[Interview] Miguel & Thurz: Still California Love Pt. 1
Although most of the country just recently got familiar with Los Angeles singer Miguel after his album All I Want Is You dropped in late 2010, those who have been keeping tabs on the underground hip hop scene in Los Angeles are privy to Miguel’s deep roots in California hip-hop. Before he sent mainstream radio into a swoon with the J. Cole assisted single “All I Want Is You,” Miguel was the Nate Dogg of the indie scene. His voice was recognized on songs from high school buddy Blu, DJ Exile, TiRon, U-N-I and others. Despite his newfound fame, Miguel still keeps his feet firmly planted in the music scene that he came from. Meanwhile, Thurz finds himself in a similar place that Miguel was several years ago. As a former part of hip-hop duo U-N-I, Thurz has began to make a name for himself as a solo artist with the release of last year’s critically acclaimed solo album LA Riot.
Although Miguel is a top selling R&B artist and Thurz is hot in the indie scene, the two remain friends. So when TheWellVersed and 2DopeBoyz caught up with them at SXSW, we were treated to one of the more unique interviews about the California art movement from both artists.
“We really met through the music,” Miguel explains of his ongoing friendship with Thurz. “The realest shit is, and I don’t even think he knows this, but I caught one of their shows at The Roxy a long time ago. I didn’t even know who they were but they were, hands down, one of my favorite hip hop performers. I think that’s really separates rappers from emcees. But not just emcees… artists.”
Thurz also had a similar admiration for Miguel back when he was in what appeared to be label purgatory on Jive. “I’ve been a fan of him for a minute,” Thurz explains. “I heard him rock on Blu’s Before The Heavens and ‘Quickie’ on Myspace years ago. Ever since then I was sold and I had been trying to work with him. ”
The two finally collaborated on the remix to U-N-I’s “Lately” in 2010; which just so happened to be right before the Miguel train began to pick up steam. “I hit him up and told him we had this remix record,” Thurz says of the song that was featured on A Love Supreme 2.0. “We wanted to do a remix and make it a little more sexy so, you know, we had to get this dude on it.”
Since then, Miguel has blow into the stratosphere but when asked if the two planned on collaborating again, both Miguel and Thurz grinned and affirmed that we’ll be hearing more from them in the near future. “It’s already in the works,” Miguel said.
For Miguel, it is important to stay true to the scene which gave him his start. Recognizing the amount of talent coming out of California, the “Quickie” singer makes it a point to keep pushing that Los Angeles has some of the most talented and diverse acts in music.
“Right now there are a handful of artists like Thurz, Jhene Aiko, J*Davey, Blu and Thundercat,” he says. “There’s a lot of LA talent and I get to be a part of this group of artists that are all intent on making sure people realize that there is talent in Los Angeles. We want to support each other.”
“There’s going to be a lot more collaborations in the future. We want to show that there’s a culture in LA.”