Ahead of the release of his forthcoming album War & Leisure on December 1, Miguel is the latest cover star of Something About magazine.
Alongside an exclusive photoshoot, Miguel also opened up about his new body of work. From the vision and themes to the previously released ‘Sky Walker’ and ‘Told You So’, Miguel covers all bases. He even speaks about how Prince’s death impacted his songwriting.
On the vision of his new album War & Leisure:
‘The vision really is to paint a picture of whatever I’m feeling. The vision is to say, ‘I don’t have the answers, but this is where I’m at.’ I guess I’m documenting the overall where we are in our lives. We have all of the technology to be absolutely connected with each other and still it seems like we’re further and further away from that. You can see it in things like the fact that we’re still dealing with inequalities on every level, be it racial, religious, sexual or anything.’
On the theme of War & Leisure:
‘The guiding theme is war and leisure, and the tension between the two. There’s an obvious tension, I think – that’s why you still catch us out having drinks on a Friday or a Saturday, or whatever day you catch us out having drinks. The real question is – what direction are we really pushing for? Or maybe not even pushing – what direction are we allowing everything to be steered in? It’s as simple and complicated as all that.’
On the tracks ‘Skywalker’ and ‘Told You So’:
‘I think the two are awesome examples of what the album is and the pendulum swinging on the album that goes back and forth both ways. [With] “Told You So” you’ll have to see the video to really understand, but I think you get the sense of how light-hearted “Skywalker” is… I think the album will continuously ebb back and forth between a feel-good feeling and then a message.’
On how War & Leisure progresses Miguel’s sound from 2015’s Wildheart:
‘I think it expands the scope and the light in which people can see me or experience me. I think this album is ironically more upbeat than any of my other albums. It’s fun – it was a lot of fun to create and to create in this space. I don’t think I’ve ever focused so much on movement and wanting to feel that kind of energy. It was a fun, new place for me. I had a lot of fun just creating these songs and wrapping my mind around what I would write that was purposeful in this new arena for me. I think it expands the scope in which people expect me to create – that’s always fun.’
On how Prince’s death impacted the songwriting on War & Leisure:
‘I think his death had an impact on everything – songwriting, the culture of music, the responsibility that we have to realise that our heroes made their mark. I mean that in every sense of the term ‘heroes’ – all of the thinkers, all of the great musicians, poets, scientists, politicians… Their moment came and it’s our time now, for all of us…He sets the bar for what an artist – the ultimate artist – really can be and, if anything, death is a reminder to keep writing your own story and paving your own path, as corny as that sounds.’
On his vision of War & Leisure throughout recording:
‘To be honest with you, it’s really hard to stay clear-minded in the middle of everything. This album is one of the albums I’ve created with least of an idea of what the end-product would be, or what I was trying to say. That made it a challenge to pinpoint who would be the best people to help me create what I was envisioning. Until the end, the vision was a moving target… I didn’t really have any sense of where I was going. I just needed to go.’
‘Something About’ will be stocked internationally from Friday November 24.
Miguel’s forthcoming album War & Leisure, is available to pre-order now.