Although Los Angeles native Miguel released his major-label debut, All I Want Is You, as long ago as December, he had two songs in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart as recently as last week.
Miguel’s “Sure Thing” has been in the Top 5 for weeks. “Quickie” is a recent entry.
“Sure Thing,” the song that got the 24-year-old singer-songwriter his deal with Jive Records, proved itself remarkably durable. The world first heard it four years ago, after Miguel posted it on his MySpace page.
“A lot of people just remember me from that song,” he said last week from New York City. “I put it up on MySpace and a week later it had a million plays. It’s not like I even told anyone to listen to it. It connected with people on its own.”
And even after millions of MySpace plays, “Sure Thing” became a commercial hit.
“It’s cool watching it now and seeing that people are still connecting with it,” Miguel said.
Miguel wrote “Sure Thing” from personal experience.
“It was inspired by a mistake,” he said. “I messed up a relationship. I never wanted to be in that situation again, where I took love for granted. So I wrote a song that lets me look back and say, ?OK, this is what real love feels like.’ “
Miguel began singing in early childhood. He started writing songs when he was about 8.
“I’ve always been in love with music, man,” he said. “I was always singing and dancing. And with certain songs I’d hear, I remember being, like, ?Man, I would love to make music like this.’ So writing songs was a natural progression.”
Having his songs recorded by Mary J. Blige and Musiq (“If U Leave”), Asher Roth (“His Dream”) and co-writing Usher’s Raymond V Raymond album helped prepare the way for Miguel’s own recording success.
“People said that was the smartest way to go about getting a shot at being a recording artist,” he said. “But I actually got signed as an artist before I even met Usher or had a chance to work for Mary J. Blige.
“Writing, to me, is part of being an artist,” Miguel said. “It just so happens that I can write songs for other people and music that I wrote for them made it out before my own recordings did. I never planned it to be that way. I’ve always been an artist first.”
After focusing his energy on performing these past nine months, Miguel recently returned to the studio.
“Now I go to the studio with a whole different perspective,” he said. “I’m always considering how music will translate to a live setting. So, especially for urban music, R&B, whatever that is now, it’s gonna be fun to watch how I and like-minded artists are going to change the way music is presented. The music is changing, taking a step in a different direction than traditional R&B.”