R&B singer Miguel doesn't see himself as your everyday soul man. And with his iPod going from David Bowie to Prince to Queen to Kanye West to Diane Warren, he might be right. His latest album, "Kaleidoscope Dream," hits stores today and on this sophomore release, he definitely paints outside the lines, something which he says is within the traditions of R&B.
"I've never been a traditional artist because my influences span a broad range of music and sensibilities," he says. "The moment I started to incorporate my honest perspective into my music, all of these influences made their way into the sound and delivery of the art. R&B really influenced and inspired genres that are thriving today, including rock and hip-hop. It will always be soul at the core of it because that's who I am."
Miguel's unconventional blend of soul, hip-hop, rock and electronica has been successful. His single "Adorn" is the latest in a string of hits the Los Angeles native has served up since his debut "All I Want Is You." A Grammy nod and three No. 1 hits on the R&B charts have him feeling good these days.
"It's a blessing to make music that I'm in love with, but it's an even bigger blessing to have people fall in love with it too," he says.
His new album feels like a jam session between Coldplay and Prince; a formula that conventional wisdom says the R&B crowd would reject. But conventional wisdom would be wrong. And the positive reception is welcomed as Miguel strives to give fans a timeless musical experience.
"I'm excited that people are open to the risks that I am taking," he says. "I want people to leave with something they will remember forever. I want them to say, 'I remember when I was 19 and I took this girl to this Miguel concert.' I do my best to give myself to the moment so everyone can lower their guard and let the music in."
Soundtrack to love
As an R&B singer, Miguel makes the music that is the backdrop for painting many a romantic canvas. However, when it’s his time to play Picasso, his own songs aren’t at the top of the playlist.
Miguel laughs, “I’m not that narcissistic. There’s some great music out there outside of the music that I make. I’m not that cool to listen to my music. It would just feel corny to me. Though it’s definitely been requested.”