Being a modern-day rock star like Miguel may seem like the life everyone dreams of, but no matter who you are, being away from home for months at a time comes with a price. For one, even the most casual shoppers are forced to reduce their wardrobe to a single suitcase. And for someone like Miguel, who's seemingly always groomed to perfection, a regimen could prove hard to replicate without the familiarity of his own medicine cabinet. So, as he hits the road for his Wildheart tour, which starts in North America and heads overseas this fall, we talked to the silky smooth crooner about how he manages to pack light, how he keeps his body (read: eight-pack abs) looking fresh, and how he can bounce back from a long night out and still tear the house down on stage the very next day.
What kind of bag do you bring with you on tour? I have two bags. One is a Gucci duffle bag that I use between hotel and venue—it's really understated—and I have one big Tumi bag, which is for my clothes and whatnot. I've had both bags for quite some time. I love Tumi because they make products that are functional, durable, and if anything happens with it, they replace it. And you know how men are, like, we're rough with our shit. So it's nice that they'll just replace it.
How do you decide which clothes to bring with you on tour and which to leave at home? The great thing about my personal style is that I'm generally a jeans and T-shirt guy. If you look at my style, it's basically the same silhouette. I wear oversized T-shirts, usually plain, and jeans. And if I'm not wearing denim, it's always in that same jeans silhouette. So that's pretty easy. The hard part is figuring out the accessories. You know, like what jewelry I'm bringing, what scarves, what boots. Normally I'll bring five pairs of jeans, ten shirts, a couple pairs of workout shoes because you need to get your workouts in on the road—you know, meditation—and then, like, four pairs of boots. Then I bring one pair of sneakers which are really just for traveling through the airport to make it a bit easier.
How do you make sure you're getting good workouts on the road? It's really just consistency. Sometimes I'm near a great gym, other times it's not so great, but I just make do. The thing is, for me it's about so much more than aesthetics. It's about the mental clarity I get from working out. The aesthetics are just the icing on the cake. But it's mostly meditative, and is a chance for me to realign, recalibrate, breathe, and just get back in tune. And the thing is, once you finish a workout, you never, ever feel like, "Damn, I shouldn't have done that workout."
What are your go-to on-the-road grooming products? It's also just pretty simple. But I will say that any guys out there who have curly hair know that it's a challenge to maintain. I always bring a solid conditioner for my hair. And I also have a good shampoo, because with curly hair you can't just use any kind of shampoo—they'll fuck the whole thing up. Your hair will look a brillo pad. It's funny, you learn a lot about hair when you have curly hair. I also bring a salt water spray, by Bumble & Bumble. They make the best surf spray, hands down. I've tried a couple of them, and some of them make my hair really stringy, but this one, you could put nothing else in it after showering, lightly towel dry your hair, and then the spray will bind the curls and also give them some structure. And then I bring this stuff called Bed Head, and it's Bed Head for men. This shit is banging. It's kind of hard to find, though. And then I just use Aveeno Daily Moisturizer.
Do you have some sort of secret ab moisturizer you use before hitting the stage to make them really glisten? [Laughs] Nah. I just usually get a decent warm-up in to keep my body limber, so I look like I've been moving a little bit. But it's hot up there, so you almost need to take your shirt off. It's not even to show off, it's just hot! And on top of that, you're wearing clothes, and those can be restricting. Having said that, I don't mind that girls think the body looks good.
As for the clothes you do wear on stage, how did the looks come about? How important are they to the overall experience of the Wildheart tour? There's a continuity between the album art, the tour, the production, and they all kind of play into each other. They all speak to a level of wholeness, awareness, and spirituality. It's all about knowing who you are, knowing where you stand, believing in yourself, and trusting your intuition. So, the biker with the feathers, which is a custom piece with did with Rude Riders from Los Angeles—and all of the pieces were made in collaboration with Los Angeles brands because I'm from L.A.—is rock-inspired, but there is also a bit of spirituality. And everything about the tour is this kind of new age psychedelic experience.
How do you recover after a long night out drinking tequila when you have to perform just a few hours later? Before going to bed, if you've had a lot to drink, take vitamin B. Vitamin B will help your body digest the alcohol. First thing in the morning, down a bottle of water. I try my best to get a banana in, which has more vitamin B, or a kiwi, which has even more. A lot of people don't know that. But bananas are better for coating the stomach. Then you need a good meal, and a good run. The best thing I've ever done after a long night of drinking is Tabata training. It's literally like four minutes long, where you do 20 seconds of intense running—so, like at eight, nine, or ten miles per hour on the treadmill—then ten seconds of rest, and you repeat that eight times. After that you take a shower, and you'll feel so much better, because it will jump start your metabolism which will also help break down the alcohol. Then have some coconut water for the electrolytes, or Gatorade is fine too because it has salt which will help you retain water, which is what your brain really needs when you're hungover. Most people get headaches because they're dehydrated, which actually makes your brain shrivel and pull on your skull. It's pretty crazy.
That was definitely the most in-depth hangover cure monologue I've ever heard from a non-doctor. When you've got good people around you, you start to listen to them when they tell you these types of things. And you start to remember a lot of it too.