January 10, 1978 |
London, England, UK
|Origin||London, England, UK|
|Genres||Jazz, hip hop|
|Instruments||Alto saxophone, rap vocals, vocals|
Born in London, England, to a Barbadian father, playwright Don Kinch, and British-Jamaican actress Yvette Harris, Kinch began playing saxophone at the age of nine after learning clarinet at Allfarthing Primary School, Wandsworth, SW London. He then moved to Birmingham, where he attended West House Primary School in Edgbaston, beginning a long association with Britain's second city.
After meeting Wynton Marsalis four years later he discovered and became passionate about jazz, first concentrating on piano and later, in his teens, switching to alto saxophone as his main instrument. He attended Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire, from the age of 13 through to completing his A levels at 18. Early musical influences include the eminent vocalist and percussionist Frank Holder. Kinch went on to study Modern History at Hertford College, Oxford University.
In 2001 Kinch established the Soweto Kinch Trio, with bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer Troy Miller, which supported Courtney Pine at the former Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Birmingham, and performed at the Royal Festival Hall and the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival.
Kinch has won numerous accolades, including, in 2002, the Rising Star Award at the BBC Jazz Awards and the White Foundation world sax competition. In 2003 and 2007 he won the MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act. Also in 2003, his debut album Conversations With The Unseen was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, but Kinch lost to grime MC Dizzee Rascal. The year 2004 saw Kinch win two BBC Radio Jazz Awards: Best Instrumentalist and Best Band, along with the Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz Innovation.
In 2006, Kinch released his second album, A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block, the first instalment of a two-part concept album documenting the lives of three inner-city Birmingham men. The album features narration by Moira Stuart. The second part of the album, entitled "Basement Fables", was originally intended for a March 2007 release, but has been delayed with no clear indication of a release date.
Kinch is also a member of the Pop Idol backing band the Big Blue.
In 2013, Kinch presented a staged performance of his concept album Legend of Mike Smith at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in England. The performance draws on Dante's Divine Comedy and the concept of the seven deadly sins, telling the tale of Mike Smith, a young MC faced with a range of contemporary temptations. Kinch performed the work alongside Karl Rasheed Abel on bass and Shaney Forbes on drums. The subject matter of the work allowed Kinch to explore a wide range of emotions in hip-hop and jazz form. He has stated that the trio format "allows [for] more harmonic freedom and space to deliver lyrics". The music was augmented by dance. Reviews of the project were very favourable.
- Conversations with the Unseen (2003) (Dune Records)
- A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block (2006) (Dune Records)
- The New Emancipation (2010) (Soweto Kinch Recordings)
- The Legend Of Mike Smith (2013) (Soweto Kinch Recordings)
- War in a Rack (2009) (Soweto Kinch Recordings)
- Nastos, Michael G. "Soweto Kinch". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Jack Massarik, "Sax, rap and all that jazz", Evening Standard, 31 July 2003.
- Hertford College
- "REVIEW - COURTNEY'S A SUPERSTAR; COURTNEY PINE RONNIE SCOTT'S, BIRMINGHAM". Sunday Mercury (Birmingham). 13 May 2001.
- "Winners of the BBC Jazz Awards 2002".
- White Foundation
- 2003 Mobo Awards
- 2007 Mobo Awards
- Mercury Prize
- Winners of the BBC Jazz Awards 2004
- Fordham, John (ed.). "Kinch Wins Whittingham". JazzUK (Jazz Publishers) (56): 9. ISSN 1472-0728.
- "A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block", AllMusic.
- "#011: The Ballad of Soweto Kinch". yo yo pop!. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Dotz Vs Soweto Kinch FREESTYLE GAUNTLET, Don't Flop.
- Shuffle-T Vs Soweto Kinch, Don't Flop.
- Charron Vs Soweto Kinch Freestyle, Don't Flop.
- Biography, Soweto Kinch website.
- Soweto Kinch Official Website
- Soweto Kinch on MySpace
- Soweto Kinch BBC Profile
- Soweto Kinch at dune-music.com
- "The Emancipation of Soweto Kinch", interview by Michael "The Dood" Edwards for UK Vibe - August 2010.
- Soweto Kinch interview at britishhiphop.co.uk
- Interview with Soweto about B19 and his home in Birmingham from a local podcast - this is a direct link to mp3 file.