Michael Kiwanuka is a British musician of Ugandan heritage who writes songs combining soul and rootsy folk influences and sings them with a deep, husky soulful voice. The Home Again Songfacts says that after signing with Communion Records, Kiwanuka recorded his debut EP, Tell Me A Tale, with the help of Paul Butler from The Bees, who took the Muswell Hill, London native to his Isle of Wight studio to record the songs. The record came to the attention of Adele who invited Kiwanuka to support her on the singing star’s 2011 European tour. The BBC announced on January 6, 2012 that Kiwanuka had won their Sound of 2012 poll, an annual survey of music critics and industry figures to find the most promising new music talent.
With Michael Kiwanuka, it’s all about the voice. A voice that he describes as “hitting straight through to the core” with direct, emotional songs about love, yearning, comfort and belonging. It’s a voice that built him a following via MySpace and small London gigs, and led Paul Butler from The Bees to invite him to the band’s Isle of Wight studio to lay down these introductory tracks. Which makes it all the more strange, really, that what Kiwanuka originally set out to be was a session guitarist who maybe wrote the odd song for other people.