MAX is back with another BTS collaboration. In May, the "Love Me Less" singer lent his vocals to Suga's song "Burn It" off his D-2 mixtape. Now, the rapper has officially returned the favor by featuring on MAX's upcoming album, Colour Vision. But fans may be surprised to learn MAX and BTS' Suga's "Blueberry Eyes" collaboration almost didn't happen for a surprising reason.
MAX and Suga kicked off their friendship in early 2020 with a January hang session in Seoul, South Korea, and followed it up with another in LA, so fans anticipated a collab was coming. That's why MAX's feature on Suga's "Burn It" came as no surprise. What they didn't guess was the pair had two songs up their sleeves the whole time. As excited as fans were for the team-ups, MAX was even more so. "I am so bad with secrets, but I tried to tease it so I [was only] giving a little bit away. ARMYs have been really patient with me throughout the process once they realized I was for real about it," MAX tells Elite Daily.
Ultimately, MAX didn't have to keep the secret long because ARMYs uncovered details about the collab before he even got the chance to announce it officially. "I feel like I can't even be mad about it," he says about the leak. "It's a testament to how dedicated ARMY is to just being in the know with everything going on."
Suga fits so naturally on MAX's new single, which dropped Sept. 15, it's hard to believe he was originally eyeing the rapper for a different track. "I showed him [a song called] 'New Life' on the album, and he was like, 'Oh, I love this song.'" Still, Suga turned down the collab, but the reason why makes sense. "[Suga] said, 'I think it's a little too happy for me to jump on. I don't feel like I could hear my voice on it,'" MAX recalls.
Since "New Life" wasn't the right fit for Suga, MAX sent him the whole album and essentially said, "Pick your favorite." Out of the 12 tracks, MAX says he didn't expect him to choose "Blueberry Eyes."
"I was kind of surprised it was that song at first. But then, in retrospect, [I realized] it's smooth and romantic, but it also has little lo-fi, dark undertones, and he really responds to that darker world that fits with the melody," MAX explains.
Naturally, MAX had his wife, Emily Schneider, in mind when writing the track's romantic lyrics. "It's sort of the love song saying, 'You're what I waited my whole life for,' and I think I've never said that specifically in a song [to her] before," he says.
As for Suga, his verse shows love in a different way. "[Suga's] lyrics translated so sweet. I think he's speaking about ARMYs and how much they mean to him," MAX shares. "That's what really made it special. It really did feel like each other's vows to the people we love, and I love that that's what he brought to the story."
Considering Suga is an ocean away in Korea, MAX had to choose another co-star for the "Blueberry Eyes" music video — Schneider. During Suga's verse, the couple lip-syncs Suga's lyrics to one another as though they're reciting wedding vows.
Making Colour Vision has been a journey with tons of twists and turns for MAX. On the one hand, vocal surgery left him with no voice for four months right in the middle of recording, and the album was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, on the other, he was able to spend more time with his wife (who's pregnant with their first child), and he landed an epic collab with Suga. In the end, MAX is grateful for the highs and the lows, because finding the bright side in unexpected situations is what inspired the record in the first place. "[Colour Vision] is an outlook on how you approach each day. Seeing things for what they are and appreciating them in the moment," he explains.
Colour Vision will be available on all streaming platforms on Friday, Sept. 18.