Michael Kiwanuka ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Michael Kiwanuka

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Distinctly lush folk/soul has placed Michael Kiwanuka on the top of the British charts. And now he’s ready to tackle the States. We’re happy to bring him to a US audience with his Austin City Limits debut.

Growing up in London, Kiwanuka was exposed to a huge variety of music, becoming a fan of everyone from Radiohead to Nirvana to Jimi Hendrix. But it was his discovery of Bob Dylan and Otis Redding that put him on the past to his true voice, one comparable to soulful folk visionaries Bill Withers, Terry Callier and John Martyn. Starting as a session guitarist when he was just a teenager, Kiwanuka began writing songs at home for his own entertainment, eventually passing demos around in hopes of convincing someone to record them. His early recordings lead him to internet success and a spot opening for Adele on her 2011 tour.

On 2012′s Home Again, his full-length debut, Kiwanuka excels as a songwriter and “creates a big statement that resonates the old-fashioned way: with heartrending truth and devout belief” (OkayPlayer). He “blends warm vintage soul with the cozy acoustic vibe of West London’s pub scene,” wrote Entertainment Weekly.

With Michael Kiwanuka, it’s all about the voice, which he describes as “hitting straight through to the core” with direct, emotional songs about love, yearning, comfort and belonging. “I love singing live, the feeling when you really connect with an audience, when suddenly there’s a hush and you can feel it in the air,” he said. “It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s really special.”

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