Lake By the Ocean

Album: BlackSUMMERS'night (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This seductive ballad is the lead single from Maxwell's first album in seven years, BlackSUMMERS'night. Confused that his previous set was titled BLACKSummers'night? The similarities in the names can be explained by the fact that they are parts one and two of a planned trilogy.
  • The track was written and produced by Maxwell and his longtime collaborator Hod David. It finds him singing about how "you were the one that made me fulfilled."

    "Basically, the song represents falling in love after a very tough trial period in life and finding contentment in the smallest things next to the biggest things," Maxwell said during a live Q&A on his Facebook. "Being content in a lake when you have an entire ocean near you is the epitome of true happiness."
  • The sensuous 6-minute video, shot in Haiti and the Dominican Republic by Philip Andelman, presents a message for the need of having clean water worldwide. The clip opens with a young woman carrying jugs of water in the sweltering heat for her community. After a long, exhausting day, she then travels to a local club to view an intimate performance by Maxwell.

    Maxwell said the video, "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."
  • Maxwell explained to Spin why he made the decision to shoot the video in his mother's homeland of Haiti. "I did it about Haiti, but I did it about the Dominican Republic, too, because of [the land] which they both share," he said. "There's a lot of political unrest among Haitians and the Dominican Republic."

    "In the video, I really wanted people to sort of come together and feel peace and feel that we, on a basic level, are connecting as human beings and souls here, and we should be helping each other," Maxwell continued. "And of course a fun, sensual moment at the end of the whole thing with [that kiss]. I'm just grateful that we got to shed light on a very serious matter that's plaguing not only certain parts of the Caribbean, but parts of America as well."
  • This song is not to be confused with Cake By The Ocean, a pop hit for DNCE the previous year.
  • This won for Best R&B Song at the Grammy Awards in 2017.

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