With the Hamilton mixtape inching closer to a release date, creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is teasing out a few key details about the highly anticipated album. The idea for the Hamilton mixtape — a collection of hip-hop and pop songs Miranda and The Roots bandleader Questlove are producing — comes from the original way Miranda imagined telling Alexander Hamilton’s story.
“Right now we’re 50/50 original songs inspired by the show and covers, and every time someone turns in something new it’s sort of an amazing gift and really surprising,” Miranda, 36, told PEOPLE of the mixtape’s progress backstage at the People en Español festival on Sunday. “I can tell you that the people covering “Satisfied” — and it’s more than one person — that’s when we realized how special this was going to be,” he said when asked about one of the mixtape’s most surprising songs. “They turned it in nine months ago and, like, our hair blew backwards. I have footage of playing it for Jonathan Groff for the first time backstage and him just crying in our dressing room.”
Miranda said he hopes that the mixtape, which is set to be released later this year, will have widespread appeal: “I’m really excited to sort of see how well these songs play in the pop, hip-hop music sphere — they actually work really well as radio tunes,” he said. “What’s exciting is that a lot of my favorite artists that are on the radio — Chance [The Rapper], Sia, Alicia Keys, John Legend — they brought their A-game to this work. Whether that translates into radio play, I don’t know. It’s just really exciting to see world-class artists play with your material.”
“I cannot wait — I actually went to the taping of Saturday Night Live and I got to talk to her a little bit after the taping,” Miranda said about working with Blunt. “She’s so incredible, what more perfect person could play Mary Poppins? I’m really excited to be able to go to work every day, singing and dancing with Emily Blunt.”