It doesn’t happen often. But every once in a while a young artist comes along who has the chops, vision, range and creative conviction to change the game. Miguel is among that chosen few.
Let’s start with his voice: The Los Angeles, California, native has one of those raw honey falsettos that oozes into your soul and stays there, even after the music stops. Billboard Magazine exclaims, Miguel, 24, “offers both the sweetness of Babyface and the passion of R. Kelly.” Yum.
Then there’s the power of Miguel’s pen. This Scorpio doesn’t just write lyrics. He paints aural portraits—of his loves, his heartbreaks and his kinky little fantasies. “To me, the best songs are the ones that show how vulnerable, how human we all are,” says Miguel. Penning Asher Roth’s “His Dream,” Mary J. Blige and Musiq’s “If U Leave,” and co-writing on Usher’s Raymond V Raymond album, Miguel says, “For me, writing is like making steak and potatoes into a Happy Meal—how do I work in that substance but keep you coming back for more?”
With the album tracks on his ByStorm/Jive debut, All I Want Is You, Miguel certainly delivers. Through his longtime partnership with LA-based underground stalwarts Fisticuffs, and his visits with veteran boardsmen such as Salaam Remi and Dre & Vidal, Miguel has cooked up a truly genre-bending mélange of sounds. On the same platter, you’ll find traces of the Cali avant garde hip-hop he picked up from his high school homie Blu; the funk, electro and classic rock he borrowed from his crate-digging Mexican-American dad; and the big, rich harmonies of his African-American mom’s traditional soul.