Miguel attributes the success of Kaleidoscope Dream to a few variables.
"Timing would be the most important factor," he says, "but then also on a more personal level, I wanted to set the tone for the kind of music that should be expected from me in the future. It was me trusting my instincts. Then the other variable would be my label just trusting me to create and project my vision."
If Miguel seems keenly aware of who his audience is, it's because he knows himself. "I'm a firm believer that art and creativity find the proper audience because the core of every artistic expression is human emotion," he says. "I hope it doesn't sound cliché - but art is celebrating individuality but more than that it highlights commonality and the one thing that brings us all together is the fact that we can feel. If my music is any reflection of who I am as an individual, then it's about finding like-minded individuals."
His Own Man
If the key to finding success – and keeping it – is individuality, then Miguel is in this for the long run. Art Dealer Chic was more than just a cool name for a mixtape series – it's a perspective and a lifestyle that Miguel created, the narrative thread that runs through all of his music.
So what does it mean, exactly? Miguel will gladly break it down in a somewhat long-winded fashion that reveals his more philosophical side.
"Art Dealer Chic starts with understanding that every individual is the creator of their own reality," he says. "They essentially are the painter, painting the beauty or the chaos, curating their experience, their sensibilities, their decisions and self-conscious thought patterns, and painting with the texture and the color that they secretly love. Understanding that helps us paint the picture that we truly desire...
There's a line in my favorite song of all time, it's called "Good Thoughts Bad Thoughts" by Funkadelic, and there's so many gems in this song, but the one that I hold the closest to my heart goes: "be careful of the thought seeds you plant in your mind for seeds grow according to their kind. And there's nothing more true to life than that."
The Midas Touch
Behind every great emerging artist is a great A&R. Miguel has Mark Pitts, a man with an enviable music biz resume and currently the President of Urban Music at RCA Records. He's also the CEO of Bystorm Entertainment, the imprint of RCA to which Miguel is signed (cool fact: the Notorious B.I.G used to call him his "manager extraordinaire").