May 10 2011
What were you doing when you were 23? Playing Beer Pong? Skinny Dipping in the neighbors pool? Can you say that you were opening up for Adele on her European tour. A new artist by the name of Michael Kiwanuka did just that.
When I first heard Kiwanuka's voice and music, I can see why Adele asked him to open up for her on her European tour. If you take the DNA of Marvin Gaye, BIll Withers, Bob Dylan, and Donnie Hathaway and splice them together, you would get the voice of this very talented young Londoner. I have never heard music like this since Bill Withers.
Michael Kiwanuka - "I Need Your Company"
Kiwanuka is the son of Ugandan immigrants and as a teen he played in rock bands and love groups like Radiohead and Nirvana. He finally found his 'voice' when Paul Butler from The Bees invited Kiwanuaka to work on tracks that later will become his forthcoming EP "Tell Me a Tale" on Communion Records. I must have played the title track at least 10 times in a row when I first heard it. It reminds me of the classic soul from the late 60's. Kiwanuka is not merely imitating the soul sounds of the 60's but putting his stamp on it and bringing it to another level.
If soul and R&B needed a shot in the arm, Kiwanuka is the medicine. Don't sleep on Michael Kiwanuka. You will regret it if you do. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the EP from the label, and I will featured it on this Friday's Rhythm Lab Radio at 10pm.
His EP will be only available in Europe at least for now and hopefully the states will get a taste of this future soul maestro in the near future. Watch the video for "Tell Me A Tale" and in the meantime listen to his other tunes on his MySpace page.
Check out him performing "Tell Me A Tale" on the Black Cab Sessions.