Art & Design Magazine

"Hero" by Michael Kiwanuka

By Ventipop @ventipop

With his acoustic sound and timelessly soulful voice, British singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka emerged to acclaim in 2011 combining folk, indie rock, and R&B with traditions borrowed from his Ugandan heritage. Drawing favorable comparisons to Curtis Mayfield, Terry Callier, and Van Morrison, Kiwanuka earned a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album, 2012's Home Again, and won the BBC's Sound of 2012. He further cemented his reputation as a gifted and rootsy performer with his sophomore album, 2016's Love & Hate, which went gold, landing at number one in the U.K.

Kiwanuka was born in Muswell Hill, London in 1987, to Ugandan parents who had fled Idi Amin's regime in the '70s. He initially developed a love of rock music -- in particular, Radiohead and Nirvana -- and he performed in various cover bands while briefly studying jazz at the Royal Academy of Music and pop music at Westminster University. An outtake of Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" inspired him to take a more stripped-back approach.


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