“!Now Ya Know” is a weekly series from Mixologi profiling artists you may not have heard of. Every week we will be selecting a new artist for you to keep on your radar.
Wanna know a great trick I figured out on ways to learning about new stellar music? Go to the website of independent concert venues, check out their calendar, and look up the artist on the calendar. After being in the entertainment industry for a few years, I’ve learned no one knows more about great music than the good folks that do the bookings at dope concert halls.
In doing this, I stumbled upon Michael Kiwanuka, and wow, what a find. As we speak I am listen to one of his songs for the 6th time in a row. To quickly bring you up to speed on his style, he is being compared to Bill Withers (Ain’t No Sunshine), Randy Newman (think Toy Story), and Jack Johnson (Better Together). Kiwanuka’s approach is very acoustic, folk with a lotta soul, and highly eclectic. He has a very old school approach, but with slight modern twist. I think its adds to his nostalgia that he is not only British, but born the son of two Ugandan parents– I’m sure he has a lot of inspirations to pull from. He’s kinda like that guy you would see in the basement of a smoke filed jazz club or performing at a farmers market, and you think to yourself, he could be a star.
Turns out he actually is. He sung with Adele on her live tour in 2011, and in 2012 he won BBC’s Sound of 2012 Award. He hasn’t quite broken through in the States, but I’d anticipate that happening very, very soon. I listened to every song he as put out, and didn’t find one I didn’t love. If you need some new music to impress a date with, something to bump while you clean the house, or just some solid slow jams to get you through a rocky break up, peep Michael Kiwanuka. And !Now Ya know.
Check out one of my favorite tracks of his.