When Miguel takes the stage at the Staples Center on June 29 as part of day two of the BET Experience, he’ll be walking onto a huge stage. And he’ll also be walking a line that he’s been navigating his whole life.
During a recent appearance on Power 105’s Breakfast Club, Angela Yee asked Miguel about something he tweeted recently: “I guess I’m not weird enough for underground, too weird for mainstream. When these MFs catch up they’ll pretend like they were always down.”
Miguel’s answer touched off an impromptu “therapy session” during which he revealed some of the conflicts and contradictions that make him such a complex and compelling artist.
“That’s just the way the world works,” he said. “My mom is Black, my father’s Mexican. My mom is religious, my father’s not. I’ve always been caught. It’s just like walking that line of, like, where do I stand amidst what people expect and what they see. And I’ve always had to define myself in that sense. “
Miguel’s music defies easy categorization, and this hasn’t necessarily made his rise to the top easy. “Hipsters will be like, ‘You’re not weird enough.’ And certain blogs will pretend like they f--- with you but they don’t.”
But as he walked the line between the underground and the mainstream, he has infused R&B with a new type of edge and energy. Now he’s got the commercial success and the Grammy awards to prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Even his label-mate Kelly Clarkson knows who he is now. But he’s still got a long road to travel until he fulfills his artistic mission.
“I know where my mind is at as a musician may not be expected or conventional necessarily, but I hope that people will catch up to it,” Miguel added.
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