Miguel graces the cover of Blag magazine and opens up about the (commercial) failure of 2015 LP, Wildheart, in the accompanying interview. “Last year was one of those years for me where I think I was really beating myself up about the reception of my last project and it not being as successfully accepted or embraced on a commercial level,” he reveals. “There’s a way to quantify everything now and when you realize how people start to treat you differently it really starts to fuck with you.”
The R&B singer, who was riding high on the success of double-platinum hit “Adorn,” fell back to earth when his next project failed to produce hits. “I started to really kind of create this facade, it was like a caricature of myself. Like, everything’s cool, everything’s alright but like really, it’s not. My friends and family literally had to come together and have a real conversation with me… at that point, a lot had to change for me. It’s taken their patience and their love and that kind of stuff to build my own confidence up again.”
The passing of two legends has reinvigorated his sense of purpose, however. “Two people that I looked at as kind of like the epitome of what artists should be as musicians are both gone… when Prince and Bowie were my age, they were already like five, six albums in, you feel me? Already established and had really made their mark and I just felt a tremendous sense of… I’m responsible, like, I’m responsible now,” the 31-year-old says. “These are my teachers and they’re gone. Who’s going to teach whoever’s paying attention to me?”
That realization has informed his new album. “I don’t want to do some arbitrary bullshit, you know? And here’s the thing, the music I’m creating, it doesn’t all have a message, but you better believe that with the visuals that are coming, it’s purposeful,” Miguel declares. “I’m trying to find my way to address what I see as wrong or at least supplement what I feel we need and do as much as I can to feed that, because we’re missing a lot right now. We’re missing a lot, it’s a crazy time, you can see it in the culture.”
While we wait for new Miguel, catch up on his killer duet with Dua Lipa below.