“I always felt he had something special” – Jimmy Star’s World

Miguel spoke to NME about scoring his first ever UK Top 10 with his 2011 single “Sure Thing” following the track’s recent resurgence on TikTok.

Back in January, Miguel shared a video of himself performing an acoustic version of the track, writing in the caption, “YOU GUYS MADE ME GRAPHIC BEFORE I GOT THIS NEW! APPRECIATE ALL THE LOVE FOR ONE THING SAFE.

“Sure Thing,” the second single from Miguel’s 2010 debut studio album, “All I Want Is You,” has so far been used in more than four million videos on TikTok, helping the track soar in the charts in the US as well as the UK.

“‘Sure Thing’ was one of the songs that I always felt was something special,” Miguel said. NME. “I was a struggling artist here in LA, I wasn’t making any money but I was trying to get by any way I could. Writing was one of the things that got me into venues. and start writing for artists but I didn’t have any real internships at the time.

The track was originally written in 2007 and nearly made it onto Usher’s fifth studio album, “Here I Stand,” after the singer expressed interest. Instead of giving the track to Usher, Mark Pitts – the current president of RCA Records – took Miguel to New York and signed him to Jive Records, which eventually became part of RCA. “That’s the reason I really walked in the door, and then it was the songs that kind of solidified it.”

When “Sure Thing” started gaining momentum earlier this year, it was the same Mark Pitts who broke the news to Miguel. Speaking about how he found out about his viral success, he explained: “Mark lives on the East Coast and he called me at three in the morning and was like, ‘Dude, check your phone. I send you all this data. Do you understand what is happening? I had been working in the studio until late, so I had no idea what he was talking about.

Miguel continued, “He told me that TikTok was going crazy and he explained that there were songs that absolutely saw big moments there and apparently ‘Sure Thing’ really picked up steam, that which was translating into record sales. So that was the reason for his excitement – not only was the song streaming and going crazy, but the song and my debut album were being bought because of it. It was affecting the sales of albums, which is crazy.

TikTok has been responsible for bringing many often decades-old tracks back to the charts lately, with most Gen Z users meeting artists through trending videos. Thanks to its placement in stranger things season four, Kate Bush’s 1985 classic “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”, for example, saw a resurgence and heavy use on the platform in 2022. Elsewhere, the reggae metal band Skindred became unexpected TikTok stars last month after their 2005 song “Nobody” sparked a new dance trend on the social media platform.

Asked about TikTok and the music industry’s increased focus on the platform, Miguel admitted he was initially critical, but added, “In the beginning for music videos, I’m sure there was lots of people who weren’t in it. It was a new medium, and it was really a reason to commercialize the music. TikTok is absolutely more than that, but I think, essentially, it’s a tool that can serve that purpose and it obviously has huge leverage.

He continued, “I mean, ‘Sure Thing’ came out when MySpace was everything. ‘Sure Thing’ first blew up on MySpace and it was actually a big part of my signature as well. So that’s just a journey to see how art and expression, especially combined with technology, can truly be powerful and given new life. It’s beautiful.”

On his own use of TikTok and what his For You page currently looks like, Miguel said NME that he’s usually caught up with a few specific things: “Cooking recipes that I’ll never actually execute, and then anything to do with UFOs and UAPs,” he said. “Oh, and stuff about binaural sync and quantum leap. I have two cats, so I always end up seeing a few too, which is really the best.

The recent success of “Sure Thing” on TikTok has sparked the spotlight on Miguel’s impending plans, but he’s excited despite the added pressure. “It certainly accelerated a lot,” he said. “There was already something in the works. But it’s much more now. We have dates that are at least three months earlier than originally planned. So yeah, it definitely added a lot of pressure, but I feel good under the pressure. I take it as a sign and I believe in signs.

Miguel’s last studio album was 2017’s “War & Leisure,” which included the single “Sky Walker” featuring Travis Scott. Months after the release he announced he was working on a Spanish project and this came in the form of the EP ‘Te Lo Dije’ in 2019 which was a re-release of ‘War & Leisure’, featuring five tracks from the album recorded in Spanish. .

His last release was the EP “Art Dealer Chic 4”, released in April 2021, but last year Miguel teamed up with Diplo on “Don’t Forget My Love”, the first single from the new self-titled album by Diploma.

While on a music hiatus, Miguel kept busy working on a host of projects beyond music, including mental health advocacy. He also made an appearance on Drop last year, a BBC show on streetwear, where he was one of two mentors overseeing the contestants’ efforts.

While no official details on upcoming releases have been announced, Miguel teased new music on his Instagram earlier this month. Speaking about his upcoming new material, Miguel said “emotion in music” was one of his main goals in terms of what he wanted listeners to take away.

“The function of art is to connect people through the emotional quality of the work, which is why I can hear a song in a completely different language and yet my eyes can fill with tears,” said- he declared. “Or why someone from a completely different background can look at a painting by someone halfway around the world and fall in love with it.”

Miguel added: “It’s the emotional quality that gives it its value. And it reminds us that we are human and that we are not different. And that’s what’s exciting about what’s to come – I feel it’s deeply moving.

“It’s violent, it’s exciting, it’s beautiful, it’s scary, it’s dark and it’s heartbreaking – but that’s all I feel we see in the world and in the everyday unknown. I’ve worked very hard to capture this and it’s what I’m thrilled to bring to my fans.

Miguel will perform at Lovers & Friends in Las Vegas on Saturday May 6 alongside Missy Elliott, Pitbull, Mariah Carey, Usher, Christina Aguilera and more. Visit here for tickets and more information.


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