Entertainment

Miguel Was Once A Preacher And Then He Discovered The Power Of His Own Music

We all know Miguel as the R&B heartthrob shaking up the genre with his indie pop and soul influences. His breakout album, Kaleidoscope dream (2012) put him on the map, right alongside contemporaries. Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, and The Weeknd.

Before he made it on the map, he was kind of a shy kid, and deeply religious. If you thought he was born a sex god, you’re wrong. He confesses that he was a “very late bloomer” in life.

Born as Miguel Jontel Pimentel, the singer is just 33 years old.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

He was born and raised in San Pedro, California, a beach town. His mother is African-American and his father is Mexican-American. His parents divorced when he was eight years old, and lived under his mother’s roof.

Miguel has written songs about the struggle of being Afro-Latino.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

In “What’s Normal Anyway?,” he sings Too proper for the black kids / Too black for the Mexicans.”  He told NME that he used to really struggle with that growing up but he’s in acceptance around his identity today.

In 2017, Miguel traveled to Zamora to visit his Mexican side of the family for the first time.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

His own grandmother used to sing at the radio station that they ended up visiting. He sang his cover of “Contigo” by Los Planchos as a tribute to his Nana. “I haven’t felt the kind of nervousness that I did at the radio station. Ever. You want to make your family proud. And I think that’s a different kind of pressure,” he said according to Latino USA.

His mother didn’t let him go to parties.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

“My mother was really into her religion, and I was, too, to be honest with you,” he tells The Guardian. “But at the same time I was torn, because as a kid you want to do things. And my mom was very keen on keeping me away from temptation. “

Miguel didn’t really have any friends in high school.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

“I was not a part of the social scene in high school. I wasn’t going to parties, I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t smoking, I definitely wasn’t smoking weed, I wasn’t having sex,” he tells all to The Guardian. “Late bloomer. Really late bloomer.”

Feeling out of place both ethnically and socially was the inspiration for “What’s Normal Anyway?”

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

When his musician brother Nicholas listened to the song for the first time, he wept. “On top of the normal inadequacies and insecurities that you feel in your adolescence,” he tells The Guardian.

You add the layer of wanting to connect with people and then having to keep a safe distance based on what you’re being taught, your spirituality, and that adds a whole other confusing layer. As much as people knew me, it’s not like I had friends.”

It was his Mexican father who introduced him to music and encouraged him to live a little.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

His father, who is a teacher, would tell him about all the crazy things he did at his age and encouraged him to step out of line. Miguel was too afraid to betray his mother and the religiosity he was so entrenched in.

Miguel would go door to door preaching the bible as a teenager.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

His mother is a preacher as well and always wanted him to grow up to become a preacher. She never expected he would become a famous musician.

When he went to college, he discovered sex, drugs, and music.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

He stopped going to church and bible studies and started forming his own path. “I’m still very much in touch with my spirituality. I never gave up on God,” he told The Guardian. “I just found my own way.”

Today, Miguel is a Grammy award winning artist (and sex symbol, let’s be real.)

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Since his first album release, “All I Want is You,” he’s released three more albums, all of which have reached mass critical acclaim. Critics love to compare his vocals to Prince, and he ships it.

His most swoon-worthy quality? Dedicating his awards to his Nana.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Caption: “dedicating this award to my Nana, thank you @almaawards

Miguel also uses his platform for good.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Caption: “This dude put his is whole career, everything he worked his whole life for on the line to shed light on injustice in this country only to be treated unfairly and black balled and he hasn’t stopped. Cant think of anyone better suited to deliver this message.”

Fun fact: He usually wears a calavera on his ring finger.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

He told The Guardian, “I always wear this ring on this finger, the skull with a sombrero. The skull is a reminder that we don’t live forever.” As for the sombrero? “Well, you know, I’m Latino, so it just felt right.”

He has “Amar hasta la muerte” tattooed on his body.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

“Which means ‘Love me to death’ or ‘Love till death’, depending on how you interpret it,” he told The Guardian.

He’s been with model and actor Nazanin Mandi for over a decade.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Yeah. We’re swooning. The guy is committed. You might recognize her from his music video for “Coffee.”

The two got married in late 2018.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

If you follow @miguel at all, you also know that he’s obsessed with her butt. Like, every post with her is about her butt. 😂

They both have queen of diamonds tattoos.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

They’ve never revealed the meaning, but we know that they do want to have kids at some point. Making every Mexican dad proud at this point.

