April 2, 1996 was the beginning of R&B lovers’ 25-year love affair with Maxwell.
Since, the winning crooner has gone on to collect multiple platinum plaques from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), GRAMMYs, and hearts with hits like ‘Pretty Wings,’ ‘Fortunate,’ and ‘This Woman’s Work.’
Despite the success, the now 47-year-old (born Gerald Rivera) never strayed too far from the formula that made his 1996 debut album, ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,’ the critical and commercial knockout it was.
As the milestone anniversary of the project that helped to lay the foundation for the NeoSoul movement approaches, look inside to read how its creator plans to commemorate the occasion.
Taking to Billboard recently, Rivera reflected fondly on the LP that started it all.
“You blink and then bam, here it is 25 years later,” Maxwell told Billboard. “I’m not only happy about the anniversary but also for silent allies like [then-label] radio promotion executive Cynthia Johnson when this music wasn’t what was being played. And for all the collaborators and musicians…this celebration is for them more than myself.”
To celebrate the 25-year anniversary of ‘Suite,’ Max is issuing a digitally remastered edition of the classic project on April 2. As he listened to the revamped version of the album, he says there’s nothing he would change 25 years later.
“I’m always prone to say I could have done this or that. Or to say maybe something’s a little flat or a little sharp. But after all this time, the album is what it was supposed to be,” he shared. “I’m so grateful that it stands up to the modern records of today. I’d written pages and pages and waited until certain personal experiences occurred to spark the engine and bring life to the record, which was released to very little fanfare. It wasn’t like I was No. 1 the first week. It was a slow, evolving process where people eventually discovered it.”
His interview concluded with quizzing about new music, namely the final installment of his album trilogy, ‘blacksummersNIGHT’ (his first since 2016’s ‘blackSUMMERS’night’).
“I’ve been working on so many songs for many years. ‘Pretty Wings’ was five years old before it was released and ‘Lake by the Ocean’ was five or maybe six years old. So I keep working on material and tweaking it,” he revealed. “…I am primarily working on another album and meeting my commitment under a new partnership between my own record company Musze and BMG. I’ve been waiting but now I’m ready.”
Click here to read his full interview with our friends at Billboard.