.
The music video for “Sweet But Psycho” was uploaded to YouTube on the 27th August 2018. Directed by filmmaker Shomi Patwary, the video shows Max and a love interest (played by model Prasad Romijn), fighting and Max throws kitchen knives, rips his clothes and eventually leaves him to burn in a house she sets on fire. The video did cause a lot of controversy, for downplaying domestic abuse. As of late September 2020, the video has a total of 615.2 million views and 4.6 million likes.
Release Date: 17th August 2018
Songwriter/s: Amanda Ava Koci (Ava Max), Andreas Andresen Haukeland, Henry Walter, Madison Love & William Lobban-Bean
Music Video Release Date: 27th August 2018
Music Video Director: Shomi Patwary
Chart Rankings & Certifications: In its year of release, “Psycho” charted at #15 in Argentina, #2 in Australia, #1 in Austria, #1 in Belgium, #9 in Brazil, #4 in Bulgaria, #11, #33, #3 and #8 on various charts in Canada; #8 in Chile, #12 in China, #92 in Colombia, #1 in Croatia, #1 in the Czech Republic, #1 in Denmark, #1 in Estonia, #1 in Finland, #8 in France, #1 in Germany, #1 on various charts in Hungary, #1 in Iceland, #3 in Italy, #19 in Japan, #4 and #1 on many charts in Latvia, #5 in Lithuania, #2 in Luxembourg, #7 in Malaysia, #2 in Mexico, #1 and #4 in the Netherlands, #1 in New Zealand, #1 in Norway, #1 in Poland, #16 in Portugal, #12 in Puerto Rico, 2 in Romania, #4 in Russia, #1 in Scotland, #2 in Serbia, #7 in Singapore, #3 in Slovakia, #1 in Slovenia, #18 in Spain, #1 in Sweden, #1 in Switzerland, #1 in the UK, #1 in the Ukraine, #1o, #17, #2, #1, #4 and #3 on various US Billboard charts, #43 on the US Rolling Stone Top 100 chart and #4 in Venezuela. “Sweet But Psycho” is certified 5x Platinum in Australia, 2x Platinum in Austria, Platinum in Belgium, Diamond in Brazil, 5x Platinum in Canada, 2x Platinum in Denmark, Diamond in France, 3x Gold in Germany, 3x Platinum in Italy, 2x Platinum in the Netherlands, Platinum in New Zealand, Platinum in Norway, Diamond in Poland, Platinum in Portugal and Spain, 4x Platinum in Switzerland, 3x Platinum in the UK and 3x Platinum in the US.
The lyrics to “Sweet But Psycho” can be viewed here: LINK