Active8 Magazine

A young musician who first picked up an accordion aged just four has gone on to play the instrument on a hit track by Gary Barlow.

Max Restaino was just nine when he was first featured in Active8 for his incredible prowess on a range of instruments. He came to the attention of Sheffield’s Grammy-award winning song writer and producer Eliot Kennedy and now, aged 18, is a student at Eliot’s Steelworks Studios’ academy.

Max played the accordion on Gary Barlow’s chart hit ‘Let Me Go’ and will also feature on 70s hearthrob Donny Osmond’s forthcoming album.

As well as also playing the sax, piano, and guitar, Max is a singer and songwriter. He is putting the final touches to his debut EP, building a fan base online, and developing himself as a producer.

The EP, as yet untitled, is due for release early next year and Steelworks is holding conversations with labels and investors. Max, who lives in Sheffield 8, said working at Steelworks, based in the city centre, was a great opportunity to develop his career.

During his 20-year career in the music industry, Eliot has worked with artists such
as Bryan Adams, The Spice Girls, Take That, Aretha Franklyn, Mary J Blige and Celine Dion, to name a few. More recently he has been involved with song writing and production on albums from The Wanted and Steps and had a major role in last year’s XFactor, as talent development producer.

Max said: “It’s been amazing. You can learn so much, even just by sitting in the studio and watching what’s going on. I’ve been doing a lot of gigs and done an acoustic tour in the local area which has given me experience of different audiences. I’m hoping I’ll be supporting on a tour at some point. Performance is a big thing for me but I also love the other side.”

Max was pictured playing the Italian folk accordion, a gift from his Italian grandmother, in Issue 40 of Active8, back in June, 2006.

Of his early display of talent, he said: “I don’t really remember it, but my mum said a song came on the radio and I was under the table playing it on the accordion. I was about four.”

Eliot said: “Max is an exceptional talent. The last few years have been about honing in on what he is as an artist. His song writing skills are amazing and he can play anything he puts his hands on. He is an amazing talent to watch for the future, no doubt.”

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