Maxwell isn’t just a singer, he’s a man who creates a vibes with his music. His sound is overwhelmingly sexy, but thankfully not in a way that makes listeners feel booty-call dirty. I think “grown folk music” is a better description. The R&B singer’s tunes conjure loving feelings, not primal urges. He’s had that magic since his debut album and it continues to this day with his latest hit, “Lake By The Ocean.” The track, which was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best R&B Song, is beautiful, and the same can be said of the video.
The visuals, shot in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, are about a female teacher and aid worker in a remote Dominican village. During a break from work, she travels to Haiti to see Maxwell perform in a small Port-a-Prince bar. The video is elegant, sultry and adds the perfect visual accompaniment to Maxwell’s mesmerizing voice; the song’s rhythm is also beautiful. But the video also has a message, it highlights the struggle for clean and drinkable water in the remote regions of the two developing countries.
According to Maxwell, “It depicts a world in need of water and two clandestine lovers who meet with liquid dreams, one being the bare boned need for clean water, and another, the performer, who wants to be lost in the watery worlds of love and devotion.”
One of the more noticeable things about the video is Maxwell’s clear affinity for the region. The singer has roots in both the D.R. and Haiti and wanted to showcase the regions to bring business dollars to the countries. Everyday Haiti is flooded with aid workers and missionary, but the country also needs more tourism and the economic boost that comes along with it. “Lake By the Ocean” displays the beauty of the region and encourages viewers to visit to Haiti to enjoy the island as a tropical paradise.