Watch CBSN Live

Miguel: Grammy nominee on his "dangerous and scandalously romantic" sound

Miguel's 2012 hasn't been too shabby.

The R&B singer unveiled his sophomore release, "Kaleidoscope Dream," in September and not only did it debut at No. 3, but it's also up for multiple Grammys and making many end-of-the-year tallies.

The album secured a spot in New York magazine's Top 10 album list of 2012, and Spin put it at No. 5 of its 50 best albums of the year; Idolator named it the best set of 2012.

Miguel is also up for five Grammys in 2013. His single, "Adorn," is nominated for the coveted song of the year honor, as well as best R&B performance, best R&B song; "Kaleidoscope Dream" is in the running for best urban contemporary album. Miguel also received a best rap song nod for "Lotus Flower Bomb," his collaboration with Wale.

Despite the accolades, the Los Angeles-born singer-songwriter says he doesn't let it get to his head -- and he doesn't "take it lightly" that he gets to do what he does.

"I try to have an even perspective on everything whether it's good commentary, bad commentary, criticism, so on and so forth," Miguel told

"This album is more about, I guess, making it clear the kind of career that's really about setting the tone," Miguel, 25, said. "I couldn't think of another way to do that than to try and highlight my lifestyle and somehow project that sonically...It was all about what the music conveyed. I wanted it to feel like the soundtrack to my life...It incorporates all of my influences without sacrificing the soul and emotion in the music."

Miguel, whose full name is Miguel Jontel Pimentel, has been credited with pushing the envelope in the R&B world, with words like "eclectic" being used to describe his sound. When asked how he would describe it, Miguel said, "Dangerous and scandalously romantic."

Although "Adorn" has become a stand-out track, Miguel says he views the album as a complete body of work. That's the approach he took when writing, recording and producing the project, the follow-up to 2010's "All I Want is You."

"I wanted it to highlight every dynamic of my personality -- whether we're talking about romance, life perspective, or outlook or whether we're talking about sex, social commentary. It's not the most introspective album by far but it definitely sets the tone for the music I hope to create in the future," he said.

Miguel sounds like he's had an idea of what he wanted for that future for a long time.

"I always wanted a career of a successful avant-garde artist and I'm not saying that I'm super eccentric or that my music is so avante-garde or innovative...but what I'm saying is I want commercial success without sacrificing creativity...I don't think I have to  choose one or the other."

Miguel has also written for other artists, yet striking out on his own felt natural, he says.

"I have never took the artist hat off. For me, they're one in the same. Being an artist is being a writer," Miguel continued. "It's all an extension of my creativity. I think I have to create for my own sanity. I know that because I did it for so long without making any money. I did it regardless.

Next year, Miguel will go on tour with Alicia Keys. He says he hopes they will collaborate together onstage. "I would be honored," he said.

"It was only this year that I met her and got work with her but the fact that she invite me to go on tour with her, it's really an honor because I look up to her as a musician," Miguel noted. " I think it will be really really great, in terms of the juxtaposition."

 Miguel could walk away with a Grammy award when the ceremony airs live from Los Angeles Feb. 10 on CBS. But in the meantime, he's saying focused. There's no doubt that this is a man who's serious about his craft.

"I know what I want to accomplish and I believe in what I'm doing. So as long as I believe in what I'm doing, I think that's all that really matters," he said. "And just working hard and giving it 150 percent all the time. I'm proud of what we're doing and I just hope to get better and give people more."

View CBS News In