It doesn't happen often. But every once in a while a young artist comes along who has the chops, vision, range and creative conviction to change the game. Miguel is among that chosen few. Let's start with his voice: The Los Angeles, California, native has one of those raw honey falsettos that oozes into your soul and stays there, even after the music stops. Billboard Magazine exclaims, Miguel, 24, "offers both the sweetness of Babyface and the passion of R. Kelly." Yum.
Then there's the power of Miguel's pen. This Scorpio doesn't just write lyrics. He paints aural portraits—of his loves, his heartbreaks and his kinky little fantasies. "To me, the best songs are the ones that show how vulnerable, how human we all are," says Miguel. Penning Asher Roth's "His Dream," Mary J. Blige and Musiq's "If U Leave," and co-writing on Usher's Raymond V Raymond album, Miguel says, "For me, writing is like making steak and potatoes into a Happy Meal—how do I work in that substance but keep you coming back for more?"
"Overall, I call my style 'eclectric,'" says the crooner who considers himself a mashup of Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Pharell Williams. "It's edgy and it defies category, but it still reaches the people."