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Written by Raffy Ermac
We’ve all come to know him as one of the most stylish and slick new faces of R&B, and much to his credit, he is exactly that. Vocally and charismatically smooth and a member of this new generation of urban crooners to emerge out of the recent trend of lyrics and talent over flash and flare, Miguel Jontel Pimentel, known simply to the world as Miguel, is quite simply the industry’s new soulful music powerhouse.
A Los Angeles native, raised by his Mexican father and African-American mother, Miguel was born in 1985 and experienced an upbringing that valued old-school classic R&B. And it was a good thing too, especially since R&B, with a mix of modern hip-hop influences, is the cornerstone of Miguel’s music. There was no question that young, up-and-coming Miguel was talented though – with songwriting credits for the likes of Usher, Asher Roth, and Musiq Soulchild, this guy's talent is obvious!
Signed to then-upstart Jive Records back in 2007, Miguel polished his skills and released his debut album, All I Want Is You, in the fall of 2010. Although a commercial disappointment, All I Want Is You showcased Miguel's amazing vocal ability and ultimately became what is referred to as a sleeper hit, with hardcore urban R&B fans scooping the record up and giving Miguel what would be a taste of a future successful fanbase.
Fast forward a year or two, and Miguel’s 2012 album Kaleidoscope Dream was released, and, unlike his first effort, people now know what to expect from Miguel and just how great he could be. Fueled by the success of the uber-sexy and romantic single “Adorn”, Kaleidoscope Dream went to number three on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and it now seems like even more success for the crooner is imminent.
Miguel is now a go-to collaborator for many of his contemporaries, having worked alongside tracks by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and R&B/pop’s reining diva Mariah Carey. If you haven’t had “Power Trip” or “Beautiful” stuck in your head at one point over this past summer, you’ve been living under a huge, dark rock.
With a Grammy, two albums, superstar collabs, and songwriting credits all under his belt, the now 27-year-old Miguel has the entire world of music at his fingertips, and we can only hope that more cool, funky, and soulful music hits the sound waves soon.
Check out our interview with the crooner at the YH Studio, below!
- Raffy Ermac, YH Staff