Maxwell is back…but he never really left. The now 50-year-old singer/songwriter who burst onto the neo-soul scene with Urban Hang Suite in 1996 says he’s finally going to release the third album in the Night trilogy.
He just didn’t say exactly when. But we do know when his upcoming cruise is happening.
The Urban Hang Suite Cruise heads to Great Stirrup Key and Nassau on the Norwegian Pearl from Feb.10-14, 2024. Maxwell will be joined by Robert Glasper, Ledisi, Gallant, Musiq and Leela James, among others.
“It’s wild — I’m doing a cruise, bro! I guess you turn 50 and that’s when you start doing cruises,” Maxwell told the Associated Press in a recent interview.
He says that the long-awaited third album in the Night trilogy, blacksummersNIGHT, will be his next music project and that fans can expect it to be in the vein of 2009’s BLACKsummers’night and 2016’s BlackSUMMERS’night. (And if he follows the 7-year cycle of the previous releases, it should come out before the end of this year).
“It’s a journey into true intimacy,” he said. “It’s a journey into vulnerability, and it just ties up the trilogy in a way that represents eroticism in a very mature way. Because I see a lot of eroticism happening, but I don’t necessarily feel like those people make me feel like they’re sexy — they make me feel like they’re sex objects. If you want to write lyrics that are very graphic…do what you want to do. I don’t do that — I believe in romance.”
He said the album was delayed in part by the death of his engineer Mike Pela, who passed away last year at the age of 72. Pela was also a producer who worked with Sade on some of their biggest hits and won two Grammys with Maxwell.
Maxwell says that he’ll return to his past at some point by releasing music he made at the start of his career as well as songs that he held back from some of his ’90s albums. He’ll go all the way back to music he made when he was a teenager but only after the trilogy is complete. But whatever he does, he says his music will remain consistent.
“I try to stay away from things that confuse people about what I do…,” he said. “I do see, in watching all of the current artists, that there’s so much shock and awe…There’s a lot of clickbait music.”
He added, “I’m grateful that I wrote enough songs that it doesn’t really matter if I have an album tomorrow or the next day…the goal was get to a point where you do not need to keep being relevant for people for them to care about you, because it’s unsustainable.”
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