Exploding onto NYC nightlife after escaping a repressed upbringing, bartender, recording artist and future movie star Michael Miguel’s hypersexy new single and video are turning heads… and moving all sorts of other body parts!
Thotyssey: Hey Michael, hope you’re enjoying your summer! Have you been hitting the beach at all?
Michael Miguel: Hey, baby! My summer has been overall pretty amazing–super emotional. And I love the beach, it’s my happy place! Unfortunately, only once this summer.
There’s still time!
Haha, true! I’ll be on Fire Island on the 20th performing, so I’ll make sure to take a beach day.
You’re bartending at Atlas Social Club these days. How’s it been there since the re-openings?
It’s been pretty amazing–not only having an amazing boss, but a way to connect to my community more.
So let’s get a little background on you! Where are you from originally?
I’m Colombian and Puerto Rican–born in Flushing, New York, and raised in New Jersey. I spent five years in Miami, and now I’ve been back in NYC for a little over four years.
Was music always a part of your life?
I actually was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, so it was frowned upon to pursue anything related to music. But ever since I was a baby, I loved music. At the age of two, I sang with a mariachi band in a restaurant called Tequila Sunrise… so since a child, I knew what I wanted to be.
Fascinating! How did you find yourself in the world of queer New York nightlife?
Well, when I got kicked out of my home at 19… I didn’t really have any other place to go but the gay clubs in Miami, with my new queer community. But honestly, it all really took off once I decided to pursue my dreams almost two and a half years ago. I made friends, and they saw my talent, and one thing led to another. I produced my fist EP. My song “Boys and Barbies” got picked up to be in a movie. From there I’ve been asked to perform live at multiple venues around the state.
Tell us about that movie.
[It’s called] Lost and Found, created by the amazing screenwriter and director David Beck. The film is about a trans woman who gets fired from her job as a school teacher at a Catholic school. Her family basically disowns her, and she gets very close to committing suicide. It’s not until a young man and his daughter knock on the door that her fate changes. It’s beautiful story about a little girl who saves a woman’s life.
When I released “Boys and Barbies,” David heard my song and got in contact with me. He asked if he could use the song in his movie, and if I would help with writing the soundtrack. He also wrote a small role in the movie for me as well; I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, especially after reading the script. Production starts late October, so I’m very excited!
You’ve released a bunch of singles since then, many with reggaetón, Latin and hip hop elements. Are these the genres you enjoy the most?
You know, it’s funny–I enjoy almost all genres. I not only write reggaetón, but also I love to write ballads. I have found that my lane is queer Latin dance tracks… but I love to include deep, sometimes painful lyrics in them. In a way, I believe sometimes the best remedy to a broken heart is dancing through the pain.
Absolutely! Your sexy videos pair you with both boys and girls… does that reflect your real life preferences, or are you just letting all your fans in on the fantasy?
I grew up in an extreme box, being raised in a cult… so I hate the idea of labels or even exclusivity. I’m gay and I love men, but I also feel my music and it’s message is an open invitation to everyone, no matter their sexual identity. In my personal life, I also feel like I’m very open, whether it’s dating a man, or some one who is trans. Love knows no barriers, in my opinion.
We love “Chuku Chuku,” your latest single that’s been making the rounds at the bars and playlists! What’s the story behind how this song came about?
That’s actually a funny story. I was working with a producer called Mike Snell who at the time was producing for J. Balvin. He mentioned that we may run into him, and to write a song for him if we did. Unfortunately, the meeting never happened… but I had this amazing track, and I was too excited about it to not record it. So I went to LA and got it produced, and it took off running!
Do I even have to ask what a “Chuku” is, lol?
The title of the song is a made up term my friend Andre invented for “fucking.” That way, if there was a family or children around he would just say, I’m going to go “Chuku Chuku,” and I loved it so much I decided to write a song about it, haha!
Gag! Speaking of gagging, it’s always a pleasure to watch local video vixen Boomer Banks shove a hot dog down a throat! What was it like working with him in the video shoot?
He’s actually a very close friend of mine! I’ve always loved how open and unapologetic he is about his sexuality. When the song got a lot of traction, people were dying for a music video… and the me first person I thought of was Boomer. So I asked him, and he loved the song and idea behind the music video, and signed on to the project. And trust, I loved every second of him shoving his hot dog down my throat, haha! That was also improvised… I was not expecting it!
Well you, um, “took” it very well, lol!
So, what’s coming up for you? You mentioned a Fire Island gig.
Yeah, I’ll be performing the 20th at Cherry’s on Fire Island. And music-wise, I’ve been meeting with some big time producers in Miami; hopefully I’ll start working on my first full Latin album.
Amazing! Final question: who’s a dream artist / performer / sexy person / etc. you’d love to collaborate with for a future project?
Haha… anyone that knows me, knows my love / obsession with Ariana Grande. Not only is she a vocal goddess, but the way she writes, and her story, and the way she’s dealt with trauma has caused me to fall incredibly in love with her and her music. I would love to one day, even if it’s just in person, harmonize with her.
It will happen! Thanks, Michael!