By SELENA SEABROOKS
The Dallas Examiner
Maxwell is set to kick off The Night Tour in the Dallas/Fort Worth area following the release his newest single, Off, a ballad that serves as the lead single from his long-awaited album blacksummers’NIGHT. The concert will be held March 2 at the Texas Trust CU Theater, located at 1001 Performance Place in Grand Prairie. R&B artists Joe and Anthony Hamilton will join him for the 25-city tour.
“People who want to celebrate R&B music, come down and that’s what we’re going to give you,” he said Sunday during an interview. “It’s going to be a love fest. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be fun. We just want to celebrate all of those years you’ve been listening to R&B.”
The singer-songwriter and producer’s forthcoming album, blacksummers’NIGHT, signifies the closeout of the trilogy that the artist started in 2009 with the release of BLACKsummers’night. The album also signifies the first project he completed under his new partnership with BMG.
“When I listen to it, I’m like ‘Wow,’ as much as it closes out the trilogy – the whole BLACKsummers’night thing – it closes out a bunch of eras in music for me, from my first album to Embrya, to now. It’s a snapshot of the past a bit and all the places I’ve been to in my past to get me to where I’m going right now. So, it’s very exciting,” he said.
He said a single from the oldies was the inspiration behind his album’s lead single.
“The inspiration for me, although I don’t think it’s very similar, Always And Forever by Heatwave,” he reflected. “I’m such a fan of that song and the things that this man does throughout the song vocally. I can’t believe he’s able to do everything that he’s able to do, from falsetto, the lows and the highs. It’s just the way the band plays with him. I took a little bit of that and put it on the vocal for Off. I wanted to start out with it being about love, a kind of moody love situation. About staying the course and not be dissuaded, not being discouraged.”
Maxwell first entered the industry in 1996 with the release of the album Urban Hang Suite. Since this time, the three-time Grammy award-winning artist has continued to reinvent himself and venture into new territory with the release of each project. Recently receiving the Soul Train Legend Award, he spoke to us about longevity.
“I’m so grateful to the listeners because they have given me the understanding of what they believe in when they want to listen to something. When my first album came out it was a little corky. It wasn’t really considered to be commercial and all these years later, it’s the most popular thing that people know about me and I’m just so grateful to the listeners because they told radio and radio responded,” he said. “So much of my career, I have to thank radio for and I have to thank the listeners and I have to thank all the people who go out and see the shows.”
Additionally, Maxwell recently expanded his collaboration with STATE Optical for a second limited-edition sunglass collection. Designed in partnership with the artist, the collection features three sets of sunglasses titled BLACK, SUMMERS’ and NIGHT. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the Opening Your Eyes Scholarship.
“We got 20 kids to college,” he stated. “It’s definitely and primarily focused on Black and Brown kids. It’s one of those fashion things that give back. I just wanted to give back to the community. I want to give back as much as I get from these opportunities. I’m using my platform to open up opportunities for people who look like me and I hope they take full advantage of it and live out their dreams.”
Pre-sale of the collection began Feb. 14 and a broader launch March 1.
Maxwell expressed being thankful for having the platform.
“Thank you so much for accepting my music, accepting me and the traditional soul, for letting me be a part of your cookouts throughout the years, for letting me be a part of your nighttime situations, your cleaning the house situations. Just thank you for letting me be a part of your family, a part of your life,” he said in closing.
Maxwell plans to release blacksummers’NIGHT in the spring or summer. Tickets for the show are available at https://www.musze.com or https://www.ticketmaster.com.