|Birth name||Michael Samuel Kiwanuka|
|Born||3 May 1987|
|Origin||Muswell Hill, London, England|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards|
Michael Samuel Kiwanuka (born 3 May 1987) is a British singer-songwriter and record producer who is signed with Polydor Records. His 2012 debut album, Home Again, went gold in the United Kingdom and his second album, Love & Hate, debuted in 2016 at number one. He has been nominated for numerous honours, including the Brit Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, BBC Music Awards, and The Grammy Awards. In January 2012, he won the BBC's Sound of 2012, and in September 2020, he won the Mercury Prize.
Born and raised in Muswell Hill, London, Kiwanuka is the son of Michael and Deborah, Ugandan parents who escaped the Amin regime. He attended Fortismere School, leaving there in 2005 after completing his A-Levels. He went on to study at the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster.
Kiwanuka worked as a session guitarist, playing with Chipmunk and Bashy before working as a solo artist. His first proper gig was at The Oxford in Kentish Town at age 22. He came to the attention of Communion Records, which released his first two EPs, including his debut Tell Me A Tale on 13 June 2011.
2011–2016: Home Again and Love & Hate
In 2011, he signed a deal with Polydor Records. He was included in the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll and was named as the winner on 6 January 2012. In June 2012, he was illustrated in a BBC article regarding Spain vis-à-vis Uganda during the Eurozone crisis; his putative counterpart was actress Penélope Cruz.
After scrapping an entire second album (due to be called Night Songs) after he was discouraged by an A&R man, in 2016, Kiwanuka released his follow-up to Home Again, Love & Hate. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching a peak at number 1 on the UK albums chart. The album was produced by Danger Mouse and spawned several singles.
2018-2019: Collaborations and Kiwanuka
Michael recorded a track with UNKLE for the 2018 Roma companion album ('On My Knees'). After another collaborative song and video, this time with Tom Misch, was released in June 2019 ('Money'), his single, You Ain't the Problem preceded his third album Kiwanuka which was released in November 2019, again to further critical and commercial success. The album placed at number 2 in the UK charts, has been gold-certified for over 100,000 sales and would go on to win the UK Mercury Music Prize for 2020, his first win after his first two albums which were nominated. Danger Mouse was involved with the album, along with producer Inflo. Michael has gone on record that the choice of album name reflected his increasing confidence in being himself
Kiwanuka has acknowledged influences from musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Ray Charles, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Jack Johnson, Pops Staples, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Eric Bibb, Tommy Sims, Wham!, Richie Havens and Funkadelic. He has played with James Gadson, who drummed for Bill Withers.
Awards and nominations
|2011||BBC||Sound of 2012||N/A||Won|
|2012||Brit Awards||Critics' Choice||N/A||Nominated|
|Barclaycard||Mercury Prize||Home Again|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Push Act||N/A|
|2016||Hyundai||Mercury Prize||Love & Hate|
|Q Awards||Best Solo Artist||N/A|
|MOBO Awards||Best Album||Love & Hate|
|Best R&B / Soul Act||N/A|
|LOS40 Music Awards||Critics' Award||N/A||Won[note 1]|
|BBC Music Awards||Album of the Year||Love & Hate||Nominated|
|2017||Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||N/A|
|British Album of the Year||Love & Hate|
|Worldwide Awards||Album of the Year||Won|
|HiPipo Music Awards||Best Global Act|
|2019||Rough Trade||Albums of the Year
|BBC Radio 6 Music||#3|
|2020||Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||N/A||Nominated|
|British Album of the Year||Kiwanuka|
|63rd Annual Grammy Awards||Best Rock Album||Nominated|
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- "2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Winners List". GRAMMY.com. 24 November 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
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