Belfast Telegraph

Lin-Manuel Miranda appalled at ‘swagger’ of White House performance

The singer rapped for Barack Obama during his time as president.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has spoken about his White House visit. (Matt Crossick/PA)
Lin-Manuel Miranda has spoken about his White House visit. (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Lin-Manuel Miranda is “appalled” at the youthful swagger he displayed performing for Barack and Michelle Obama.

The creator of Hamilton sang an extract from the then unfinished musical for the then president and first lady at the White House in 2009.

Miranda said the initial plan was not to given them something new, but a section of an older musical on request.

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Barack Obama and his wife Michelle welcomed the singer (Chris Jackson/PA)

But the performer and lyricist burst out with bars from what would become an international hit musical, and is appalled at his youthful confidence.

He told The Big Issue it was the most nervous he had ever been in his life, adding: “I’d only ever sung that song before to my wife and the guy at the piano.

“They’d asked for a song from In The Heights. But they also said, ‘unless you have something about the American experience’.

“And I had 16 bars on Alexander Hamilton.  That arrogance of youth.

“I’m appalled at the swagger of the 28-year-old me, to try something untested in an arena like that. I’d only written 16 bars.

“Me at 39, I’d never do something that risky at The White House.

“But 28-year-old me, with just one show under my belt, nothing to lose, off I go.”

Miranda also spoke to The Big Issue about the value of seeking help and therapy, something he wishes he had done sooner.

He said: “You finally confess this huge secret that only resides in your heart. And they go yeah, that’s perfectly normal. What else you got?

“And that thing that felt so huge in your head looks so tiny once you’ve laid it on the table.”

The full interview with Miranda is available in The Big Issue, available from October  22.

PA

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