Miguel Cites Trump and Political Climate as Inspiration for Upcoming Album ‘War & Leisure’

Miguel is hard at work on his forthcoming fourth studio album War & Leisure and although we don’t have much information by way of a release date, the crooner is giving us details about its conception and where he is musically.

While in London recently, the “Simple Things” singer spoke candidly with the London-based publication The Guardian where he spoke of a dark period that fans and audiences probably weren’t privy to at the time – and no, it had nothing to do with the infamous kick during that now-iconic “Adorn” performance. Instead, his dark period had everything to do with the reception of his third studio album release of Wildheart a couple of years ago.

Simply put, it didn’t do nearly as well commercially as its predecessor, the accolade-heavy Kaleidoscope Dream, which was released a couple of years prior. Miguel took that L as quite the blow. “I lost touch with my emotions. It was a down period. I was just…quiet. Real quiet. And also putting up a front, like I was OK with everything when I really wasn’t. I put up a wall so it was hard for my friends and family to help. I was there, but not really present. We just did small talk – yeah, everything’s good – without getting to the meat,” he told the publication.

But, as we’ve seen, the artist known as Miguel has been riding a new wave creatively. It began with the artist retiring his trademark pompadour in exchange for some loc extensions, a more eclectic take on his personal style, weekly acapella Instagram-exclusive song covers, and – when listeners demanded new music from him loud enough – the release of a standout track “Sky Walker.”

“It’s like any player of a sport, they’re like: ‘I don’t know how we just lost!’ You have to go study the tapes and work it out. So that’s what we did, so that when I’d built up the energy to do this again, I didn’t repeat the mistakes.”

This new chapter that is underway has been a career insurgence that perhaps the artist needed for inspiration to learn where he should take his next body of work, War & Leisure, but that’s not the only place he found inspiration. “You see us on the brink of nuclear war over Twitter,” he said. “Or the rise of the far right in Germany and France. So my whole mindset for the album is: what are we supposed to do caught in the middle of this? We’re at the brink of complete war and complete pleasure, at all times, every day.”

Miguel also addressed a rivalry that he created some years back when he cockily said that his 2012 album Kaleidoscope Dream was better than Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. He admitted that in retrospect, he felt embarrassed by the moment and embarrassed that his ego drove him to insecurity in that way. “Egos are a crazy thing,” he said. “The version of myself I was two, three, four years ago, even last week, is different to who I am today. That’s not who I am. And I’m a big fan of his music and his creativity; we need more people out there doing that.”

Check out the first two songs from War & Leisure, “Sky Walker” and “Shockandawe.” And be sure to read The Guardian exclusive with Miguel in full here.

Photo Credit: Sarah Lee for The Guardian

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.