While Miguel is definitely in the social scene these days, his spirituality looks different.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram
He’s a big fan of transcendental meditation. “It’s good to take a breath from everything and just center yourself. That is the best way of describing it,” he told Hot 93.7 station.

The goal of his music is to leave fans feeling encouraged.

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

After a tour, he told The Guardian, “I know the fans go away with something greater than just music. Yes, they come and hear the songs they like – I’ve got a great band, all my stuff is great – but the most important thing is, they leave encouraged. They leave believing in themselves.”

“I want to give people as much of myself as possible.”

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

Soak it all up on with his latest drop “Wildheart” released under RCA Records.

READ: Miguel Has Chosen His Side In The Major League Soccer Battle For Los Angeles

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

Entertainment

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

There is a viral tweet by an aspiring YouTuber in Wisconsin is making the rounds on social media claiming that Disney took the story of “Coco” from a family in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga, Michoacán, Mexico. While the woman pictured in the tweet and the character of Mama Coco is very similar, there is a lot of doubt about the tweet’s accuracy. It seems like the tweet is a good example of not believe everything you hear or see on social media as pure fact.

A viral tweet is claiming that Disney created characters based on the appearance of a family in Mexico and hasn’t compensated them.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The two are very similar in appearance, obviously. The viral success of the tweet proves that people are willing to believe that this happened. Many are even sharing their own photos showing that they met the woman in Mexico after traveling there due to the success of “Coco.”

Others claim to have met another woman in the same town who is the inspiration for Mama Elena.

Credit: @Elllllllieezz / Twitter

Creatives who worked on “Coco” did exhaustive research to make sure they got the movie right. It is crucial that corporations portray cultures and cultural events right in the 21st century. There is hypersensitivity and a strong expectation for companies to do their due diligence to guarantee that culturally relevant materials are done correctly. In that vein, Disney/Pixar did send people to Mexico to research and study up on the customs surrounding Día de los Muertos.

They did visit places in Mexico and there are moments in the film where you see recreations of structures they encountered on their trip. Disney has never denied visiting places in Mexico to do research and that parts of the film are inspired by things they have seen. However, according to responses to the tweet, there are a lot of people who think Disney did more than just get inspired by these places and the people.

The tweet caught the attention of co-director Lee Unkrich.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The accusations have really caught fire on Twitter with little to no information backing claims. While the tweet claims the family was not compensated, Disney denies it was based on the family despite the striking similarities. There is also no evidence presented that the family nor people in the town that were interviewed signed contracts for compensation from Disney.

The daughter of animator Daniel Arriaga took to Twitter to combat the narrative she says is false.

Credit: @alyssaaestrella / Twitter

Twitter users responded to Alyssa claiming that it doesn’t matter and that the families should be compensated for the interviews and information obtained.

Another man shared a photo in 2017 showing that his grandmother was the woman they based Mama Elena on.

Credit: Brandon Guzman / Facebook

“For those of you who read my previous post about Coco…here is my abuela,” Brandon Guzman posted on Facebook two years ago. “It was her who they modeled the Abuela with the chancla in the movie after!! I’m a proud grandson!! #Pixar #Disney #Coco #LatinosInHollywood”

However, the person who originally posted the viral tweet is using the similarities in the movie and locations to push their point.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

There is no denying that some bits of Mexico made it into the movie. However, it can be argued that it was done to further the authenticity of the movie and the storyline for people wanting to see themselves represented.

There is no winning or losing this argument as people will believe what they want.

Despite people who worked on or related to those who worked on denying the story, the rumor of Disney causing harm to a community in Mexico.

Those standing up for Disney are calling attention to the dangers of believing everything you see on the internet.

Credit: @Scarletttt_x3 / Twitter

There have been multiple instances of people blindly believing things that are posted on social media. The lack of necessary fact-checking before posting has led to misinformation spreading unchecked on social media. It is up to the users to make sure that they do their own research and determine what is true or not. As for this story, it seems the internet will forever be torn over the validity of the claims made.

