On your last album, "Those Things", you worked with some incredible vocalists (Sadat X (Brand
Nubian), Lisa Shaw, Tim Fuller, Fred Ross (Sly & the Family Stone) & reggae heavy weight Junior
Reid). How do you go about collaborating with such talented people in crafting your music? Is the process organic or do you have a tried & true structure you
Miguel: I just go at it very spontaneously. Timing and availability has a lot to do with it all... but I'm always open & excited to work with other artists that I respect, like all the vocalists you mention above.
That same critically acclaimed album is getting a special reworked
edition, "Those Things Remixed", which features 14 unique interpretations of the original tracks from a diverse group of producers. What can people expect from the disc?
Miguel: A diverse selection of remixes from a wide range of great artists. Some are more geared towards the dance floor, but over all it's a very easy listen on the ears for music fans of all kinds.
Did you have a lot of input on who was selected for the remix
Miguel: All of them... we had so many remixes to choose from, but in the end the final tracklist seemed to have a natural flow to it.
Any one really stand out &/or surprise you?
Miguel: It was amazing having Stuart Matthewman do a remix. Of course I'm a huge fan of Sade & Maxwell so I have always respected Stuart's work. His song writing & production skills are simply genius so its an honour to have him on board.
And why do you think your tracks strike a chord with house music
Miguel: A lot of people appreciate quality music, good songwriting & melodies. People can relate to it on a more personal level so I'm happy that my music is able to inspire people on a deeper level than just a faded night out at the club.
Further to DJing & the new album, you've also created an all star
live act called PETALPUSHER (Miguel Migs, Lisa Shaw, Tim Fuller, Jude Gold (George Clinton
& P Funk), Jonathan Herrera, John Mader (Booker T, The Family Stone Experience), Sundra Manning
(Prince, Michele Shocked & Michael Franti & Spearhead), & Tim Kvasnosky). How did this project
Miguel: I come from playing live so it feels natural to me. I love doing both so hopefully I never have to choose one or the other, but I'm excited about the live project.
How has the experience been compared to DJing?
Miguel: I played in bands growing up & have always wanted to start a new live project, but I've just been so busy through the years I haven't had time although its been on my mind. So last year i made the effort and time to kick it off. We played a total of 14 shows last year & I'm really excited about pushing this project forward & possibly doing a full live album at some point soon.
What does the future hold for the group?
Miguel: Well, when I'm actually back home & have the time later this spring, more rehearsing, some touring and possibly writing a new live album with the band.
What's your current studio setup? Are you primarily software based or
does hardware play a role in your productions?
Miguel: I have a basic set up and a nice rack of outboard gear so it's the best of both worlds.
You also have an extensive knowledge of real instruments (trumpet,
congas, saxophone, guitar & bass). Do you feel formal musical training or the ability to play real life instruments propel productions to another level?
Miguel: Well, I do what I can in the studio. I'm not a trained musician & although I do write my own music & play a bit of keys and guitar, it's just enough to produce & write music for the most part. A good ear is priceless but sure it helps if you can play some basic chords. Some of the best songs ever written are 3 chord progressions so it doesn't take much.
What other remixes or singles can we expect from you in the near
Miguel: I just remixed Lisa Shaw's upcoming single on Salted Music called 'All Night High', as well as a a hand full of others I'm currently working on by various artists & labels.
As the digital revolution continues to dominate, how do you see it
impacting our industry going forward?
Miguel: Well, it's a mess. As we all know these are crazy times for the music industry & labels, record shops & distributors are shutting down left & right. Obviously digital sales will continue to grow world wide as the CD dies, so its a transition that will take some time, & it's not easy but we have to hang in there & keep pushing through the rough times.
Any plans for WMC 2008?
Miguel: Our Salted event will take place on Wednesday the 26th at the Fifth Club. See ya there.
CD & vinyl.
Favourite travel destination for vacation?
Spain, Hawaii, Bali, i could go on forever here, but the general idea is
somewhere tropical or warm with nice beaches.
Favourite travel destination for performing?
It's always changing year to year.
Most indispensable item you travel with?
Unfortunately probably my laptop.
Do you continue to work the studio while touring?
I have not been working on music on the road for a while. It's nice to
take a break & go back in clear headed and fresh.
Most emotional song for you of all time?
That could take a while.
Single greatest moment from your DJ performance career?
Miguel: Watching the sunrise on the beach while performing outdoors to great vibes, smiling faces & a bouncing dance floor.