Meet Michael Kiwanuka, the talented British singer-songwriter whose music not only earned him a spot on Barack Obama’s summer song list once but twice. From his roots in Muswell Hill to global music success, here are ten fascinating facts about this rising star.
- Michael Kiwanuka’s Background: Born on May 3, 1987, in Muswell Hill, London, Micheal Kiwanuka is the son of Ugandan parents, Michael and Deborah Kiwanuka, who had to leave Uganda during Idi Amin’s regime and went into exile.
- Award Nominations and Wins: Michael Kiwanuka has been recognized with various nominations and awards. He received nominations for prestigious accolades such as the Brit Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, BBC Music Awards, and The Grammy Awards. In January 2012, he won the BBC’s Sound of 2012, which celebrates emerging musical talent. Moreover, in 2020, he won the Mercury Prize, a renowned award in the British music industry.
- Collaboration with Adele: Kiwanuka’s musical talent has led him to collaborate with other prominent artists. He worked with Adele during her Adele Live 2011 tour and performed at her iTunes Festival 2011 gig.
- Private Personal Life: Michael Kiwanuka has been married to Christian musician Charlotte Kiwanuka since 2016. However, the couple has chosen to keep their relationship private and away from the media spotlight.
- Recognition by Former US President Obama: In 2021 and again in 2023, Michael Kiwanuka’s music made it onto former US President Barack Obama’s Summer playlist. This recognition demonstrates Obama’s appreciation for Kiwanuka’s music.
- Global Music Success: Michael Kiwanuka has earned a significant reputation in the global music scene. His concerts are highly cherished by fans around the world, which attests to his widespread popularity.
- Early Influences and Career Beginnings: Kiwanuka’s passion for music began at a young age from playing the guitar at the age of 11 to writing songs at 14. He cites musical influences such as Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan, which have shaped his artistic style.
- Notable Albums and Chart Success: His first album, “Home Again,” was released in 2012 and received critical acclaim to being nominated for the Mercury Prize. Followed by the second album, “Love & Hate,” which was released in 2016 and achieved commercial success, reaching number one on the UK charts.
- 9. Impressive Performances: Michael Kiwanuka has had the opportunity to perform at major music festivals like Glastonbury, Coachella, and Bonnaroo, showcasing his live stage performance and musical talent to audiences.
- Diverse Collaborations and Recognition: Kiwanuka’s musical abilities have caught the attention of various renowned artists. He has collaborated with artists such as Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Ed Sheeran, further solidifying his position as a respected and influential musician. In 2017, Time magazine recognized his impact by including him in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Additional Interesting Facts:
– Michael Kiwanuka is a self-taught guitarist who further honed his skills by studying jazz guitar at the Royal College of Music.
– As a testament to his influence in the music industry, he is a member of the BRIT Awards Academy, which plays a significant role in the selection process for the BRIT Awards.