“Let my love adorn you,” is the, “Let’s get it on,” of this decade. The latter is a phrase made famous by R&B legend, Marvin Gaye. His was one of the most sexually-charged and beloved songs in music history, and the soul of that single has been resurrected by someone new. The former are lyrics from the breakout artist who took home the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Song, Miguel. Miguel Jontel Pimente is simply Miguel to his fans, a la Prince–an artist he’s been compared to often. Fuzing R&B with elements of pop, jazz, soul and classic rock, his music shines because of the smooth precision of his voice and the unapologetic sensuality woven into every falsetto. His persona radiates the indescribable star quality of frontmen like Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Rock and Roll guitar riffs and a fit of cymbals flooded the stage in a particularly edgy performance of his new single, “How Many Drinks,” on SNL last week. The week prior he released the official remix of the song featuring a guest verse from rapper-of-the-moment, Kendrick Lamar.
It seems like Miguel’s love songs know no boundaries, blending choice elements from every genre to add to his recipe for stardom. The unifying thread in all of his recent music is raw intimacy. He’s not afraid to lay his deepest personal, sexual, and emotional tendencies on the line. Although, that wasn’t always the case. His first album All I Want Is You only sold 11,000 copies in its first week. It did manage to set the stage for Miguel to tour supporting Usher and Trey Songz, but remained a sleeper hit. All I Want flew under the radar because it was missing that essential flair and bravado that shines in his second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dreams.
Miguel’s sophomore released catapulted his career into overdrive. Kaleidoscope debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Now instead of opening for Usher, each artist got a Grammy nomination for the same category. Miguel covered Vibe’s 2013 “Big List,” issue, is up for Billboard’s Milestone Award, and will take the stage at Made in America festival alongside Jay-Z. He’s not the first musician to achieve such monumental success in a short timeline, but he does stand out as an R&B artist hitting it this big in 2013. While Hip Hop and EDM have eclipsed the music world over the course of the last few years, R&B has taken more of a backseat. Like any form of culture, trends in music tend to be cyclical. An artist like Miguel could be the catalyst R&B needs to shine as brightly as it did in the early 90’s.
Click here to pick up a copy of Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dreams on iTunes and watch the video for his award-winning single, “Adorn,” here!