Maxwell, the R&B singer, will bring his timeless, sultry, soulful vocals to the Hollywood Bowl for three magical nights, September 8-10. Maxwell, a three-time Grammy winner, is all about the music. A pure creative grateful for the accolades describes his life and process as pretty simple.
“I make music, go away, live a normal life, and return to make music again.”
In the early days, Maxwell believed he would work in the music business behind the scenes, writing for others. Through the encouragement of friends and those firmly in his camp, Maxwell ensured he did not live a life filled with regret or in the land of ‘what ifs.’ He gave it a go, and the lives of music lovers were forever enriched because he did.
From his debut album, at 22 years of age, the 1996 “Urban Hang Suite,” Maxwell transfixed music lovers with hit after hit from the album; “Sumthin’ Sumthin, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” “DancewitMe,” “Til the Cops Come Knockin,’ and “Whenever Wherever Whatever.” This enduring album assured fans that Maxwell, the artist, was here to stay.
It’s been 28 years since his debut, and Maxwell is consistent as he remains all about the music.
“For me, it’s always been about creating music that will attract the masses and those who connect to my songs,” he said. “It’s not that they are coming to see me; they are coming for the songs.”
Maxwell is right partially; his songs are lovely, and his music is the thing – the draw, but so are his live performances. Whether you’ve seen his performances up close and in person or on video, one thing is sure – Maxwell is a bona fide, for real, soul singer. He is a star, a romantic storyteller, telling his truth and, through his lyrics, expressing genuine care for humankind.
When asked about the origins of his love for R&B, Maxwell says he honors the traditions set by his ancestors. And when he takes the stage at the Hollywood Bowl next Friday, it’s a celebration of the past 28 years of being in the lives musically of those who connect to his music.
Maxwell says he can’t wait to share the stage with the other artists performing over those three nights at the Bowl. Artists, he says that you have probably heard, but you don’t know their names.
Pink Sweat$ will open the stage on Friday, SIR on Saturday, and Raveena on Sunday. Maxwell is sure they will leave the Bowl having secured new fans of their music.
His generosity toward new artists comes naturally. Perhaps he remembers when he was given the coveted platform at the time of MTV Unplugged to showcase his artistry. His performance wowed thousands and firmly established him as a crooner for the ages, leaving fans wanting more and more of his sound.
Maxwell has described that experience as “capturing lightning in a bottle,” and we agree. Fans described his performance then and now as a “healing balm” and “heartfelt.” His performance is still considered one of the best the unplugged platform offered.
The artist Maxwell remains open to creative ways of getting his music in front of fans. While you won’t find him on reality TV, you can experience his music and live performances on a brand-new venture for him: the inaugural Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite Cruise, February 10-14. And staying true to himself, Maxwell is showcasing other artists: Robert Glasper, Ledisi, Gallant, Musiq Soulchild, Sabrina Claudio, and Leela James will join him. He is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
The music of Maxwell has brought so much joy to others, and I wondered what brings him joy. His answer will not surprise you as it involves Maxwell, a servant, a vessel of good for others.
“Being a conduit of joy for others brings me joy,” he said. “It’s so nice to hear great stories about people who have come to my concerts for first dates 20 years ago, who are now married and have four kids!”
Maxwell is one of those rare artists that has fans across generations.
“I see kids in the audience singing my songs along with their parents. Never in a million years did I think I would be this multi-generational artist,” he said.
“The power of music blows me away,” and we get it. Music fans are continually blown away by his talents and his humility. The brother is uber-talented, and while he might not toot his own horn, we will.
“It’s that joy that I see on the faces of others from my music that affects me the most. But I don’t hold onto it too tightly. I always try to let go so that I can work a little harder and get better and better.”
For more information on Fireworks Finale: Maxwell, visit the hollywoodbowl.com.