Miguel’s “All I Want Is You” became an anthem for lovers and those who want to be loved early last year when the singer introduced himself as a new voice with a debut album of fetching R&B songs.The Prince-meets-Kanye comparisons pointed to his sartorial challenges to the one-dimensional trad masculinities expected of all male R&B singers. All I Want Is You also defied the typical R&B script by foregoing an overproduced sound in favor of candid relationship songs co-authored by Miguel and shaped with a shameless eclecticism. He has already prepped his fans for his upcoming three-part album Kaleidoscope Dream by releasing Kaleidoscope Dream: The Water Preview EP on the last day of July. Last night he briefly took the stage with Nas at the vitaminwater Uncapped FADER concert in Detroit to join the Queensbridge rapper for “Summer On Smash” and a too short solo teaser of “Adorn.” The singer took a few minutes to speak with Kickmag about the new album, his fashion sense and why James Brown is the last innovator of soul.
How long have you been singing?
I fell in love with music since I can remember. I’ve been singing since I could.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
These days I would describe it as counterculture. It has small roots in other stuff but I’ll leave it at that.
Who are your R&B heroes?
I never classify Prince as R&B never classify Michael Jackson as R&B so I guess I can’t really use them. Usher is a good friend of mine seeing him up close and personal on a day to day I just grew a tremendous amount of respect for him because of his dedication. He’s an amazing talented person and his dedication propels him beyond stardom into superstardom. I think he’s the last one. There’s a few, Raphael Saadiq definitely is a hero of mine. We’re talking about R&B I separate that from soul even Raphael has transcended that now. All of the groups Boyz II Men, Jodeci those are my R&B heroes.
You said that James Brown was the last innovator of soul for you, why is that?
I think what he did especially in context of the time there’s so many options of what he did from him we have offshoots like Prince, Michael Jackson Jimi, Jimi definitely pulled some stuff from James Brown if you listen to the cadence. It’s been so long since I think people from the urban side have pulled from James he’s one of the greatest ever.
What do you like best about performing live?
Looking in someone’s eyes and feeling like we’re in the same moment at the same time.
What can we expect from your next album that comes out in October? How does it compare to All I Want Is You?
Kaleidoscope Dream is the sound of my life All I Want Is You was the sound of my relationships. I think Kaleidoscope Dream highlights my lifestyle the sound of it. This album is different because I didn’t approach it with the sense of indicating lyrically it was more about a vibe. I wanted you to be able to take a picture of what I’m doing and my feelings. I think this album is somewhat more vibey and a bit darker.