When it happens, it will happen big – that appears to be the standing mantra for Miguel, R&B’s newest star.

Miguel is heading into Grammy week with five nominations: song of the year, R&B performance, R&B song for “Adorn,” urban contemporary album, and rap song for Wale’s “Lotus Flower Bomb feat. Miguel.”  Also, Miguel’s “How Many Drinks” garnered a producer nomination for Salaam Remi.

Photo: AP Photo

But he’s not there yet. He’s still building his headlining status. The last months of 2012 were spent supporting Trey Songz alongside fellow up-and-comer Elle Varner (the two are listed side-by-side in several critics’ lists of best albums of the year). He also spent much of 2010 traveling with Usher.

But there’s a reason his name is cropping up: his sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream is not only exponentially better than his previous effort, it redefines modern R&B. But don’t take our word for it.

“Miguel’s mainlining of popular music from Marvin Gaye to The Zombies turned R&B inside out,” Spin said. “Miguel has burned slowly over the past two years to become one of the most distinct male voices in mainstream R&B,” Rolling Stone added.

Photo: AP Photo / Charles Sykes

The lush music of Kaleidoscope has the same resonance of Janelle Monae’s work, and achieves in blending genres where Terrence Trent D’Arby fell short with his sophomore album so many years ago.

Miguel recently had a “Good Morning America” performance and is spending the month leading up to the Grammys overseas, performing in London, Glasgow and Manchester, among other U.K. cities.