Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Q&A: Miguel Lost 'Chip on (His) Shoulder' before Making Third Album 'Wildheart'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Q&A: Miguel Lost 'Chip on (His) Shoulder' before Making Third Album 'Wildheart'

Article excerpt

Q&A: Miguel lost 'chip' on shoulder before new LP

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TORONTO - With the R&B twinkler "Kaleidoscope Dream," Miguel earned a gold plaque, a Grammy Award and seemingly unanimous critical regard.

The ambitious "Adorn" maestro accomplished something else, too: he reintroduced himself to audiences who might have dismissed him.

"I think I kind of had a chip on my shoulder. I had this sense that I had to prove my intentions since 'All I Want is You,'" said the 29-year-old Los Angeles singer, referring to his uneven, conventional debut.

"The great thing about my last album is that it did help change the perspective of people and how they looked at me and my artistry and the intention behind my music.

"This time, I feel less concerned with trying to prove that and more concerned with what I feel and ... the energy in my life."

That self-certainty spawned the atmospheric "Wildheart," which since its release this week has inspired the sort of rhapsodic critical praise that's become routine for the spry songwriter.

CP: You wrote or co-wrote every track on the album and produced much of it. You collaborate sparingly. Why is that?

Miguel: I like to collaborate with people who resonate with me on a creative level. I have a very specific set of tastes and it kind of makes the focus of who I like to collaborate with very finite and very specific.

It's awesome to be able to do that with people who understand me and can help bring out the colour and tones and sonics I'm looking for.

But overall I do have a very clear idea of what I want to accomplish on every song, in every session and on every album. I'm very particular on who I'll collaborate with.

CP: On "What's Normal Anyway," you sing: "Too proper for the black kids, too black for the Mexicans." Was that your experience growing up?

Miguel: That song is probably the most introspectively literal song on the album. …

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