In Conversation with Maxwell

We are thrilled to announce the STATE X Maxwell Collaboration with a limited edition sunglass style designed in partnership with recording artist, three-time Grammy winner, and modern soul star, Maxwell. The limited edition style is named REUNION, a reference to the song from Maxwell’s debut album ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,’ and a word that means so much more in these times. Read on to see how this collab came together and how Maxwell is moving forward after 2020…

What inspired you to start designing sunglasses?
I wish I could say it was my idea but a friend asked me – Why haven’t you? She put me in contact with an amazing company, I met STATE designer, Nico Roseillier, and boom, we started the collaboration with State.

How did the design process work, in the midst of a global pandemic?
The fact that this creative opportunity was available while so many are struggling and coping wasn’t easy. What made me most excited was the fact that we can help young people of color through the partnership and scholarship with Open Your Eyes (O-YES).

A portion of sales are being donated to the Open Your Eyes Scholarship. Can you tell us what this initiative means to you?
Yes.  As I mentioned above this opportunity created and extended a rare opportunity to get scholarships to a diverse group of kids. This was the cherry on top for me.

The first STATE X Maxwell frame is named REUNION. How does your song REUNION relate to what we’re going through in 2021?
Thankfully and hopefully, we are going to be The United Inclusive States of America. So, for me REUNION could represent a possibility of, in a way, returning to what living was when REUNION was recorded in 1996.

The pandemic has changed our outlooks on a lot of things. What has changed the most for you?
I cherish the small things. I have no expectations, but fully accept what others can or cannot do at this time. I pray we can all find a way to love each other with equality and respect for humanity. If we can pay it forward by lifting others as we were once lifted, we will get over this unprecedented time.

What have you been listening to to keep your mood up during the pandemic and quarantine?

I’ve been recording more music than I have ever made in my life, but, along with this, it’s that I have been listening to all the R&B artists that I loved in my journey as a musician and those that inspired me to make music from the past.

How are music and style similar, or different?
They go hand in hand. They reflect the people and parallel the spirit of the moment.

Who most inspired you to become a musician?
There are many, literally many, but “The Why” is more important to me; art does not discriminate, it connects with the spirit and soothes the soul. I’m honored to be part of that community.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you like to do?
That was never an option, music has always been my passion and I was going to make it happen.

Do you approach your craft differently than you did at the start of your career?
I’ve always worked with the same people and composed in the same way. What has changed is the subjects and how the songs play out over time. So it’s key you stick to the basics: LOVE, LONGING AND SACRIFICE

What would you say is the most important factor to your success as a musician?
Knowing that I am in the room and in the hearts and souls of those who listen and consider me, even if only for a brief moment.

What advice would you give to young people who want to be musicians?
There will be a lot of NOs before there is one YES; focus on the yes inside you and please do it for the love of the art. Please do it for the service, not because of the fame, the money and the awards. The greatest impact is the impact you left in the lives of others because you made something – whatever that is – music, art, even eyewear!

Shop STATE X Maxwell now.