Miguel: Soul Ascending (Q&A)

Miguel_August_openerHe appeared as a charismatic young star whose ingenious artistry and show-stopping performances both acknowledged the history of R&B and forecast its future. As a San Pedro, CA teenager, Miguel had endured a series of ill-fated records and productions that fell apart, often acrimoniously. But he persisted, writing songs for others and releasing a mixtape, a debut full-length and then a series of EPs that heralded the arrival of a new star in the soul constellation.

The artist’s perseverance paid off with the full-length release, Kaleidoscope Dream. A winner of a Grammy for Best R&B Song (“Adorn”) plus multiple BET and Soul Train Awards among a list of nominations, Miguel is now preparing for a 41-date tour with Drake. As MC caught up with him, the performer was between rehearsals for the BET Experience in Los Angeles where he was named “Best Male Artist” at the BET Awards.

Music Connection: It’s good to have this magic moment with you, Miguel. There is so much going on in your career between the tours, the television appearances, and promoting your album.

Miguel: I’m happy to be busy. There was a time when I wasn’t.

MC: You’ve just returned from a series of shows with Alicia Keys, and now you have this massive Drake tour coming up. What can you tell us about your rehearsal process? Do you woodshed with the band or do you even require rehearsal?

Miguel: We have essentially been on tour consistently for about the past three and half years. The practice part is only when we spend a few hours rehearsing new songs. This means coming up with the set-list, and deciding what will be best for the audience. We spend about two days arranging the songs. I produce all the arrangements, and my band adds and embellishes. Then we go into production. By that time we’ve already spoken about the direction for each song and the stage set-up and lights and whatnot. Then we lock it all in.

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