Michael Kiwanuka – 5 Things You Need To Know

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.”

2He’s Unlikely To Work With David Guetta

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.

3He’s Chased Adele’s Pavement

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.

4He Loves A Good Flute

A flute solo is not something you hear every day, but he loves ‘em. Blame his David Axlerod influence.

5He’s Unlikely To ‘Do A Bravery’

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