Miguel’s Disappointment With ‘Wildheart’s Reception Fueled His New Album, War & Leisure’

Miguel has achieved the kind of success most R&B singers would dream of — but it’s still not enough for him. In a recent interview with The Guardian, he expressed regrets that his Wildheart album didn’t vault him into international stardom like he desired.

The 2015 album did well in the United States, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts and earning two Grammy nominations. He describes the stateside reception as “magic,” with people “telling [him] how powerful and life-changing it was.” But when it comes to the fan response across the pond, the results were less impressive.

The album was themed around self-acceptance and outsiderdom— and ironically, he found himself as a veritable outsider to fans in non-English speaking European countries who didn’t accept the project like fans in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

The lukewarm reception caused Miguel to “lose touch with his emotions,” which made him retreat and “put on a front” with friends and family. “We just did small talk – yeah, everything’s good – without getting to the meat,” he said.

Ultimately, he decided to go to the “game tape” and figure out how to execute his goals better for future work. That process resulted in a new team around him, and a new outlook: to make the upbeat-yet-commentary-infused album that is War & Leisure, for which he’s released a Snoop Dogg-featuring preview and the Travis Scott-featured “Skywalker.”

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