Smooth McGroove

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Smooth McGroove
Personal information
BornMax Gleason
  • YouTuber
  • Singer
YouTube information
Years active2012–2019, 2021–present
GenreMusic, a cappella
Subscribers2.69 million[1]
Total views589 million[1]

Updated: March 15, 2022

Max Gleason, better known by his stage name of Smooth McGroove, is an American YouTuber known for recording re-arranged a cappella versions of video game music.[2][3][4] His videos feature multiple videos of himself, ostensibly recording each part, often complemented by a video of the relevant game being played and the appearance of his cat Charl and later Angel.[3][5]


Gleason's musical career began when he was eleven years old and began playing the drums. He eventually started teaching private music lessons to support himself.[2] In college, Gleason began recording some MIDI tracks and posting them on MySpace, but never got much recognition for them. Later, he and some friends of his started a rock band, and in addition to being the drummer, he was responsible for the audio mixing. The band fell apart, and a few years later, Gleason decided to do more music. He began rapping about video games, and he gradually moved to a cappella music.[4]

Gleason has recorded music from many popular video game series, including The Legend of Zelda,[6] Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy,[7] Mega Man,[8] Undertale and Street Fighter.[9] Gleason's videos have garnered millions of views, and he eventually left his job giving private music lessons to focus fully on his a cappella videos.[10] When asked about working with more modern tracks, he sided against it, stating that "music for video games today serve a more atmospheric role with less of a focus on memorable melodies". He noted that the Elder Scrolls series was an exception.[11]

A Starbound patch known as "v. Enraged Koala" released in early 2014 added a microphone feature including sounds by Gleason.[12][13]

In 2014, Gleason provided narration for an episode of the video game webseries Did You Know Gaming? covering the F-Zero series.[14]

Gleason did a cover of "The Gardens" from the LittleBigPlanet soundtrack which was released on the official soundtrack for LittleBigPlanet 3, which was released on November 18, 2014, titled "Secret Gardens".

On January 22, 2015, Gleason was featured on Episode 2 of the Reddit podcast Upvoted. Gleason recounted how his musical career began, and how he suddenly gained the attention and viewers that eventually allowed him to pursue making music as a full-time career.[15]

Across 2019 and 2020, Gleason was dealing with personal medical problems and had shut down his Patreon and produced no content, but returned to production of his a cappella covers in March 2021.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Gleason was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was raised in Yukon, Oklahoma. He currently lives in Oklahoma City with his cat Charl.[2][3][4]


  • VGM Acapella: Volume 1 (2013) [16]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 2 (2013) [17]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 3 (2013) [18]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 4 (2014) [19]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 5 (2014) [20]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 6 (2014) [21]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 7 (2015) [22]
  • Undertale Acapella (2016) [23]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 8 (2016) [24]
  • VGM Acapella: Volume 9 (2017)
  • VGM Acapella: Volume X (2019)


  1. ^ a b "About SmoothMcGroove". YouTube.
  2. ^ a b c Grubb, Jeffrey (May 18, 2013). "How Smooth McGroove quit his day job to record acapella versions of classic gaming tunes (interview)". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Fenn, Mike (May 3, 2013). "Smooth McGroove: How a bearded gamer became YouTube's next big star". Daily Dot. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Smooth McGroove (September 30, 2013). "Interview: Smooth McGroove on Becoming YouTube Famous". CraveOnline (Interview). Interviewed by Paul Tamburro. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Grey, Kate (March 24, 2021). "Random: Smooth McGroove Updates Fans On Where He's Been For Almost Two Years". Nintendo Life. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Ponce, Tony (March 3, 2013). "Bearded dude performs amazing Zelda a cappellas". Destructoid. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Futter, Mike (October 21, 2013). "Smooth McGroove Leads Us To Final Fantasy VII Victory". Game Informer. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  8. ^ Vas, Gergo (May 4, 2013). "Mega Man X's Spark Mandrill Theme, In An Amazing A Capella". Kotaku. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  9. ^ Helgeson, Matt (June 19, 2014). "Smooth McGroove Tackles Street Fighter". Game Informer. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Cornell, David. "YouTube User Smooth McGroove Talks Quitting His Day Job". The Inquisitr. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  11. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (September 9, 2013). "How Smooth Got His McGroove – The Introverted Acapella YouTube Artist". Game Informer. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  12. ^ Savage, Phil (February 19, 2014). "Starbound patch prepares for daily content updates, adds Smooth McGroove". Future Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Hillier, Brenna (February 19, 2014). "Starbound updated, one more universe wipe expected". vg247. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Did You Know Gaming? (February 22, 2014). "F-Zero - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Smooth McGroove". Normal Boots. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Episode 2 - The Story of /u/SmoothMcGroove : Upvoted". Reddit. January 22, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 1, by Smooth McGroove".
  17. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 2, by Smooth McGroove".
  18. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 3, by Smooth McGroove".
  19. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 4, by Smooth McGroove".
  20. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 5, by Smooth McGroove".
  21. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 6, by Smooth McGroove".
  22. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 7, by Smooth McGroove".
  23. ^ "Listening is everything".
  24. ^ "VGM Acapella: Volume 8, by Smooth McGroove".

External links[edit]