i-D online first met Michael Kiwanuka in May 2011. A relative unknown at the time, a bench in Hoxton Squre became his stage as he told us a tale with his dulcet tones. Throw forward 14 months and the situation is somewhat different, now Polydor-signed and a BBC’s ‘Sound of 2012′ poll winner, he’s a one man musical whirlwind.
Having tamed his afro and debushed his beard, here we head i-N Conversation with Michael as he lists some of the records that have influenced his distinct style. In amongst his tales of drive time with Shuggie Otis and gifting Adele with Robert Flack vinyl, he also gives a super smashing accoustic performance of his track ‘Lasan’. Put the needle on it.
Text: Sean Baker