Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka

"Immediately grabs you this voice, this finely sanded, sounding by longing instrument that reminded About the breezy funk beat to Bill Withers. And if '? What's Going On' use then the Afrobeat Blaster and Strings À la, is to once and for all addicted and want to hear more of it. " - Translated from the L.A. Times

Of his two greatest heroes Bob Dylan and Otis Redding he may still be quite far away; man of the moment is Michael Kiwanuka nevertheless already: In the international press, the young Londoner as is "uniquely brilliant" (Sunday Times) and "genuine star" (Mojo) referred, "one of the most powerful soulful voices to emerge in years" wrote Dazed Confused, and even in the US there was acclaimed gigs and a declaration of love from the L.A. Times.

After sold-out solo shows in UK and Germany grandiose performances opening for Adele and Laura Marling, the 23-year-old is now in this country traded a top secret. While making his upcoming EP "Home Again" cold weather more bearable, the debut album by Michael Kiwanuka end of March appears. A first candidate for album of the year 2012 is fixed so.

How the L.A. Times already wrote, it is in fact this voice that grabs you immediately: it is the centerpiece of its songs, has an indescribably rich, timeless, warm and yet urgent sound in which he draws a immediately under his spell. The 23-year-old himself describes this unique voice as the instrument with which he "can penetrate directly to the heart of things" - and this obviously also moved his fellows.
The unfussy, deeply soulful songs that are supported by this voice, based on soul and folk roots back in the past fifty years back; they act here of love, a deep, now rarely encountered sense of belonging and very different aspirations. And that voice, it was she who has given him over the net and thanks first gigs in London within a short time, more and more fans. Lucky you have to say, because originally the young Mr. Kiwanuka had rather targeted a career as a session guitarist. Opportunity songwriter perhaps, but singer? Was not really planned.

Raised in North London Michael did not quite Ever long time, his place should be. As arrant football fan whose heart has always beaten Tottenham Hotspur, he simply could not imagine that a surname like Kiwanuka should fit on such a jersey. But when his parents were traveling with him and his brother to the rest of the family to Uganda, they fell there at once and were already recognized from afar as British tourists. Although stood Michael, like his classmates, bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, The Offspring or blur, but he had to spend time taking in only Jimi Hendrix to understand that as a guitar could make him a good figure.

A little later, then came two more heroes to to help him find his own voice gave A friend him a Bob Dylan Boxset, and this concentrated songwriter madness, the way how Dylan serious concern on acoustic guitar carpets transported, the teenager should more than anything else, the eyes open.
And then he heard at some point the CD insert a music magazine by and Otis Redding, whose "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" was heard here as a session version, sounded talking to his engineer so humane and likeable that thenceforth Dylan and Redding - although later were to follow other influences such as Bill Withers, Terry Callier, John Martyn or Laura Marling - should serve as a starting point and the basis for the kind of folk and soul sound that Michael does today.

After gaining some experience in student rock bands, he went with 16 to Hackney to make there in search of collaborators. Michael learned there Labrinth in the studio know who else with Tiny Tempah made music and played contemporary RB, soul and jazz-funk sound with some jam sessions; on top of that he also played for the likes of rapper Chipmunk a one way or another guitar track. "This has all made of fun, but also because I had the feeling that I was not purely fit so well. Since I could my rockier side no longer live, the part that had grown up with Dylan or Nirvana."

So he began by fOr to work at home alone on new song ideas. As a pure hobby project these pieces were meant for other ears, at least that was the initial plan. "I just got no appearances with the sound, which I really was, so I had to do it for myself. It was me with this simply to do something, so I do not lose the desire on the matter, something in which you such a warm feeling in your stomach gets. And that sounded now times very different from what was then so could hear in the charts. "

A little later he took but a few demos and wanted these songs only once offer other singers. But it was different: people fell in love with his voice, booked a club concert after another, and he was then still its place in the world: "I love to sing live in front of audiences This particular connection to the audience. to feel this mood that is in the air when things briefly shut is in between. this happens of course not always, but if it occurs, it is even more magical. "

Magically are also studio recordings, which he at first two EPs "Tell Me A Tale - The Isle of Wight Sessions" has presented and the aptly titled "I'm Getting Ready" EP, the way, both taken with the congenial Paul Butler (The Bees).

While the unique vibe that makes this music, also beautifully in the video for "Tell Me A Tale" (which he made with a lot of super-8 material in Berlin, among others in the Mauerpark and in Plänterwald) and the magnificent single " Home Again "comes across, the coming spring already has a first highlight when Michael released his debut album. "It is not so easy to find a good tune", his final comment, "and if the result is now soaked in blues or folk or soul, does not so much to the point, as long as the melody one knocks. " And it does. Again and again.

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