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Singer Michael Kiwanuka talks about second record


07-22-2016 01:02 BJT

British musician Michael Kiwanuka has released his sophomore album, "Love and Hate". His second record is a phenomenal listen that puts him among the greats of soul singer-songwriters. 

Michael Kiwanuka is taking success in his stride.

Singer Michael Kiwanuka

Singer Michael Kiwanuka

Last week, the 29-year-old singer from London released his sophomore record "Love and Hate" and it topped the latest iTunes UK midweek charts with positive reviews.

"I heard about it today. I haven't been home for a few days. Today I was at home for a couple of hours and so I went online to see it and it was like, 'Woah.' It looked weird you know? But I'm just happy that it's out," he said.

"It would be amazing if it was like a number one album, but main thing is that – that would be the icing on the cake. Main thing is that it's out."

Kiwanuka avoids reading reviews as much as possible as they can be a bit of a "red herring".

He was initially a session musician before taking the leap to play his own material. 

With a soft, soulful voice, Kiwanuka has been compared to the likes of Bill Withers, Randy Newman, Terry Callier, and Otis Redding.

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka's second record "Love and Hate"

The singer has a number of achievements under his belt -- winning the "BBC Sound of..." award in 2012 and opening for Adele on her UK tour in 2011, before he'd even released an album.

His debut, "Home Again", came out four years ago. So, why did the follow-up take so long?

"It was a bit of touring for the first album, just a couple years, and then it was stuck in a rut you know? I wanted to do a different sounding album and develop a bit and it just took me a while to learn how to get a new sound in myself, " Kiwanuka said

"You know, it's not really reinventing the wheel or anything like that, but for me it's different. So that took a little while to work out how to do that."

The first single to be released from "Love and Hate" is "Black Man in a White World" -- based on his experiences growing up in London.

He believes the track transcends the personal, speaking about racial tension around world.

"I feel like, 'Black Man In A White World' seems to be resonating a bit. Obviously I wrote it for what's happening in my own head, but these are interesting times. So I guess for some people it's connecting," he said.

"But it's nice that music, I think it's important to have art and music that connects with the times. So I didn't do that on purpose but it's nice that it is relevant, you know?"

Kiwanuka will share more of his music on his European tour beginning July 23rd. 

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