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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Caption: “dedicating this award to my Nana, thank you @almaawards“
Miguel also uses his platform for good.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
The goal of his music is to leave fans feeling encouraged.
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.”
Soak it all up on with his latest drop “Wildheart” released under RCA Records.