The 23-year-old singer took first place in the annual critics’ run-down of new acts set to make waves in the coming year ahead of Frank Ocean and Azealia Banks, who were named in second and third place respectively.
In a statement, Kiwanuka said:
It’s very encouraging for some of my music to be noticed and considered as something worth listening to. I think it’s every musician’s dream to have any sort of recognition for their art, something that is so personal. This is something that I don’t take for granted.
Kiwanuka came out on top of the 15-strong longlist which also featured dubstep producer Skrillex and Sweden’s Niki And The Dove, who finished at fourth and fifth place respectively. Other acts to be nominated included A$ap Rocky, Dry The River, Friends and Spector.