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An Interview with The Bay Area’s
Hot New Hip Hop Talent
Author: Barbara Sanchez





Ian Maxion is a 20-year old Hip Hop singer from the 
Bay Area. He took some time to tell ShoutOut about his 
experience of being on “American Idol,” his singing 
career and his thoughts about issues that face teens 
today.

ShoutOut: What got you into singing?

Maxion: I’ve been singing ever since I was 
little. I come from a really musical family too- my 
sister sings and my mom used to perform. I guess I 
kind of inherited it.

ShoutOut: What made you want to go on 
“American Idol”?

Maxion: I used to be in a group called “842.” 
We kind of branched out after I went on “American 
Idol.”

ShoutOut: How was your first performance?

Maxion: I was very nervous! Actually, I’m 
always nervous. But yeah, my first performance, I was 
the most nervous I had ever been in my life.

ShoutOut: Have you ever messed up in a 
performance and was it embarrassing?
 
Maxion: Yeah, I messed up a little because I 
was so nervous. But on stage, you just gotta keep 
going.
 
ShoutOut: Do you have any lucky charms or 
rituals before each performance?
 
Maxion: Before each show, we all stand in a 
circle and hold hands and pray, and I say a few words. 
And then, this is a little silly, but we put our hands 
in the middle and go, “One, Two, Three, Make it 
Apeen!!”
 
ShoutOut: What kind of music do you sing?
 
Maxion: I sing Pop, Hip Hop, Urban... it’s a 
little funky. My big inspirations are Michael Jackson 
and Mariah Carey.
 
ShoutOut: How did you meet your dancers?
 
Maxion: I met my dancers after “American Idol.” 
I wrote my first song with my manager Eddie. It was 
really upbeat, so we decided we needed dancers and 
held auditions. Some of the people that auditioned 
knew me, or were acquaintances. This is kind of funny, 
actually. One dancer was my high school buddy, and one 
was a cousin’s best friend.
 
ShoutOut: What do you do when you’re not 
singing?
 
Maxion: I’m a full time student at Chabot 
College majoring in marketing. It’s really complicated 
being a full time student and a singer. Over the 
summer I could just focus in singing, but now I have 
to balance and make time for both.
 
ShoutOut: What do you think your life would 
have been like if you won “American Idol”?
 
Maxion: “American Idol” was just a push in the 
right direction for me. If I had gone onto more 
rounds, it would have given me better publicity. But 
now, I’m just focusing on working hard to get where I 
need to be.
 
ShoutOut: When you were a teen, were you 
pressured to do drugs? 
 
Maxion: My friends in high school did drugs. 
But I have my own belief on drugs—I’m against them. I 
was never really peer pressured in high school, but I 
was around drugs. At times it was tempting, but you 
just stay strong.

ShoutOut: Why do you think so many teens do 
drugs today?
 
Maxion: I think teens do drugs for a lot of 
reasons, like to get out of hard times, or to forget 
about their lives for a while and relax. And, I think 
some do it for fun. I think those are the main reasons.
 
ShoutOut: We’re a teen magazine that talks 
about the risks of unprotected sex. Why do you think 
so many teens today are having unprotected sex?
 
Maxion: It’s not an easy subject to talk about. 
I think teens like to experiment, and they’re not 
comfortable talking to their parents about it. I think 
it’s also really hard not to [have sex] nowadays, 
because sex is everywhere. I think a lot of people 
rush into things too fast today, they get curious and 
want to know how it feels. I mean, look at TV and at 
music, look at Britney Spears, she markets sex. How 
can you not want to try it?
 
ShoutOut: Do you have any advice for teens that 
are having sex?
 
Maxion: Just be firm and true to what you 
believe in, and be strong. Hold your ground, have a 
strong head on your shoulders, and don’t be a 
follower. Be your own person!

Check out Ian Maxion’s web site at: www.ianmaxion.com.