Singers Maxwell and Jill Scott have a few things in common. Both were pioneers of the musical movement known as neo-soul, both later spent some time out of the spotlight, and they’ve even shared band members, but only recently have the two popular singers shared the stage. Still, the duo, performing Saturday at Philips Arena, have nothing but good things to say about each other.
“I know I sound like every other person that talks about working with other people. They only have glorious things to say and you are scratching your head thinking some of them have to hate each other, but I can honestly say to you that [Jill] is dope. She is a really incredible musician and I can’t believe we get to do this,” said Maxwell, who also performs Friday with Erykah Badu.
After a serious hiatus, “Blacksummers’night,” his long awaited album released last July, has proven a strong comeback. “I put the music together and wait with bated breath, sweating, hoping and praying that people will say, ‘I get this,'” Maxwell said. Though he’s been working on new material for the second part of his trilogy, he’s likely to offer up some always requested classics at the weekend shows including “Reunion” and “Drowndeep: Hula”
Since the new album’s debut, Maxwell said he has been adjusting to being back in the spotlight. “I am probably the most reluctant celebrity type person … I want my music to be what people know,” he said. Scott said she has been managing a few adjustments of her own since fans have last seen her on tour.
“It’s been quite a ride,” she said. “I got engaged, that didn’t work out. I got pregnant, that did work out. I moved to Los Angeles and still live in Philly. I’m pretty bi-coastal,” she said.
For the first time, Scott is also touring with her 13-month-old son Jett. “This baby has really learned to adjust to me. We have a kismet relationship here. If I don’t get enough sleep, I talk to my kid and say, ‘Hey, how about another hour’ and he goes back to sleep,” she said.
In addition to her cousin and two nannies, part of the “village” Scott said is helping her raise her son, baby Jett requires a few items for the road such as a car seat, high chair, blankets and his drum machine and congas. His job, Scott said, is to hang out, have fun, play and grow while mommy works.
She’s spent part of her time working on a new album, free-styling with her musicians to create a range of material which she plans to start putting together once the tour ends.
For now, she just hopes that the fans still enjoy her and her music. “I hope people will put their cameras down and shake their [expletive] and maybe make out,” said Scott giggling. “I’m hoping they will see it as a moment in time.”