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Michael Kiwanuka on World Cafe | August 6, 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 Keys' Dan Auerbach.

This episode originally aired on April 26, 2012. (link)

Playlist

(( )) for interlude music

HOUR 1

John Martyn "Head and Heart" Sweet Little Mysteries
The Tallest Man on Earth "1904" There is No Leaving Now
Robert Plant &The Band of Joy "Angel Dance" Band of Joy
Band of Horses "Knock Knock" Mirage Rock
((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))
Peter Tosh "Pick Yourself Up" The Toughest (Hits)
The Avett Brothers "Live and Die" The Carpenter
Wilco "Dawned on Me" The Whole World
Julian Cope "World Shut Your Mouth" Floored Genius

HOUR 2

10,000 Maniacs "Don’t go Back to Rockville" Candy Everybody Wants
La Santa Cecilia "La Negra" Noche y Citas con Chicle
La Santa Cecilia "Jack" Noche y Citas Con Chicle
Ryan Adams "When the Stars Go Blue" Gold
The Lumineers "Stubborn Love" The Lumineers
((Rilo Kiley "Silver Lining" Under the Blacklight))
The Wallflowers "Reboot the Mission" Glad All Over
Doves "Black and White Town" Some Cities
St. Vincent "Cruel" Strange Mercy
Passion Pit "Take a Walk" Gossamer
Dr. John "Revolution" Locked Down
((Black Joe Lewis "I’m Broke" Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!))
Patterson Hood "Disappear" Heat Lightening Rumbles in the Distance
Neil Young "Don’t Let it Bring You Down" After the Gold Rush
Neko Case "This Tornado Loves You" Middle Cycloe
Aimee Mann "Charmer" Charmer
((Passion Pit "Live to Tell the Tale" Chunk of Change))