“Sweet but Psycho,” the breakthrough single from Ava Max, is a big hit in the U.S., but before that, it was a big hit all around the world, starting in Sweden.  Even so, Ava says it took seeing the song become popular in a bunch of other countries to finally convince her that it was a hit.

“When it went #1 in Sweden, I was like, ‘OK this is weird, this is like an anomaly, it’s not gonna happen again,’” Ava tells ABC Radio. “And then it went #1 in Finland. Then Norway. Then everywhere else in Europe, and then it reached #1 in Australia.”

Ava goes on: “I wasn’t believing it at the time, and it took me, like, until [a few months ago] to be like, ‘Oh wow, this is really going!  People actually know the song!’”

One country where the song’s success has been very meaningful to Ava is Albania — because her parents are Albanian immigrants, just like the parents of Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Rita Ora.

“I haven’t even gone there yet and I feel the love and support tremendously,” Ava says of her parents’ homeland, where she still has plenty of family.

As for her family in the U.S., Ava says, “Everyone is super excited because they’ve seen the struggle of 10 years of [me] wanting to do this and not having the chance or the opportunity, so they’re proud and happy…and they’re just like, ‘Keep going!’”

Ava plans to release her debut album sometime this summer.

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