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MIGUEL

SiR, Nonchalant Savant

MIGUEL
War & Leisure : Bio

Over the last decade, Miguel's established himself as one of R&B's
most sonic fabulists, a consummate artist unafraid to follow his
impulses wherever they lead him. His fourth studio full-length, War &
Leisure, is his most ambitious and stunning project yet, a perfect
blend of forward-thinking production and melodic delights that more
than embody the duality hinted at in the album's title. This is Miguel
fusing the two halves of his creative id—the restless experimentalist
and the crowd-pleasing hit maker that millions of fans adore—to
reach a new peak in artistic achievement.


Following the mind-blowing and thoroughly sensual Wildheart in
2015, Miguel conceived War & Leisure's twelve pop gems over the
course of the last year and a half—a process that allowed him to find
himself amidst the increasing chaos of the modern world. "It's my
best way of describing the now," he explains when discussing the
album's yin-and-yang title, which reflects the music's focus on the
passion and pain of everyday life. "Anything that's in my conscious
world, and what's feeding my subconscious—it's all war and leisure."


What resulted in these sessions is an album that finds Miguel
perfectly blending the skyward pop of 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream
and the restless, moody vibes of Wildheart—reflecting the true Miguel
experience for both listeners and the album's creator. "On every
project, I'm trying to paint a picture for my future self to go back,
listen, and remember my experiences and how I was perceiving the
world through music," he states on the mercurial meeting point that
War & Leisure reaches. "Kaleidoscope Dream and Wildheart are two
sides of the same coin, and this is me taking those sounds and
applying all the energy I'm feeling most from those two contrasts."


And that energy is felt throughout War & Leisure, from the looselimbed
funk of "Pineapple Skies" and the atmospheric club vibes of
"Skywalker" to the body-moving "Caramelo Duro" and the
contemplative ecstasy of "Now." "I like challenging my fans by doing
things they wouldn't expect me to do—to show them a little more
about myself," Miguel states regarding the album's intentions, and
throughout War & Leisure he constantly pushes his music in new
directions while delivering on the type of serene R&B that his
audience has come to expect.


Joining him on this sonic journey is an array of collaborators: a wide
array of producers ranging from Jeff Bhasker and Dave Sitek to
Salaam Remi and Raphael Saadiq, and vocal contributions from
today's best and brightest—including Kali Uchis ("Caramelo Duro"), J.
Cole ("Come Through and Chill"), Travi$ Scott ("Skywalker"), and
Rick Ross ("Criminal").


The latter's contributions were especially felt on the smooth and
dramatic album opener—a pairing that perfectly suits "Criminal"'s
playful pleas. "I've always been a fan of his ability to paint pictures,"
Miguel enthuses about working with Ross for the first time, "and
'Criminal' is about painting the picture that I'm a little bit crazy, so I
need someone who's a little bit crazy just like me. We're always
searching out for people who can resonate with us on that level, and
that helps bring out the best in us—to stay crazy, which is what we
need."


Elsewhere, the dark and guitar-flecked "City of Angels" finds Miguel
straying from romantic concerns to focus on the anxiety and
uncertainty many face in the world today—extending past politics and
encompassing the threat of conflict. "It's a big question mark, and one
of my favorite songs because it deals with a very big and very
possible hypothetical: What if we ended up in the middle of a war?,"
he explains. "It's a real possibility that we're collectively choosing with
how we treat the decisions that are put before us. It was a moment
for me to be creative and explore my own imagination—taking the
'What if?' question and combining that with whatever emotions I was
feeling while watching the world around me. It's kind of fucked up,
and it makes us feel as if we're really 140 characters away from
possible war."


And exploring such darkness wouldn't be possible without the
balance of light struck on War & Leisure—a thorough exploration of
self, which is exactly how Miguel wants it to be. "It's about pushing
forward and being who you are," he meditates on the album's true
philosophical center. "The intention is to stay upbeat and positive in
the face of everything. I'm standing in the middle, just like everyone
else is, looking out—just wanting to maintain a positive outlook and
continue with my way of life, all the while being mindful about what's
really happening."


"The best thing we can do is continue fighting our own personal wars
that we have to deal with every day," he continues. "The more we do
it, the more natural it becomes and the more likely we're able to share
that energy with each other." And there's no better soundtrack for the
battles we fight every day—in hopes of bringing us closer together—
than War & Leisure.

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Showings

Miguel TN.jpg
  • Thu, March 15, 2018
  • Doors - 7:00 PM
    Concert - 8:00PM
  • Upstate Concert Hall
    Clifton Park, New York
  • SiR, Nonchalant Savant
  • $39.50 adv / $42.50 day of show
  • 16 and over admitted unless accompanied by parent or guardian.