GNSF! Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Life

photo: Timothy Saccenti

photo: Timothy Saccenti

Dreams do come true in Kaleidoscope. That is, for singer Miguel they do, because he’s living the life he always wanted. The musical artist is working with contemporaries he admires like Alicia Keys, who hand-picked him to open up for her Set This World On Fire Tour — at the Valley View Casino Center just last week. These two artists fit the bill together so well that it’s an easy sell. Both have much in common: coming from biracial homes, sticking to their guns when it comes to musical artistry and fashion sense and, last but not least, both have Grammy bragging rights.

“I’m a huge fan of not only her artistry, but I’m a fan of her as a person.” Miguel told Ryan Seacrest about touring with Keys. “I think she was just so cool, and it’s really dope to know she likes music enough and respects me as a musician enough to invite me out on the road and I think that’s where it starts. I’m definitely really excited about meeting her fans.”

His sophomore release Kaleidoscope catapulted him to R&B star status with the mesmerizing single “Adorn,” which was later remixed featuring rapper Wiz Khalifa. Miguel was born and raised in San Pedro, Calif. to a black mother and Mexican father who later divorced when he was eight. Devastated by the divorce and being biracial shaped his musical identity – maybe that’s why Miguel’s R&B style is unmatched by any of his male counterparts singing today.

“A few even said I should stay behind the scenes and write because I was a ‘hard sell’ as a half-Mexican guy who sounds black but looks Filipino,” he recalled for SoundDiego without a trace of resentment. “At first I took the advice – I wore the white tees, the fitted caps and the baggy jeans and focused on writing – but that didn’t work for me. Only when I said, ‘Forget what everyone else says, I should be,’ did the doors start to open for me as an artist.”

In his Grammy-winning for Best R&B song, “Adorn,” you can sense some Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing” inspiration. Miguel told me it wasn’t intentional but the musical greatness of Marvin Gaye will seep through for an artist like himself. With the sounds that are brewing from Kaleidoscope, Miguel’s music is certainly going to be timeless and transcend genres and demographics.

“Overall, I call my style ‘ec-lectric’,” says the 26-year-old who considers himself a hybrid of Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Pharrell Williams. “It’s edgy and it defies category, but it still reaches the people.”

Miguel’s SNL debut will take place with the only and one Vince Vaughn on April 13. Don’t miss Dita Quiñones of GN$F!’s exclusive interview with Miguel coming soon to NBC 7’s “SoundDiego” after SNL.


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