World Cafe

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World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding technique, it's hard to believe he's a rising star -- let alone a 24-year-old.  Kiwanuka is of Ugandan descent and grew up in Muswell Hill, London. 

His early music tastes favored grunge rockers Nirvana and Blur.  Though he always had a passion for music, Kiwanuka recalls that he only began to imagine a guitar in his own hands after he realized that Jimi Hendrix was black.

Since that fateful realization, Kiwanuka has grown tremendously as an artist.  In his teens, he played in a few bands, was hired as a session guitarist by Tinnie Tempah's producer, and began to play solo gigs in the evenings.  He has released three EPs in the last year alone, including one that so impressed Adele, she invited Kiwanuka to tour with her.  In January, he won first place in BBC's Sound of 2012 poll and hype began to grow around a promise of his first full length release.  "Home Again" dropped on March 12th and jumped immediately to number 4 on UK album charts.  On this episode of World Cafe, listen to Michael Kiwanuka play from his timeless new record, cover Hendrix and discuss his collaboration with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. 


Set List:
I'M GETTING READY                      
TELL ME A TALE                                
MAY THIS BE LOVE                         

Recent Release: Home Again   
Release Date: March 12, 2012
Label: Polydor Records

Band Origin: Muswell Hill, London, England