Photograph courtesy of Maxwell Frost.
For Maxwell Frost, there were two moments when the reality of his new gig in Congress hit him. One is typical—his first visit to the House floor during orientation—but the other reveals something different about the 26-year-old representative from Florida. Two days after winning his election, Frost came to DC for a visit and decided to attend a concert by the British band the 1975 at the Anthem. Not long ago, he would have been just another anonymous guy in the crowd. But now Frost was shocked to hear the lead singer actually dedicate a song to him. “I’ve been a fan since freaking early high school—that was a very full-circle moment for me,” he says.
— Logan Rubenstein (@loganrub_17) November 11, 2022
The first Gen-Zer elected to Congress, Frost is already attracting more attention than your typical freshman on the Hill. It’s not just his youth: He’s poised to be a prominent progressive voice, especially when it comes to one of his big issues, gun control. The Pulse nightclub attack happened in Frost’s district, and he was previously one of the key people behind the March for Our Lives protests.
Frost says his love of music helps him deal with difficult times and the stress of public life: “That’s why I’m so open about going to shows, talking about the music and the culture that really keeps me going. It’s my self-care; it’s who I am.”
Despite what will no doubt be a busy schedule, Frost plans to make room for music during his time in DC, so expect to see him jumping around at various local venues. His tastes are eclectic: He’s been known to enthuse about artists like Stevie Wonder, Clairo, and Frank Ocean. And he’s actually hoping to combine his interests in music and politics. Frost would love to organize a music festival at the Capitol to engage young people in the political process. “Our government needs to do a lot more to show that it values the arts and values culture—and is willing to put money into it,” he says.
Who might take part in the sort of concert he’s envisioning? He throws out Paramore as a potential performer, after mentioning that the band always pulls one concertgoer onstage to sing a song. Would the congressman himself accept the mic if the group invited him? Frost has already mastered the proper Washington response: “I cannot confirm or deny.”
This article appears in the February 2023 issue of Washingtonian.
Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in NoMa.