Miguel -- About to Pop
By Adam Horne Posted Jul 29th 2010 04:26PM
Single: 'All I Want Is You' Feat. J. Cole
Hails From: San Pedro, California
For Fans Of: Ne-Yo, Usher
Why He's About to Pop: Miguel Jontel is only 23 years old, but by most standards he's already a seasoned music industry veteran. The multi-talented singer, songwriter and producer began writing music when he was eight years old as a way to cope with the devastation of his parent's divorce. For 15 years, Miguel honed his skills, doing whatever he could to break a highly competitive music industry that unfortunately wasn't quite sure what to make of him. "I would go to meetings and I would be doing this music as this kid who looks like he's half-Asian and black, his name is Miguel, but he sings. Like, who are you?" he told the Boombox in a recent interview. "This was before the Latin market was even something people were paying attention to here in the States."
Miguel began steadily building a buzz after working with underground rapper Blu on his album 'Below the Heavens' and making an appearance on Asher Roth's 'Asleep in the Bread Aisle.' A highly personal song of Miguel's ('Sure Thing'), which was not originally intended for release, ended up making waves online, racking up over 7 million plays on his Myspace page. Now, with a full-length debut solo album on the way, Miguel is poised for superstardom with his genre-spanning blend of hip-hop, R&B, jazz and soul.
Listen to Miguel, 'All I Want Is You' Feat. J. Cole
Six Questions With Miguel
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as fly, futuristic, intergalactic freedom fighter rogue ill s---, on steroids [laughs]. No, I would describe my music as being honest. The sound is probably a mixture of funk, hip-hop and classic rock.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Right now my biggest musical influences include Kanye West, Francis and the Lights, another band called Dom, Passion Pit. I always listen to J Dilla, anything he's done has been amazing, so Slum Village. Frank n Dank, Steve Spacek. Cameo is still also a huge influence on my music. Queen, and Prince.
How have your past relationships influenced your songwriting?
How have they not? I base a lot of my material on actual events. I can't think of a single song that is not based on some truth that I've lived. I think that's what makes my music stand out, because I think the honesty is apparent.
Whats the idea behind the futuristic video for 'All I Want Is You' and the cyborg girls?
I wanted to accomplish something that was nostalgic, in the sense that there was familiarity in the setting, but have an intelligent twist to the video with the futuristic flair -- it mimics the vibe of the song. When you dissect the song, the '90s-era hip-hop drums, which represent the familiar, are juxtaposed with the delivery of the vocals, which are a more classic rock approach to typical R&B delivery, which I wanted the video to mirror. Alex Moors did an amazing job with it, so shout out to Alex Moors.
Who would you like to collaborate with next? Are there any producers you'd really like to work with?
I can't wait to spend a lot of time collaborating with my brother. I mean this when I say it -- he's going to be way better and doper than me at everything. That's what we want, right? For our siblings to be better? So I'm excited to collaborate with him, because his ideas, musically and lyrically, are really beyond me sometimes. We obviously have a close personal relationship, but on a musical level, he knows my taste, he knows my instincts and he can take that and run with it.
Aside from my brother, I'd love to work with Flying Lotus, Trent Reznor if possible, Kanye West, No ID, Dr. Dre, the Neptunes and many more.
How has your life changed since you got a record deal?
Honestly, that's kind of a trick question. My life didn't change that much when I got a record deal, but now that my first single is starting to get some recognition, being played in different markets and whatnot, not to mention the videos on MTV and VH1, it's kind of cool hearing from people who really like the music and dig the sound. They go out and dig for my other music and give me such great feedback.
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