England’s latest soul star mentions Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens and The Band as inspirations. His gentle folky pop soul isn’t retro, though, but clearly music of today.
The 24 year old singer’s debut album Home Again came out in 2012 and hit top ten in the UK, France, Holland, Belgium and many Scandinavian countries. In several other countries it reached top forty.
Kiwanuka’s parents fled Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda to Britain. Kiwanuka was born in Muswell Hill, North London, and performed in many of his school’s concerts as a bassist or jazz guitarist. Michael went on to study at University of Westminster’s School of Media, Arts & Design and even worked for a while as a studio guitarist, before he started to sing his own songs. His two EPs, Tell Me a Tale and I’m Getting Ready, were released in 2011 and immediately stirred interest both in media and public.
Kiwanuka won BBC’s “Sound of 2012”-poll and, having his album in the charts internationally, has toured also outside of UK, including Japan.