With his 2015 album Wildheart being lauded more as a fan favorite than a commercial success, Grammy Award-winning artist Miguel is undaunted by either, and celebrating a continuously inspiring career.
Now on spot tour dates, and with upcoming festival performances, including the UK’s Wireless Festival, the singer/songwriter covers the new issue of London based FAULT magazine.
In the feature, Miguel talks about returning to his middle school and surprising the kids with a performance, being compared to Prince and the impact of icons, the trouble with political correctness in the news and social media, future collaborations and much more.
Check out some excerpts from the new interview, and more photos below.
ON MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE: “It was so much fun and the kids there are so talented. It’s great to see my old school and the talent that’s coming from my city. Going back to encourage those kids that was the purpose. I think they had as much of a good time as I did.”
ON COMPARISONS INCLUDING PRINCE: “I think we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. Especially at this point in time, we’re learning from and building upon things that have already occurred, that have already been dreamed up. Being compared to Prince, it’s a tremendous compliment. I think it’s more about people being aware and exposed and really understanding the music then they’d see there’s a lot more to it.”
ON WHAT INSPIRED WILDHEART: “It was more me revisiting my life and my memories. I was remembering growing up and my dad doing everything he could to pick us up on the weekends to take us to Venice Beach, and being downtown and seeing all the broken dreams.”
ON CAREER LONGEVITY: “I really just owe it to the fans. “WildHeart” wasn’t a crazy commercially successful album. It was for me but as far as the way that it’s perceived it wasn’t known as that. To debut at whatever on the charts, that’s great, but as far as being a popular album it wasn’t. The fans made it important and the fans give me longevity.
I had a conversation with J.Cole, that’s my boy, like ‘what would you attribute all this shit to?” And he said “man, this is serving my fans.’ It’s our responsibility to the people who found our music to continue to build that relationship. An artist creates according to what he thinks the world should be. Unfortunately not everyone is going to agree with that, but the ones that do, those are the ones you wanted in the first place. The ones that agree with you then you just keep giving them what is real to you.”
ON FUTURE COLLABORATIONS: “I think it’s just artists that I love and respect. The ones that have a conviction that outweighs anything. I’d love to write with Taylor Swift.”
ON POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND BEING MISINTERPRETED: “It’s weird we’re sensitive about the wrong things but desensitized to things that matter. Someone is shot and killed and it only matters for five days and there’ll be weeks and weeks of conversation about why an artist said something about….I mean it doesn’t fucking matter. I think our priorities of what matter are so skewed because of the way the media and that interaction works. Unfortunately it’s not the time for imagination or creativity in a way that’s not obvious. Now all of it really boils down to is what’s getting the most attention and what we can turn into money. It’s the simple fact that in a world where our attention spans are whittled down to be so finite that attention is the ultimate currency.”
(Photos by Lionel Deluy for FAULT)
The magazine is available to pre-order here.