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Michael Kiwanuka on World Cafe | April 26, 2012

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Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding verve, it's hard to believe he's still a rising star — let alone a 24-year-old. Kiwanuka is of Ugandan descent and grew up in Muswell Hill, London. His early music tastes favored Nirvana and Blur, and, though he'd always had a passion for music, Kiwanuka says he only began to imagine a guitar in his own hands after he realized that Jimi Hendrix was black.

Since that fateful realization, Kiwanuka has grown tremendously as an artist. In his teens, he played in a few bands, was hired as a session guitarist by Tinie Tempah's producer, and began to play solo gigs in the evenings. He's released three EPs in the last year alone, including one that so impressed Adele, she invited Kiwanuka to tour with her.

In January, Kiwanuka won first place in BBC's Sound of 2012 poll, at which point the hype became deafening. The full-length Home Again was released on March 12 and jumped immediately to No. 4 on the U.K. album charts. On this episode of World Cafe, Kiwanuka plays songs from the record, covers Hendrix and discusses his collaboration with The Black KeysDan Auerbach. (link)


(( )) for interlude music


Dr Dog "Warrior Man" Be the Void
John Butler Trio "Zebra" Sunrise Over Sea
My Morning Jacket "Holding On To Black Metal" Circuital
Terry Callier "Keep Your Heart Right" Time Peace
((Michael Kiwanuka "May This Be Love" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Michael Kiwanuka "I'm Getting Ready" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Michael Kiwanuka "Tell Me A Tale" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Michael Kiwanuka "May This Be Love" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Michael Kiwanuka "Lasan" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
((Michael Kiwanuka "Tell Me a Tale" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine" Live at Carnegie Hall
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros "Man On Fire" Here
Marshall Crenshaw "You're My Favorite Waste of Time" A Collection
Husky "History's Door" Forever So


M Ward "Primitive Girl" A Wasteland Companion
Buffalo Springfield "Sit Down I Think I Love You" Retrospective
Lucero "On My Way Downtown" Women + Work
Counting Crows "Untitled (Love Song)" Underwater Sunshine
Dire Straits "Southbound Again" Dire Straits
Foster the People "Helena Beat" Torches
((Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova "Drown Out" The Swell Season))
Glen Hansard "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" Rhythm and Repose
Van Morrison "Into the Mystic" Moondance
Over the Rhine "Rave On" The Long Surrender
((Kopecky Family Band "Stand Back" The Disaster))
The Lumineers "Ho Hey" The Lumineers
Calexico "Alone Again Or" Calexico
Love "She Comes in Colors" Box Set
Joan Armatrading "Cool Blue Stole My Heart" Back to the Night
Fiona Apple "Every Single Night" The Idler Wheel
((Those Transatlantics "To the Editor" Knocked Out))


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