Soul singer Maxwell has got to be feeling like Norm from the old TV series “Cheers.” Like the sitcom character, fans are welcoming him back with open arms. It’s been more than a year since he delivered his latest Grammy-winning album, “BLACKsummers’night” and he’s still selling out shows. In fact, his recent leg (with Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Melonie Fiona swapping opener duties) has now moved up to arenas.
But fame is not the primary focus for the New York-bred soul man. “I do what I do for the music, not because of the fame,” he says. “So to come back and have that be the primary celebration is great. What more can you ask for?”
It’s been eight years since your last project. Were you worried that people weren’t going to be able to connect with you in this “tabloid news” climate?
Yeah. You always worry. Every artist is afraid that their next song is the last song that people will care about. That’s the evil of the beast. But that worry means that I care. It’s as if you saw your child about to cross the street — even if there’s no cars to be seen, you’re looking.
It has to feel good to have sold out shows after such an extended time away.
It really does. It feels kind of unreal a little bit. And in a climate today, where everything is so sensationalized, it’s surprising to me to come back after a hiatus and not have it be about anything but the music. To have the music be the bottom line, that makes you feel good.