Kentish Town singer Michael Kiwanuka tipped by BBC to be next Adele

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 January 2012

BBC Sound of 2012 have named Michael Kiwanuka as their big tip for the coming year

BBC Sound of 2012 have named Michael Kiwanuka as their big tip for the coming year


A singer songwriter has topped a prestigious annual list that highlights the best emerging talent in the music industry - joining previous winners that include global superstars 50 Cent and Adele.

BBC Sound Of 2012 named Kentish Town based soul musician Michael Kiwanuka as their big tip for the coming year.

The 24-year-old told the Ham&High: “It is very encouraging for some of my music to be noticed and considered as something worth listening to.

“I think it is every musician’s dream to have any sort of recognition for their art, which is so personal. This is something that I don’t take for granted.”

Born and bred in Muswell Hill, the 24-year-old soloist attended Fortismere School in Tetherdown before studying jazz and working as a session guitarist.

He bought his first guitar at Crouch End guitar store Rock Around the Clock, who had a significant influence on his rise.

“The people in the shop are always encouraging young musicians and it gave me loads of encouragement,” he said. “I always loved hanging out in there.”

Mr Kiwanuka’s reputation has grown steadily.

His song Tell Me A Tale was play listed by the influential BBC Radio 6 music station last summer, and a TV slot on Later With Jools Holland and performing in support of Adele followed.

His classic voice is so mature that listeners to Radio 6 were sure that a lost record of soul legend Al Green had been found.

If the list of previous winners is anything to go by, his career should move into overdrive and propel him into the music stratosphere following the BBC accolade.

Last years’ pick, Jessie J, has gone on to enjoy the most successful album debut for a British artist in 2011, selling 805,000 copies.

The BBC list is compiled using tips from nearly 200 key UK based music critics, broadcasters and bloggers, known as “tastemakers”, who can choose performers from any country and musical genre.

Kiwanuka will be performing close to home on Wednesday, January 25, on the same bill as Emile Sande at Koko in Camden.

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