On Tuesday, 24th there was a private pre-launch event for Maxwell’s new album blackSUMMERS’night at the Samsung 837 building located in the heart of the Meatpacking district. Maxwell’s previous album, under the same title, BLACKsummers’night was released seven years prior in 2009. It forms part of the trilogy he initially promised and hence the similar names with difference of capitalization.
The Grammy winning singer/songwriter has unveiled the album cover and tracklisting for the 12-track LP which drops stores on July, 1st the same day he is scheduled to co-headline the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. Prior to that, he will take the stage for a performance at the BET Awards on June 2nd.
The event was followed by a private screening his “Lake By The Ocean” video from the album and a Q & A with Sway Calloway. Check out our exclusive coverage:
Sway Calloway: To sustain for 20 years in this business throughout the digital age with all the transformation- remember how many labels there used to be, everything now is condensed to one. A lot of artists get left on the editing floor but you sustained. It would be great to reflect back on 20 years and still be important to an audience like this.
Maxwell: Where do I begin, all I can say is that this is not just me number 1; everything that you hear and see is a family effort. Long story short, this is just a collection of loyalty. When you hear this, this is loyalty. We have been doing this musically and creatively and having each others backs as people. So when we come down and do the music, its very difficult in light of a very electronic era that we live in. I can’t play myself, I been doing it too long in a certain way to fall into a trend so I can make a certain amount of money. So it’s difficult but its great when you work with the people as long as you have because they are the reasons why I make the choices that I make that hopefully last longer then the time I live here.
Sway Calloway: I think what makes the music so relatable is the intangible you put into your lyrics; everything you do is a by product of what you experienced. You’ve done that consistently for so many years.
Maxwell: I’m a one take person. If I don’t feel emotionally prepared to do a song, I just won’t do it. The track will just sit there for years and years. It’s the fire inside of you that you know you are prepared to do that part. You make people believe you then. As far as Soul music is concerned, I want to keep the link going and show people that musicianship is still really important and writing lyrics that celebrate women.
The next record will not take as long as this one did. There was a lot that went on- losing family members, having my best friends have families- also the anxiety of having come back from BlackSummer’snight, the first installment. For me it was difficult to keep the music popping off from the last album. We have so many records now that it will be a lot sooner then the last was.