Miguel Migs is no ordinary deejay/remixer. He’s been exploring the dance genre and all it’s influences for the last several years creating his own label, Salted Music with artists that have a dance background, but infuse sounds of reggae, soul and house. Still producing full length remix records that seamlessly blend deep and soulful house, Migs has just released his second full length album working with an eclectic pooling of vocalists that include Migs favorites, Lisa Shaw and Aya to new exciting collaborations with Meshell N’degeocello, Bebel Gilberto, Freddie McGregor and Evelyn “Champagne” King. Migs’ new album, “Outside the Skyline” is downright sexy from the lyrics to the music working with artists that know how to inflect a record with just the right amount of breathy vocals that wrap around Migs soulful dance productions. We caught up with the ever-evolving artist, Miguel Migs to talk about our favorite topics: inspiration, sex and music of course!
• PP: The name of your new album, “Outside the Skyline” suggests you pushed your boundaries on some level. What does the title refer to – lyrics, music or your personal boundaries?
MIGS: I love all kinds of music and have always taken inspiration from dub, rock, funk, soul, disco, hip-hop elements and more, so the title sort of represents that to me.. Its an album that’s more to me than just labeling it as “house/dance” music since it really is more of a combination of styles and sounds… what I enjoy about “electronic dance” music is that there are no exact boundaries and you can include all the inspired sounds within the music if you desire.. Being a producer and a song writer allows me to work with all sorts of artists and keep things a bit diverse in that way, so the album is a blend between various styles that I enjoy creatively.
• PP: I can’t get over the inspiring artists you work with on this project. First off we have to talk about your collaboration with the one and only, Evelyn “Champagne” King. How did this come about and what approach did you take when you wrote, “Everybody”?
MIGS: We reached out to her to see if she would be interested in a collaboration and she was excited about it… I was thrilled to learn that she was actually a fan of my music also… I wrote ‘everybody’ with her in mind and she was very open minded to the creative direction. It was such a pleasure to work with her not only because she is such legendary artist, but also a genuinely cool person with so much energy..
• PP: There’s an overall sexual nature to your music particularly on this album whether it’s the beats, airy vocals or lyrics. Were you conscience of this on “Outside the Skyline” or is it wishful thinking on our part lol?
MIGS: Thanks but I guess it sort of just came out that way, as I did not plan for that vibe specifically… usually when I sit down in the studio and start writing songs they turn out very laid back and soulful in some way… even when I try and create more upbeat fun and funky material, my natural instinct wants to create more moody and deeper music and its always been that way… so this album is a result of just trying to enjoy creating music in general from more of a feeling point of view rather than over thinking it.
• PP: Meshell Nedegeocello is one of those artists that you want to keep to yourself on that secret playlist you’ve created. She’s always created music that was exploratory from hip-hop and rock to soul and acoustic. First of all thank you for putting her on this album, what a treat! How did this collaboration come about? The track, “Close Your Eyes” is the second single and bravo. This may be the most sexy and sensory track we’ve heard in years.
MIGS: Very cool, thanks so much… I love Meshell’s voice, she is such a unique artist with so much depth and talent… we sent her the rough instrumental tracks I was working on to check out and she expressed excitement about the project and sounds… we spoke on the phone about the direction and some rough ideas, then spent a couple days in my studio writing and recording the vocals… the whole process was very smooth and stress free as Meshell is very easy going and low key… her new album is coming out soon with some lovely songs on there, you should definitely check it out.
• PP: I know you love reggae. How did the collaboration occur with legendary artist, Freddie McGregor who’s known for his hit, “Bobby Babylon” in the 80’s?
MIGS: I’ve always been a big fan of Freddie’s songs! ‘Big ships’ has always been one of my favorite reggae albums and it was an honor to be able to work with such an icon. Like most of the other artists on the album, we reached out to Freddie about the project and sent him a rough demo track to check out and he loved it. He came to SF (where I live) and we spent 2 days in my studio writing the song and recording the vocals… I was inspired by how open minded he was to all of my creative ideas and lyrical directions… Freddie is such a genuinely cool person, and to me that make all the difference in the world when working with a vocalist, so I really appreciated that about his approach.
• PP: We interviewed Bebel Gilberto about the making of her album, “Baby”. I know she loves the acoustic guitar and the bossa nova sound. She is as much a musician as she is a singer. How was it to work with Bebel on the track, “Zuzu”?
MIGS: ‘Tanto Tempo’ is a beautiful album and I really wanted to try something with Bebel… for the most part coordinating the recording sessions with all the artists on the album worked out fairly easily, but it was actually pretty difficult coordinating our schedules…I’m on the road a lot and Bebel is so busy.. We actually spoke on the phone about the project a year before we finally hooked up and did the recording. I was in NYC where she lives so we recorded the vocals there. It’s definitely a unique song for me and a bit different style than I am used to working on. Of course I wanted to give it that bossa nova flavor, but also have the song flow within the album along with the other material.
• PP: You have worked with Sonny J. Mason on the EP, “Burnin Up” track and now include him on the album with, “Changin’”. Since you’re known for your awesome soulful collaborations with female vocalists, what is it about Sonny you like as a male artist?
MIGS: I love artists like Prince, Michael Jackson, Maxwell and D’angelo. Although I really do not like to compare artists here, I really enjoy sonny’s voice and he has that sort of swagger to his style. He has such a soulful voice that can easily adapt, and creatively we work well together.
• PP: I got to interview you and Lisa Shaw for your album “Those Things Remixed”. I know you and Lisa have a shared love of melody and work great together plus she’s on your label. What keeps this particular collaboration interesting and evolving for you? More solo projects for Lisa??
MIGS: Lisa is one of those unique artists that really stays true to her passion but she is always up for trying something new, although you can always tell its her right away… she has that classic smoky, deep voice that I love and we are like family, so its very easy to work together… we can write songs for days and we never run out of ideas… another Lisa Shaw album is definitely on the horizon in the next couple years. Her last album ‘free’ has some amazing songs on there and I’m sure the next one will also be a work of art.
• PP: One of our favorite artists is Aya here at Progressive Pulse. She may have one of the subtlest, yet sexy voices we’ve ever heard. What’s your approach when producing a track with Aya?
MIGS: Aya has such a beautiful texture in her voice and she has always been one of my favorites also… creatively we are inspired by the same things, so that makes it easy for us to combine efforts when writing songs together and bouncing ideas off of each other.. We are actually working on another new song write now that I’m pretty excited about.
• PP: Will there be a follow up remix version of “Outside the Skyline”?
MIGS: There is no plan for a remix album at the moment.. Right now we are just focused on doing a couple singles, so we will see what happens..
**Miguel, thank you for keeping it real with your love of eclectic music. It’s clear you follow your own path rather than following trends. Keep up the amazing work!!