So he’s beaten Azealia Banks, Frank Ocean and Niki And The Dove to top the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll, but who the hell is he?
Here’s a pocket guide to Mr Kiwanuka.
1He’s Not What You Think
The 23-year-old Muswell Hill-dwelling singer told Sabotage Times: “People expect me to be a modern R’nB singer (but) I I just can’t do that. I like a lot of soul but I also put a lot of folk into what I do.”
Yes, he’s ‘retro’, but not in a terrible Duffy way. Think instead of the gutsy vocals of Donny Hathaway, Terry Callier and Bill Withers, whose ‘I Don’t Know’ he’s covered. His single ‘Tell Me A Tale’ is a brilliant evocation of an early 70s, socially conscious Motown sound.
Well, he’s toured with her at least. He’s also recorded with Chipmunk and his ‘Tell Me A Tale’ EP was recorded with The Bees’ Paul Butler. Well connected then.
A flute solo is not something you hear every day, but he loves ‘em. Blame his David Axlerod influence.
Unlike the 2005 Poll Winners, we imagine he’s going to have a long, lucrative career ahead of him.
His debut album ‘Home Again’ is out on Polydor on March 26th