R&B’s Familiar Voice, New Project


Cover for Miguel’s “Art Dealer Chic 4” EP

Savannah Abajian, Feature Writer

“I’m a big advocate of music being an honest representation of who you are as a person and your perspective,” says R&B artist Miguel, who released his latest volume of his “Art Dealer Chic” EP series, a sequel to his previous works in the series which he started in 2012. Nine years later, “Art Dealer Chic 4” picks up where he left off. The entire “Art Dealer Chic” series has now been released to all streaming platforms after previously being only available on Youtube and Bandcamp. 

Miguel began his career with a production deal by Drop Squad in 2000, later going on to signing with independent record label Black Ice in 2004. By 2006, he had released his first studio album “Young & Free” which was later black shelved by his label, ultimately causing Miguel to leave the label entirely.

This event began Miguel’s journey of taking control of his music as opposed to relying on others, as he created his own unique sound that differentiated him from other R&B artists of the time

In 2007, he signed to Jive Records where he recorded his hit debut album “All I Want Is You” that was officially released in 2010. This included tracks such as “Sure Thing” and “Quickie” which spent 45 weeks on Billboard charts and sold more than 400,000 copies in the United States. In the following years he released “Wildheart,” “War & Leisure,” and “Kaleidoscope dreams” which sat #3 on the Billboard top 200, known for “Adorn,” one of the biggest songs throughout his discography which won a Grammy for best R&B song of 2013.

This switch in dependency and priority kickstarted his career, naming him one of the biggest R&B stars of our generation. With every one of his projects, Miguel never fails to create something with a message, explaining his relationship with love in each song. He illustrates the beauty and heartbreak throughout his own experiences with love, in a manner that can be perceived as both sensual and disconsolate. 

“Art Dealer Chic 4” tells the next chapter of his story within the series, with only four tracks including “Funeral,” “Triangle Love,” “Thinking Out Loud,” and “So I Lie.” Miguel dives deep into his own meanings about love and metaphorically illustrates his individual experiences from one song into the next. He depicts an overall story with this chapter of the series, letting the audience wander through his mind and ideas while listening.

“Funeral” resembles a Kanye type sound, with various synth and heavy beats to complement. The rest of the EP follows suit with the upbeat rhythms, creating a warm, summer mood. “Triangle love” captures a more familiar sounding Miguel, incorporating some of his classic, early-career musical ideas throughout. “Thinking Out Loud” constructs a very passionate and vibe-felt experience, as it leads to a more tropical beat from “So I Lie.”

Miguel beautifully paints the picture of modern-day love in a generation heavily absorbed upon the trivial aspects within relationships, as many have forgotten the “big idea,” and how simple it could actually be. He speaks this message throughout the EP, highlighting moments of tranquility and peace with the one he loves. However, even throughout this notion of simplicity, he doesn’t forget to mention the inevitabile complexities that come along with love as a whole. “Somersault, sunset, sunrise with you ‘cause sometimes you gotta fall back before you move forward,” Miguel says in “Thinking Out Loud,”  as he combines these two ideas of simplicity and complexity right next to each other.

 The entire EP is just another example of Miguel’s sheer talent, as well as the individuality and uniqueness he brings into 21st century R&B. He never fails to write his own path through his music, and form a connection with his listeners. “Art Dealer Chic 4” is extremely special in the way he decides to convey his message, as well as a platform where he is able to incorporate new, and previously unused sounds. This project deserves a 10/10 in all aspects of production, and I recommend this to anyone looking for new summer jams or anyone looking for a unique R&B artist.