PROFILE: Michael Kiwanuka (SXSW 2012)

The thing about BBC Sound Of 2012 winner MICHAEL KIWANUKA is his style oddly resembles a pearl that stands out in a collection of marbles. Instead of being cited next to the common gargantuan comparison, the London native’s appetite for soul has been politely pushed next to names such as Bill Withers and Otis Redding, prompting an instant revival of alternative blues. In this case, Kiwanuka is doing just that. In light of his debut album Home Again, the 24-year-old taps into the honest vibes of retrospective soul, letting tenderness etch out the characters of Al Green (“Any Day Will Do Fine”) and The Temptations (“Bones”), while collaborating with notables (Dan Auerbach) and forging a Tamala Records-like mix that even the BBC claims he “appears to have been beamed in directly from Memphis in 1972”. The honesty found in the tender reverberation of strings and percussion is almost lost in days like these, but Kiwanuka is planting a seed in a type of music that needs a rebirth. Luckily for us, it’s on the horizon.

The songwriter’s debut Home Again is available now via Universal Music //  iTunes | Amazon
and make sure to check out his performances in Austin at Stubb’s and St. David’s Sanctuary


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