Miguel spoke to NME about his first UK Top 10 hit with his 2011 single “Sure Thing”, following the song’s recent revival on TikTok.
In January, Miguel shared a video of himself performing an acoustic version of the song, writing in the caption, “Y’all made me sing before I released this new song! THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE FOR THAT.”
Sure Thing”, the second single from “All I Want Is You”, Miguel’s first studio album since 2010, has been used in more than four million videos on TikTok to date, sending the song skyrocketing on the US charts and the UK.
“Sure Thing” was one of those songs that I always felt like there was something special,” Miguel told NME, “I was a struggling artist here in Los Angeles, not making any money but trying to get as far as I could. Writing was one of the things that allowed me to go into theaters and start writing for artists, but at the time I didn’t have any proper placement.”
The track was originally conceived in 2007 and almost made it onto Usher’s fifth studio album, Here I Stand, after the singer expressed interest. Instead of giving it to Usher, however, Mark Pitts, who is now president of RCA Records, flew Miguel to New York and signed him to Jive Records, which eventually became part of RCA. That’s why I actually walked in the door and then it was the songs that came around that cemented it.”
When “Sure Thing” started gaining momentum earlier this year, it was Mark Pitts himself who broke the news to Miguel. Talking about how he found out about his viral success, he explained: “Mark lives on the East Coast and he called me at three in the morning and said, ‘Dude, look at your phone. There’s this data I’m sending it all to you. I was working late in the studio, so I didn’t know what he was talking about.”
Miguel continued: “He told me that TikTok was going crazy and explained that there were songs with great moments and ‘Sure Thing’ seemed to have a lot of momentum, which was being translated into record sales. why they were excited: not only was the song flowing and anchoring out, but it was buying the song and my first album. It affected album sales, which is great.”
In recent years, TikTok has been responsible for the re-entry on the charts of numerous songs, often decades old, as users, mostly Gen Z, learned about trending videos. Thanks to their appearance on the fourth season of Stranger Things, Kate Bush’s 1985 classic “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God),” for example, saw a revival and heavy use on the scene in 2022. Elsewhere, a reggae metal band Skindred unexpectedly became TikTok stars last month after their 2005 song “Nobody” sparked a new dance trend on the social media platform.
When asked about TikTok and the music industry’s growing interest in the platform, Miguel admitted that he was critical at first, but added: “At first, for music videos, I’m sure there were a lot of people who didn’t like it with me. He was interested in it. It was a new medium, and it really led to the commercialization of music. There’s more to TikTok than that, but I think fundamentally it’s a tool that can serve that purpose and obviously has a huge amount of leverage”.
He continued: “I mean, ‘Sure Thing’ came out when MySpace was everything. ‘Sure Thing’ blew up on MySpace first and it was a big part of my signature as well. So it’s been a journey to see how art and Expression, especially with technology, can be very powerful and give you a new life. It’s amazing.”
Regarding his own use of TikTok and the current look of his “For You” page, Miguel told NME that he often comes up with a few specific things: “Cooking recipes that I never really make, and then anything that with him. UFOs and PAU,” he said. “Oh, and stuff about binaural synchronization and quantum leaping. I have two cats, so I always see cat cats too, which is really the best thing.”
The recent success of ‘Sure Thing’ on TikTok has put Miguel’s plans ahead of him, but he is excited despite the added pressure. “It’s definitely sped up a lot,” he said. “Something was already planned. But now it’s much more. We have dates at least three months ahead of schedule. So, yeah, it’s definitely put a fair amount of pressure, but I feel good about it pressure. I take that as a sign, And I believe in signs.”
Miguel’s last studio album was 2017’s ‘War & Leisure’, which featured the single ‘Sky Walker’ featuring Travis Scott. Months after the release, he announced that he was working on a project in Spanish and this came in the form of the EP ‘Te Lo Dije’ in 2019, which was a reissue of ‘War & Leisure’, with five tracks from album. recorded in Spanish.
His most recent release was the ‘Art Dealer Chic 4’ EP, which arrived in April 2021, but last year Miguel teamed up with Diplo on ‘Don’t Forget My Love’, the first single from Diplo’s new self-titled album.
During his hiatus from music, Miguel has been busy working on a number of projects other than music, including mental health advocacy. Last year he also appeared on The Drop, a BBC streetwear show, where he was one of two mentors overseeing the contestants’ efforts.
While no official details of upcoming releases have been announced, Miguel already teased some new music on his Instagram earlier this month. Talking about his upcoming new material, Miguel said that one of his main goals for what he wanted listeners to take away was “sensitivity in the music”.
“The function of art is to connect people through the emotional quality of the work, so I can hear a song in a completely different language and still have tears in my eyes,” he said, “or why would someone from social completely different. status can look at a picture of someone on the other side of the world and fall in love with them.
Miguel said: “The emotional quality is what gives it its value. It reminds us that we’re human and that we’re not different. And that’s what’s exciting about what’s to come: I think it’s very emotional. “
“It’s violent, it’s exciting, it’s beautiful, it’s scary, it’s dark and it’s heartbreaking, but it’s all the things I feel we see in the world and in the unknown every day. It worked I worked so hard to capture it and that’s something I’m excited to give to my fans”.
Miguel will be performing at Lovers & Friends in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 6 alongside Missy Elliott, Pitbull, Mariah Carey, Usher, Christina Aguilera and more. Visit this link to purchase tickets and learn more.