Image via Visionary Artistry Mag
I went to see R&B/Soul/Hip Hop artist Miguel at the Grammy Museum last night. The event is part of the museum’s Homegrown series, which focuses on artists from and/or largely inspired by Los Angeles. It featured an interview with Grammy Foundation Vice President Scott Goldman, a Q&A with the audience, and a half-hour live set. Oh, and I got Miguel’s CD, All I Want is You. All for $10. It was awesome.
Miguel was intelligent, articulate and funny, responding with ease and wit to all the questions thrown his way. Favorite Miguel quote, in response to a question about branding, and whether he sees himself as a more mainstream McDonald’s type of brand, or something closer to an independent mom and pop operation: “To use your analogy, I want to take a McDonald’s Happy Meal, and put a steak in it.” Second runner-up, his response to comparisons of him to Prince: (And I’m paraphrasing here) “Thank you, but have you seen Prince? The man can play any instrument and writes amazing songs. And have you seen him perform? Maybe you need to get yourself acquainted with some Prince! (Laughs).”
On that note, though, I have to add that I do get where the comparisons come from, and I think it’s mainly in his vocal stylings. A lot of the time, Miguel sounds the way Prince does on songs such as “If I was Your Girlfriend.” So there you go.
And the performance was electric! He played with a guitar and bass player, and they had coordinated dance moves and really great energy throughout each song. Audience participation and sing-alongs were included and encouraged. He opened with “Pay Me,” and also sang “All I Want is You” and “Quickie” (which was as hot and steamy as the title suggests) among other songs.
The stage at the Clive Davis Theater is small, and the space is like a very large living room. But Miguel and his band didn’t deliver any less, and we really felt like we were privy to a performance as polished and invigorated as an artist would give on a much larger stage. Nice work, Miguel!
I first heard of Miguel when I found a link somewhere online to his “All I Want is You” video (below). I tweeted about it, and when I saw his name popped up on an email from the Grammy Museum, I bought my tickets right away.
If you have the chance to see him live, do it! It seems like he’s the opening act for Mary J. Blige and the Trey Songs/Usher tour. Check out more on his website.