Maxwell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, on May 23 1973. His mother is of Puerto Rican descent and his father was West Indian. Sadly, his father died in a plane crash when Maxwell was just 3 years old. He adopted his middle name as his stage moniker, (Maxwell) keeping his real identity a closely guarded secret out of concern for his family’s privacy. Growing up Maxwell spent much of his youth alone, since he found it difficult mixing with children in his own neighborhood. His fellow classmates nicknamed him ‘Maxwell House Coffee’ and often referred to him as “the quiet nerd who sat at the back of the classroom”.
It was not until music entered Maxwell’s life that he began to feel more comfortable with himself, and who he was. A friend of his gave him a keyboard to borrow at the age of 16, and he applied his own tutelage by locking himself in his bedroom where he’d practice for hours at a time. In order to support himself through studies and extend his collection of musical instruments, Maxwell held down 2 jobs – one in a movie theatre and the other working as a waiter. It was whilst working as a waiter that Maxwell learnt to develop his social skills, improving significantly in the essence of ‘people communication’ and interacting with others on a more personal level.
Having slowly developed a 4-track studio, Maxwell purchased numerous other instruments and went on to become a self-taught musician. He was primarily a musician to begin with, but became a singer later, since he didn’t know anyone else who could sing. At the age of 19, Maxwell had recorded several demos’ that had gained a lot of interest from the press and public alike. Initially influenced by early-’80s urban R&B, he progressed rapidly, and by 1991 he was performing on the New York club scene, despite ridicule from classmates who couldn’t imagine the shy, awkward teenager doing anything of the sort. After making a name for himself, he signed a re