Miguel Talks About His Big Moment at the Grammy Awards
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.15.2013
Plus touring with Alicia Keys and more...
Miguel recently spoke with Billboard about his much-talked about Grammy performance and more. Check out the highlights:
On how he found out about his pre-televised Grammy win: "I found out in the car as we were pulling up to the red carpet. It was an "Oh, shit" moment. I had my girl with me and it was like, "How crazy is that? And I get to perform?" It was just a great feeling."
On his performance at the Grammys: "A week-and-a-half out we knew that we could perform. I wanted to make an intimate thing but I had a bigger vision about the crowd. I got to tip my hat to [telecast producer] Ken Ehrlich-he really had the vision. I did want it to be a stripped-down performance, and it really was genius of him to put us in the aisle."
On what he did after the awards: "I stopped by the Sony party-had to do that to say thanks. I've been to these parties for years, but this seemed like the special night. I actually own something. I wasn't just a part of it. So then I stopped by Chris [Brown]'s party to see Mark Pitts-he signed both of us; he's like my mentor. Then I went to my room. I had a suite, and I had all my friends over and family and we just partied. I didn't sleep until the next day, which was awesome."
On why he releases his albums independently: "In late 2011 I was like, "I'm going to put out a series of micro EPs." I just knew I wanted to put out free music and make it very quality vs. quantity, very personal. Make the whole thing a personal creative process from the artwork to the painting to the design to the production and writing-just for the people who discover music like I do online or my favorite blogs. We put out the first one at the top of February of 2012, and "Adorn" was on that and it got quite a buzz. It got a great response and Mark Pitts, my A&R, was convinced that it should be a single and I was excited, but I was like, "Are you sure this could work?" He was like, "Man, that shit is going to kill." And he was right."
On how the song 'Kaleidoscope Dream' helped shape the direction of the album: "I wanted it to be as edgy and alternative as my lifestyle. I don't think I live the lifestyle that's expected of a quote unquote R&B artist. I'm just not that dude. I don't go to the club and pop bottles. I have my smooth moments, I suppose, but my life isn't like that. Honestly, I don't really listen to R&B music. I'm much more into lots of rock'n'roll. That juxtaposition was really important to highlight. Overall I wanted people to feel the way we would if we had a drink for the first time and we actually have a conversation. I wanted them to walk away knowing I wasn't going to give them my deepest, darkest fucking secrets, but that there was some character to my personality. So that when you do have drinks with someone for the first time you can go, "You know what, this guy is kind of cool. I like where his head is at.""
On what his girlfriend things of the songs: "'Pussy Is Mine' was not her favorite song. That whole song was freestyle. What makes it interesting is the juxtaposition of ego and vulnerability. It's kind of rolled in this vulnerability, wanting to claim it -- "Tell me that it's mine" -- but it's also out of this vulnerable need: "I want to feel I'm the only one in this moment." I've really been there. It felt like such an honest moment."
On how his upcoming tour with Alicia Keys happened: "She just laid it on me. She really came out upon gearing up for the release of Girl on Fire. She just kind of asked me, "Hey, would you be down to come out?" And I said, "Absolutely." We had enough time to really appreciate and respect each other's integrity as musicians. I really love her as an individual, and she's a light amongst a lot of the bullshit in this whole thing. I'm really excited and honored that she invited us out. We'll do our damnedest to work the crowd up before she plays."