We met R&B superstar Miguel shortly after he had stolen thousands of Swedish hearts during a festival gig in Gothenburg. This summer he’s been touring festivals all over Europe, and has gotten to know all kinds of audiences. “You never know what the personality of a crowd is going to be like. Sometimes a crowd will be very focused, but no real reactions. Here, they were all in the moment, there was an interaction with everyone I caught with my eye”, he said when we met him in his dressing room.
Q: You laugh a lot on stage and look so happy. What goes through your head and body up there?
A: To be honest, I don’t really know. I think it’s all in the moment, and I guess that’s why people want to watch me. I want to be transparent, so I don’t leave room for too much thinking.
Q: How do you prepare for a live show?
A: I try to get sleep. These days, it’s really about trying! There’s not much that I do that’s like routine, but I try to warm my voice up fifteen minutes before going on. And we always huddle before we go on. Those are two things that we normally do, but other than that it’s kind of free form. We ride the wave of how everything comes.
Q: Tell us about the moment when you realized that you were going to sing for a living.
A: I’ve never just realized it, it has always been something I’ve known. I’m a firm believer that when children have a strong conviction about something, it’s often because there’s some powerful experience from a past life. Something that they didn’t get to fulfill. I’ve always had this tremendous and very deep feeling of knowing my purpose, you know? It never dawned on me, it always very much known.
Q: You have an amazing voice. What kind of special tricks do you have to treat it when it feels hoarse or you throat is sore?
A: There are a couple of homeopathic things that can be done, but you can’t really beat good rest and lots of water. That’s the honest truth. Making sure I’m well-rested and hydrated makes a big difference. Warm water and honey is a go-to, I don’t really drink tea unless it’s absolutely organic, because otherwise the caffeine will dry my voice out for some reason. And then there’s these throat lozenges that I get from New York, those are incredible. They are ginger throat lozenges, which is really good. They’re from this specific place in New York, I guess they make them there!
Q: Who is the world’s best singer according to you?
A: Oh my! It depends on what style. I would say that the most complex style of singing comes from India. Real, classical Indian music produces probably the best technical and natural singers in the world, just because the patterns and the inflection are so complex in how the style moves and what it requires vocally. I think the best classical singers come from India.
Q: You have some new material coming up! When can we expect it?
A: Top of September, and expect it to be fun. Most people know my music based on the singles, and think of it as scandalously romantic. There’s definitely a romantic vibe, but I often sing things that are very direct. I don’t beat around the bush much. But this next batch of songs, you can expect to be fun, interesting, and thought intriguing.
Q: To finish up this interview, tell us about your sickest live memory!
A: Oh man. These past three months doing European festivals has been a lot of fun. My favorite memory is a blur. Sometimes you don’t really want to tell everyone, just kind of keep it to yourself. But I will tell you that’s it’s a beautiful blur.
Check out “Spotify Sessions” with Miguel, where he played an intimate, acoustic band performance at the Spotify offices in London!