While Kendrick Lamar holds it down for the rap world in Vibe Magazine’s 2013 ‘Big List’ issue, Miguel represents the new generation of R&B singers on the alternative cover . In his cover story, the R&B crooner dishes on his definition of a musical genius, musical risk, how he felt on Frank Ocean’s ‘big announcement’ last year and much more.
Read excerpts from his cover story below:
Defining Musical Genius:
My favorite artists always took whatever they loved out of music and made it their own. It was their take on it. Kendrick is one of those people where I can hear Ice Cube’s first two albums’ influence. I get the street edge, but then I hear like the poetic player, smoothness, creativity and smart street savvy of Andre on Aquemini. That juxtaposition is what I hear in Kendrick, but it’s his own take. If you listen to my shit, you’re gonna hear Prince, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin or a little bit of the Beatles. That’s where I’m pulling from.
Biggest Risk Artistically:
Shit, well this whole album—overall it doesn’t sound like any other R&B album that’s been put out in the past decade. The only album I would say sounds as alternative would be A Beautiful World by Robin Thicke, and that was like 2003. Since then, I haven’t heard a commercial album sound as alternative as this one. Including those psychedelic influences for R&B was a huge risk.
Frank Ocean Announcement:
I don’t know if the word is eclipsed. [Long pause] That’s a really tough question to answer, man. In all reality, Frank Ocean took a big chance the way that artists are supposed to. I mean, even his album doesn’t sound like mine or anyone else’s. So sonically and how he writes and what he’s writing about and how he chooses to express himself vocally, all his choices are very unique, and I appreciate that about him. Not only did his announcement overshadow my music, but it overshadowed his as well.
On May 19, Miguel will perform at the 2013 Billboard Awards along other performances by Bruno Mars and the music icon recipient, Prince.