READ: These Fans Theories About What A ‘Coco’ Sequel Would Look Like Sees Miguel At 17 And Returning To The Land Of The Dead

Here’s Why Everyone Is Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

Entertainment

Here’s Why Everyone Is Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

In the most recent installment of Blumhouse’s “Into the Dark” Hulu TV movie anthology series, “Culture Shock”, a story about a Mexican woman who finds herself trapped in a warped American utopia after attempting to cross the border, Blumhouse explores the horrors of the migrant crisis, adding a dose of supernatural to the already chilling situation many migrants are face when striving for a better life. 

“Culture Shock” follows Marisol, played by Mexican actress Martha Higareda, a poor young pregnant woman living in Mexico who dreams of a better life for her and her unborn child.

Hulu

“Culture Shock” immediately establishes the harrowing conditions that many immigrants face in their home countries before deciding to emigrate. Indeed, one of “Culture Shock”‘s first scenes shows Marisol being raped by Oscar, a man we had previously been led to believe was her loving boyfriend. Shortly after, we also discover that Oscar stole money she had given him to secure her passage across the border to the U.S. This leaves Martha stranded and alone in her home country of Mexico, and also now carrying the child of the man who assaulted her, which adds even more urgency to her situation.

Marisol bravely decides to attempt the crossing one more time to secure a future for her and her baby, paying a “coyote” hundreds of dollars to help smuggle her into the U.S. The journey isn’t an easy one–at nearly every stop on the way to America, Marisol is strong-armed into giving every new handler additional money–money that she wasn’t told about before. If nothing, “Culture Shock” gives a realistic, if infuriating,  portrayal of all of the injustice desperate migrants are subjected to while trying to cross the border. And the danger is steeper than ever for Marisol, a single woman who is also pregnant. The threat of sexual violence on Marisol’s body is constant, and what’s more disturbing is how habituated to sexual and other forms of violence she seems to be. It’s just another subtle nod towards her complicated and traumatic history.

After being caught at the U.S. border, Marisol wakes up in a pastel-colored paradise that embodies the American dream in every aspect: the residents are beaming, the food is delicious and abundant, and the pervading sense of peace and harmony of the so-called town of “Cape Joy” easily lulls Marisol into an immediate sense of security. It’s here that the director, Latina auteur Gigi Saul Guerrero, begins to flex her artistic muscles. The cinematography is disorienting, with off-center and odd-angled close-ups, quick cutaways that mimic Marisol’s constant confusion, and a visual stark contrast between Marisol’s old, dreary life in Mexico and her new, vibrant life in Cape Joy, USA.  

But something isn’t right in Cape Joy.

Hulu

Not only does Marisol have no recent memories of what happened to her after being caught by US Border Patrol, but the fellow immigrants she crossed over with have no idea who she is. And while Marisol mysteriously gave birth to her baby while she was presumably unconscious, she’s never allowed to hold her. When Marisol expresses concern to her host mother, Betty (Barbara Crampton) about her missing old belongings, Betty tells her: “Don’t worry about what you’ve lost. Think instead of all that you’ve gained.” It’s lines like this, which are obviously meant to convey more than just the literal meaning of the words, that the movie leans hard into.

Throughout “Into the Dark”, there is an underlying current of not-so-subtle political messaging that makes it obvious that this movie isn’t your typical straight-forward horror film. It’s as much a vehicle for social commentary and critique on the migrant crisis and America’s inhumane treatment of migrants at the border as it is about delivering stomach-churning gore and jump scares. The movie, directed by,  confirms the existential fear many migrants have of looked at as sub-human when they try to cross the border. Sometimes, the social commentary comes off as a little too on-the-nose, with Big-Bads saying things such as: “Nobody gives a fuck about these people,” and “We’re not paid to give [them] the American Dream. We’re paid to keep them out of it”. 

When the mystery behind the oddness of Cape Joy is finally revealed, the element of sci-fi and horror that’s added to Marisol’s story can almost feel like a relief, purely due to its obvious fictional tropes. The more terrifying parts of the movie–the abusive boyfriends, the violent men, the human traffickers, and the Mexican cartel–are arguably more frightening than the supernatural parts.

And lest, while watching, you trick yourself into thinking the movie isn’t really a horror movie, prepare yourself for a few jarring scenes.

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The climax of the movie is an extremely gruesome and violently gory climax that establishes the anthology installment as exactly what it markets itself as: a horror movie. But as we’ve seen in headlines that flood the TV, the newspapers, and our phones, sometimes, reality can be more horrifying than fiction. 

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