Not gonna lie: I was hella disappointed in Miguel two years ago. All I Want Is You, his major label debut album, sounded like him, but personally I found the project simple, watered-down, or incomplete — or all three. If I knew then of the turmoil that preceded the album (lawsuits, Jive Records’ problems, poor marketing, etc.) I might have given Miguel a pass. Instead, I listened to the album with a shaking head, confused at why it was so similar to the artist’s MySpace Music page from 2007. Where was the growth? I thought.
I’ll gladly admit I was an idiot for falling asleep on Miguel. With his sophomore album (this one under RCA Records), Kaleidoscope Dream, he’s staged a rediscovery. Suddenly, the guy whose “All I Want Is You” single peaked at 37 on the Billboard 200 chart is claiming number one spots with “Adorn” just a year later. There’s something to be said about the drastic change we’ve seen in the artist: Davis Huynh (of Hypetrak.com) is calling it a rebirth. Just as intrigued and appreciative of the Miguel found in Kaleidoscope Dream, Huynh sat with the artist to talk about his latest projects in music and fashion, his influences, and how he wants to influence others through his work. The interview gives insight into the feelings and sounds that characterize Miguel’s old and new work. Read what the man said about the main influences behind his music below and go here for the full interview (via HT).
My biggest influence is the need to express myself. I think in regular, everyday interaction, I’m less apt to expressing how I feel about something. I’m a lot more guarded, a lot more filtered at times, and music being a creative medium is probably the place where I feel where I can just say whatever the fuck I think. My father playing the guitar were some of my earliest recollections with music; the first times hearing some of the jazz standards my mom would play, my father playing The Beatles, George Clinton’s Funkadelic. As I got older, there was a lot of soulful music in my life as well, listening Tony! Toni! Toné!, Boyz II Men, The Temptations. Motown was a hit at home and that’s where it really began. The soul in that music was what really made me feel I can. So I wanted to create the same kind of music that moved those types of emotions in people the same way it moved me.