Anyone who first hears him swears that the soul of an older man, a much wearier man, was transplanted into his body. His is a voice that’s truly touched by something so rich and full of life that it’s a marvel that this young man is only 24. Michael Kiwanuka is the epitome of everything strong and beautiful in music. His sound is so reminiscent of things gone by it’s ridiculous.
However, even with a sound that many tout as the very mark of Bill Withers, Kiwanuka has a grit and earthiness truly his own. It’s remarkable that his talent has been kept under wraps for so long, though I imagine him to be the kind of artist that doesn’t ere to the circular beat of time. The important thing is that we’ve come to know his beauty in a time of deep ugliness that riddles the airwaves with its impoverished version of sound.
Hailing from North London, very little is known about Kiwanuka. He was born to Ugandan parents and attended Fortismere School, where he, no doubt, excelled in music. He then took his talents and intellect to the University of Westminster. With schooling under his belt and music thrumming through his body, he started on the track of becoming a highly renowned and respected artist. After working as a session guitarist for the likes of London hip-hoppers Chipmunk and Bashy, he struck out on his own.