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The Inner City Blues Sounds
With the uncertainties of Brexit still looming as a bitter halo on a considerable amount of many Brits. The less logical thing to do may not be to forget those woes and forcibly retreat to some sort of escapism. In this case that that illogical approach and subsequently its escapism lead me on yet another quest for an interesting new artist and the name Michael Kiwanuka came to my attention.
For those that have become familiar with our music features, I seldom write about artists I do not feel passionately about – where their work is concerned of course – and this young gentleman is no different. Brought up in North London and educated at the University Of Westminster, previously nominated for the Barclays Mercury Prize and winning the BBC Sound of 2012 Award. 29 year old Michael Kiwanuka has worked with the likes of producer Danger Mouse, playing at Glastonbury this year and has previously supported Adele on her Live tour and at the iTunes festival.
Image Source Stuff NZ
One very magnifying artist and you may well enjoy the ride.
Michael Kiwanuka uniqueness is in that he is not as unique or unfamiliar to the kinds of artists that we now associate with as timeless legends in a period that is thought to have far surpassed much of the motivations and influences behind some of those artists that will forever hold record breaking titles in the world of music.
If we were to entertain the idea, for a moment, of what would happen if we were able to get Ray Charles, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Bill Withers, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye, in one room and asked them to produce an artist? It seems likely that the product would in fact be Michael Kiwanuka.
His rich, melodic, rooted tone further supported by his soul, folk-rock, jazzy sound, (prevalent in the song ‘Love & Hate’), creates somewhat of a nostalgia for the inner city blues sounds that the likes of many great musicians through the late 60’s all the way through to the early 80’s brought to music.
Image Source Grunge Cake
The very bold and brilliant “Black Man In A White World” assuredly is a statement in itself. This powerful song focuses on one man’s inner turmoils unified with his experiences of dealing with being a minority in a world which arguably can be viewed were a particular majority hold more autonomy. His seemingly neutral acceptance of circumstances beyond his control, even after all is lost, still maintaining to not be querulous, is a subtly thought-provoking representation of a man’s journey as seen through the eyes of this impressive artist.
The incredible movement of the solid growth of successful British musicians gaining global recognition, is unremitting and evidently better for it, when the result is the likes of such talents as Michael Kiwanaka. Adding this musician to your repertoire of music playlists definitely permits the listener a mix of a little bit of old, with a little bit of the new, in one very magnifying artist and you may well enjoy the ride.