R&B artist Zach Maxwell's new single, "Candyman With the Blues," hits streaming platforms this Friday. It will be his first new music since his 2018 debut album, Music for Life. If all goes according to plan, it will also be the first of multiple new songs the Denver-based artist will release in 2019.
Inspired by seedy, wealthy men who dated younger women that Maxwell remembers seeing around Miami during his youth, "Candyman With the Blues" showcases his soulful voice and talent as a producer.
"There were experiences I had as a kid going to Miami and looking at the candyman scene, where I was like, ‘How do I reconcile what I am seeing?’" says Maxwell. "That was the inspiration for this song: It was like poking fun at it and at the same time, I guess, trying to celebrate the full spectrum of humanity within it in a fun, silly way."
A little more than a year removed from Music for Life, Maxwell is optimistic that "Candyman With the Blues" will serve as a nice segue between his debut record and unreleased new music.
Of his new work, he says, "The theme is forgiveness and redemption. It’s not very obvious in a silly, super-fun song like 'Candyman With the Blues,' but I’ve had experiences in my life where I’ve had to come to a place of forgiveness with people who have really hurt me — people I’m close with, or family members that behave in a way that I would never, ever want to emulate, but I have to, for my own sake, find love and forgiveness for.
"We’re all human," he says. "We all fuck up and make mistakes. I discovered that by shining a light on the dark side and trying to reconcile the dark and light through the power of music, I can not only find redemption and forgiveness for others, I can also find it for myself. I write songs to heal myself, first and foremost."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.