In an interview with V103, the singer recounted that the making of the infectious hit started with simple the thought of the word “adorn.”
“It is one of those powerful words that is barely used,” he said. “But this idea of bestowing your love upon someone, kind of laying it on them, I don’t know, I just kind of like that.”
With the depth of the word in mind, the eclectic singer/songwriter revealed his creative process behind the song, saying that he conjured up the melody on a long flight. After having trouble with the song’s words, they finally came to Miguel due to his primary inspiration: his longtime girlfriend Nazanin Mandi. But he also shared in the interview that the song is not just for him to relate to.
“I think that the best part of music is when it comes from a real place and has an ability to kind of connect on a much larger scale,” he said. “It no longer is a personal thing, it becomes everyone else’s thing as well.”
Miguel also talked combining basic lyrics with sexual undertones described taking “Adorn” to the next level by giving the song a more sensual sound.
“The lyrical part is melodic, very basic, instinctive and that’s why it kind of appeals to that sincerity,” he said. “I think sonically though I like to juxtapose things that don’t necessarily go together and I wanted it to sound kind of grimey or dirty.”
And much to Miguel’s surprise, that grimey, dirty sound would land him his first set of Grammy nominations. After recording the track, he said he sat in his car and played the song over and over — which is a tradition for him — and never expected to even hear it on the radio. Naturally, a Grammy nod hadn’t crossed his mine either. He said he retreated to a bar on the night the nominations were announced.
“I was preparing myself for the worst, which would be no nominations at all,” he said. “I was just having a Jack and ginger when I got a call from my girl. She said one word, ‘five.’”
Miguel is up for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best R&B Performance and Song of the Year at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. He will also be performing at the award show Sunday night (Feb. 10).