As he continues working on his fourth studio album, Miguel covers Blag magazine. In the shoot’s accompanying interview, Miguel speaks the need to be sensitive as a creative person, his drive, a time in his life where he felt everything needed to change, and more.
On having to be sensitive as a creative person:
“We, first of all as creative people, we have to be sensitive. It’s a part of what allows us to tap into our emotion and then project it into whatever medium that we choose…I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit. And so, I’m not only sensitive about just what’s happening here immediately in my itty bitty bubble of whatever, but like, in the macro. I see what the fuck is happening…Yeah, I’m fucking sensitive and conscious about it. I think also though – and this is a new thing for me, is finding my way of addressing it, that doesn’t feel like pointing the finger. You know what I mean? I mean, navigating how people take things now is where our creativity is going to really kick in. It’s like, how do we creatively address what is really happening? That is inviting and not off-putting. That’s kind of like, where my head is at.”
On what drives him:
“I guess it is back to like, ‘What’s the purpose?’ And this word, it’s probably one of the most…you know, after both Bowie and Prince passed last year. It really… Listen, most people may not look at me as some.. I don’t act like I’m some kind of savant. I can’t play any instrument fluently. I’m not the best singer, I only know that I have strong instincts. Two people that I looked at as kind of like the epitome of what artists should be as musicians are both gone. So, then you’re looking at, well, who’s left? Who are the leaders left? And then you look and go well, wait a second. 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. These are my teachers and they’re gone. Who’s going to teach whoever’s paying attention to me? Who’s going to be the ones who are going to inspire? I know it’s not for me to take on, on my own shoulders but I know that I have to have something to do with the next shit! And, it’s kind of a heavy thought. So, I keep coming back to this word and that is purpose. What’s the purpose? Like, I just want what I do to be purposeful. Even if only certain people see it, I want it to be purposeful and that’s what I was saying, when I was having coffee with Gia [Coppola] recently, I was saying the same. ‘Yo, I just want to be purposeful.’ 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. 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.
On a time in his life where he felt like everything needed to change:
“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. It got amazing reviews on a critical level, but I had just seen like a completely different side of the social media part of it, you know what I mean? There’s a way to quantify everything now and when you realise how people start to treat you differently it really starts to fuck with you, if you’re not really, really rooted and I thought I was. I started to really kind of create this façade, 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. Like, ‘Where are you? We’re not connected anymore.’ 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 and to just have the kind of creative energy that doing this shit requires, because when you’re knocked down sometimes it’s hard to get up, you know? When you’re hit out of nowhere, when you’re not expecting it. It’s different when you see it coming and you have a sense of how to prepare or maybe glint the punch or whatever, but when it comes from a direction that you have no idea and you’re not sure why or whatever, it can be really staggering.”
Blag was co-founded and is created entirely by British twins Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards. It is a totally independent, ad-free magazine, considered ‘The magazine for artists by artists’, previous cover stars have included OutKast, Adrien Brody, Beastie Boys, and Tom Hardy (whom they also run a clothing line with). For more information, please visit: https://www.blagmagazine.com
Miguel first hit the mainstream in 2010 with the infectious first single ‘All I Want Is You,’ from his major label debut album of the same name, a song which blended a stark hip-hop beat with Miguel’s creamy vocals to form a sound that was absent from the radio and established Miguel as one of the most unique and soulful voices in modern R&B. The album also features ‘Sure Thing,’ which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B chart and second US #1 ‘Quickie.’ Miguel’s follow up was his critically-acclaimed, four-time Grammy Award nominated, sophomore album ‘Kaleidoscope Dream,’ which features his third US #1 hit single ‘Adorn,’ the intoxicating ‘How Many Drinks?’, ‘Do You…’ and ‘The Thrill.’ In 2013 Miguel was nominated for a total of 5 Grammy Awards. Lead single ‘Adorn,’ written and produced by Miguel, garnered Miguel his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and resided at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hip Airplay chart for more than 23 weeks becoming the longest running #1 in the history of the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hip Airplay chart. In 2015, Miguel made his chart return with ‘Coffee,’ which garnered him yet another Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Song. The third studio album ‘WILDHEART’ followed, marking his second consecutive US R&B chart #1 album and received him his second Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy nomination.
The magazine, including Miguel’s 24 page story, is available for pre-order and will ship in four weeks.
Miguel fans can use the checkout code Miguel to get a gold cover and complimentary shipping.