It's been just 10 weeks since Miguel introduced himself through his debut single, "All I Want Is You." Featuring J. Cole, the song entered Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at No. 98 in mid-July. But the 23-year-old singer/songwriter has already made music history in his short career.
Miguel, born Miguel Pimentel in Los Angeles, recently shared the stage with Jay-Z and Eminem during the rap icons' Home & Home tour stops at New York's Yankee Stadium, marking the venue's first concerts since it opened last year.
"It was so humbling and unbelievable," Miguel says. "I got so overzealous up there; I just wanted to keep going. It was so addicting."
Now Miguel is hoping listeners will become addicted to his first album. "All I Want Is You" is slated for a December/January release on Black It/Bystorm/Jive Records. Salaam Remi masterminded the catchy first single, which is No. 27 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Additional album producers include State of Emergency, Happy Perez and Dre and Vidal.
Video: Miguel feat. J. Cole: "All I Want Is You"
The Bystorm Entertainment artist describes the set as "dub-step, dance, electronic, hip-hop fusion" with classic rock and funk influences. Other noteworthy tracks include the self-explanatory "Quickie" and the infectious "Pay Me." The front-runner for second single is "Sure Thing."
"I don't place boundaries on myself," Miguel says. "Every song on the album sounds different from the next. What is consistent is the delivery; what makes it concise is the idea that the grass is not always greener on the other side. The album is my journey of coming to that realization."
That journey began almost 10 years ago when Miguel signed his first production deal at 14. He walked away from the deal at 18 and by 19 was signed to an independent label. After unsuccessfully trying to release material, Miguel left after two years. That's when he began to redefine who he wanted to be, opting "to make the kind of music I connect with most: hip-hop, classic rock and funk."
Shortly after that, Miguel's music landed in the hands of Mark Pitts, Jive Label Group president of urban music and CEO of Bystorm Entertainment, who signed the singer in 2007. However, a three-year holdup ensued when the aforementioned indie label sued Miguel, claiming monetary rights to his newfound success. The suit was settled earlier this year.
Fresh off his stint with Jay and Eminem, Miguel will be touring soon with two more marquee names: Mary J. Blige and Usher. Despite the associated glitz and glamour, Miguel is determined to remain true to himself. "That's why 'All I Want Is You' is working," he says. "It's an honest record."