Miguel – Music’s Multi-Talented Recording Artist

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Bystorm/Jive recording artist Miguel does it all. He is a singer, songwriter, producer, and performer. Now, Miguel is busy at work on his freshman album tentatively titled Gravity. His new song “Sure Thing” already boasts over 7 million MySpace plays.

Once Miguel attracted underground attention, he released Mischief – The Mixtape, a collection of seven songs, which has been featured on popular web sites such as Okayplayer, 2DopeBoyz, and Imeem. We got a chance to talk with Miguel about his journey up to this point, here’s a look at what he had to say.

Parlé: What makes you who you are as an artist?
Miguel: What separates me from the next artist is my purpose and my goal to inspire individuality. I am doing a totally different type of music that makes it my own.

Parlé: How do you think growing up for you was different compared to other people, since you are half black and half Mexican growing up in Los Angeles?
Miguel: There is nothing but black and Mexican people here. But it is interesting because at the time that I was growing up, there was a lot of Black on Mexican crime and Mexican on Black crime, race wars. I mean it still is going on. Sometimes I found myself caught in the middle of it, but because I was an artist, I was a singer and I was a dancer, I was pretty much a cool kid. Everyone always gave me a pass. Music was my form of protection from racial tensions. My family history is not much different from the majority of people in the United States. My parents divorced when I was 8. Music was kind of my escape, my release. My dad sat me down one day and said, “me and your mom are not going to work out and I am going to be seeing you regularly, but when I am gone I need you to take care of your mom and your brother.” To a certain extent, I took that maybe too far and I bottled up my emotions. I started writing them down. What were poems in the beginning started to become songs. And here I am.

Parlé: Who is black and who is Mexican in your family?
Miguel: My father is Mexican. My mom is black.

Parlé: Do you speak Spanish?
Miguel: Entiendo todo pero no puedo hablar todo (I understand everything, but I can’t speak it much).

Parlé: You released a song “Get Your Hands Up” back in December 2006, what took so long coming back out and releasing an album?
Miguel: “Get Your Hands Up” was four or five years ago and it was a different person. In those four or five years, there was so much growth. At this point, I have such an amazing platform and machine behind me to go forward again. I mean, I would make music regardless if I had Bystorm behind me or not, but now that I have them behind me, why wouldn’t I?

Parlé: What have you been doing since that previous release?
Miguel: I have been writing and recording. The reason why is because, even that song was a misrepresentation of who I am as a person. I was being told to be a certain way and I think that has so much to do with how successful that record was. You had to dig for that to find it, right? The reason why is because it wasn’t me. During these four years, I have just been getting in touch with who I am as an individual. At this point I feel very confident that I can be myself.

Parlé: Why did you decide to title the album Gravity?
Miguel: Gravity is the overall theme of the album. It represents the force that pulls you in. It talks about attraction and love. And when you start to fall in love, you are attracted to someone obviously. There is no fighting the gravity of it. It’s an unavoidable force that you can’t escape. So I think that is the overall theme of the album.

Image by Kenneth Cappello

Parlé: With whom have you been working with to get this new album out?
Miguel: A lot of them some might know, but are not completely established producers. I have a song called “Sure Thing” that was produced by Happy Perez, he has produced for Ludacris and Frankie J and a lot of southern artists. Happy Perez is amazingly talented. I also worked with a producing group called State of Emergency.

Parlé: Is there a release date in mind?
Miguel: I would say June or July. The summertime. Perfect for “Quickie.”

Parlé: What was your inspiration for writing the song “Quickie”?
Miguel: You want me to tell you the story behind “Quickie”? Well I had just left one of my best friends photo shoot. He is an MC. A friend of ours was having a birthday party, so we went. When we got there it was the most amazing party. I had the greatest time there. The whole night I had spoken to two girls. One was a great friend of mine and the other one was a friend of hers. The whole night I couldn’t stop thinking that I just wanted to hit that. I thought she was cool, but she wasn’t cool enough to be with. So like the whole night I was just like, “man, I just want a quickie right now.” I had a few drinks that night, but I didn’t end up leaving with her, instead I came home and wrote “Quickie.” Everybody has felt that way. I have felt that way since then and before.

Parlé: (Laughs) Glad I asked. Is there anything else you would like to put out there?
Miguel: I want to let everybody know to hit me up on Twitter @migmoney.

Written by Aisha Al-Muslim for Parlé Magazine

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