Max Pope says his music is “better” when you forget the stress of the music industry.

The ‘Counting Sheep’ singer-songwriter says he writes the “best s***” when he forgets about the money grabbing music executives and just does what he wants to do.

The 27-year-old musician told the Independent newspaper: “The best s*** that I make is when I can forget that there’s a f****** music industry out there. It’s better when you’re not aware of the corporate side of it.

Max - who left the prestigious Brit School and was labelled the ‘Next Ed Sheeran’ earlier in his career - says leaving his manager behind “wasn’t a hard decision” because it wasn’t taking him in the direction he wanted to going into.

He said: “I think that momentum thing is b******. It wasn’t a hard decision; I stopped doing it because it wasn’t serving me anymore.”

“I just stopped creating for a while. I needed to just stop and work out what was going on.”

He added: “It took me a long time to realise that I was being pushed in a direction that wasn’t me.”

Max also detailed how Bill Withers’ “simple” music was very influential to his new album, ‘Counting Sheep’ and how his death in 2020 left him “genuinely shattered”.

He said: “His music is very simple. He says it how it is and there’s not a load of pretence. I’ve been inspired by the feeling of that, not necessarily the sound of his music, although that too, but the way it makes me feel.