Michael Kiwanuka released his stunning third album, Kiwanuka, in 2019 and will be out on the road with the first UK shows shortly.
Kiwanuka is the follow-up to Michael’s number one album, Love and Hate, released back in July 2016 that resonated broadly both critically and in the public’s affections, netting the British musician his second Mercury Prize nomination and his second and third BRIT nominations too.
Recorded in New York, LA and London, Michael returned to the studio with Danger Mouse and Inflo, the same production team that combined so magnificently on Love and Hate, Kiwanuka finds a new assuredness in Michael’s writing, and takes the basic sonic blueprint of that last record to a dizzying new realm.
Where Love and Hate showcased Michael’s prowess with a guitar, Kiwanuka showcases an ear for musical adventure. Themes that resonated so loudly previously return here, namely Michael’s life-long confusion and questioning of his own identity, but also that of hope and of power. That Michael has spent the past year or two writing and nurturing the record, whilst also finding a newly discovered love for documenting his life behind a lens, lends itself to the suggestion of an artist putting a microscope on his own life.
Whilst many of his new findings are layered beneath a warm fuzz of instrumentation, Kiwanuka is Michael serving from the heart, from the mind, and from the soul.
Michael explains: "The last album came from an introspective place and felt like therapy, I guess. This one is more about feeling comfortable in who I am and asking what I want to say. Like, how could I be bold and challenge myself and the listener? It is about self-acceptance in a more triumphant rather than melancholy way. It’s an album that explores what it means to be a human being today."
"When I first signed a record deal, people would ask me, ‘So what are you going to be called?’. And I never thought of that; calling myself Johnny Thunders or whatever, like singers from the past. So, on this album it’s kind of a defiant thing; I’m engaging with who I am and I’m not going to have an alter ego, or become Sasha Fierce or Ziggy Stardust, even though everyone's telling me I need to be this, that or the other. I can just be Michael Kiwanuka."
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"UK folks, with respect to and in line with the Covid guidelines we have had to push the tour back to next year. If you've bought a ticket, it will remain valid so keep a hold of it. Really missing playing live for you and can't wait to get back out on the road to pick up where we left off!"