Pop Quiz: Maxwell

Aidin Vaziri | Like Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo, Maxwell sparked the neo-soul movement just before the turn of the millennium. And just like them, the Brooklyn-born singer who released three platinum studio albums between 1996 and 2001 seemingly vanished. Seven years later, Maxwell returns. He’s chopped the Afro and buttoned up the shirt (usually), but that amazing falsetto will still make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle. Maxwell plays Tuesday and Wednesday at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, where he will preview material from his new trilogy, “Black Summers’ Night,” due early next year.

Q: You were marketed as this kind of sexy lover man. How much of that was really you?
A: You get the photographers. You get the clothes. You get sucked up in the whole experience. Everyone is selling something. In my mind, I don’t feel any of that kind of stuff going on. But I think the music makes something happen. Clark Kent becomes something else.
Q: You’re looking more and more like Clark Kent these days. Is this the real Maxwell?
A: No. I just changed. I don’t know if I could ever stay the same. I never had an Afro before I had an Afro, you know? People who are seeing me now see me as who I used to be before “Urban Hang Suite.” It’s not always that way. It won’t always be this way. Continue reading.


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