Miguel suspended himself in air by the bare skin on his back to announce his forthcoming album, Viscera.
On Friday (25 August), the “Sure Thing” singer hosted an exclusive four-song concert at Sony Studios in Los Angeles to preview new music off of his upcoming record.
Just before he performed the song “Rope”, two assistants came out to pierce the 37-year-old artist with metal rods.
Warning, the following contains graphic images
After placing two pieces of metal through the skin on his back, Miguel - whose full name is Miguel Jontel Pimentel - was secured to wires and hoisted up into the air.
While hanging in the air before the crowd, he sang the song, which included the lyrics: “I’m hanging on to nothing / I’m hanging from the ceiling / Rope around my neck.”
Miguel - who hasn’t released a full-length album since 2017 - promised that Friday’s set, which was also live-streamed, would be a “boundary-pushing performance”.
The “Don’t Forget My Love” singer is said to have spent several months working with experts to prepare the major stunt, according to TMZ.
In an interview withThe Los Angeles Times earlier this month, Miguel spoke about the ancient body modification practice, saying that for him, it was an exercise in trust.
Yes he’s hanging from his bare skin 😩 pic.twitter.com/grG3MfW6SG
— ❄️🗝️ (@DiaryOfKeysus) August 26, 2023
“Initially it was a bit of, ‘What is the most extreme way to push outside of what’s expected?’” Miguel said. “How far can I go in demonstrating how far I’m willing to go for art, for conversation? I couldn’t have known how committed I was to the real purpose of this s*** until I had hooks in my back.”
Remembering the heavy weight of his body hanging from the metal, he said: “It was a scary and freeing experience and emotion to go through because it’s such a light switch.
“It has so much to do with pain. What does pain mean?”
Of the process of writing “Rope”, which Miguel described as a “weird depressive experience”, he said: “I don’t think I’d ever been in a place where I was creating from there.”
Miguel wrote the song before his 2018 marriage to his then-longtime girlfriend, Nazanin Mandi. The pair met when they were 18 and dated until their engagement in 2016.
They got divorced in July, however, after Mandi filed for divorce in October 2022, four months after they reconciled from their first split.
“You build a reputation and a repertoire around love and sex and sexiness – these completely unrelated tones,” Miguel told the LA Times. “Getting to the point where I allowed myself to express these emotions was a bit of a journey.”