From Oklahoma City, Max Gleason, known by his stage name, Smooth McGroove, went from someone who gave private music lessons to an up and coming YouTube sensation who specializes in video game music covers. While, you may be led to think of that as something that is quite common, he makes his covers a bit more out of the ordinary than most. Max specializes in covering retro video game classics in a full a capella style. No need for tracking a multitude of instruments to cover these songs because his voice is all he needs!
His videos consist of him recording himself voicing different instrument patterns and mixing them together to re-create recognizable songs from past generations of gaming, from a capella renditions of “Wily Castle” and “Saria’s Song” to covers of “Tetris”. He also records himself performing each instrumental pattern and combines all of the recordings on screen to make one giant, moving McGroovy mosaic. With his cat Charl by his side, Max has become a fan favorite among the gaming community and his popularity is still soaring. He has even had Q/A panels at Magcon and SGC.
Many fans have also been asking Max to pursue covering music from modern games, but he was not for it. When asked about this, he stated that, “music for video games today serve a more atmospheric role with less of a focus on memorable melodies.” This clearly shows that Max would rather cover music with more focus on the melody than the atmosphere, which is why he sticks with the retro tunes, instead of more modern franchises. However, he has made exceptions, with one of the biggest being the “Elder Scrolls” franchise. Another interesting thing about Max’s video work is that it was something he never thought he would do. When asked about it at his SGC panel, he talked about how he thought be would just be playing in a band since he was a drummer, but one day he played around with laying down some vocal tracks with the software he had, and he would often perform covers of the “Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” soundtrack. Eventually, when these covers started becoming popular, he branched out from that and started expanding his covers to many different franchises. From that one day of messing around with voicing instrument patterns, we now have a truly unique artists who will continue to put out new and interesting videos as often as he can.
If you’d like to check out some of his work, feel free to subscribe to his YouTube channel, Smooth McGroove. You can also check out his Q/A panels to learn about him a bit more and buy his covers on iTunes!
As always, I’ll see you next week!