Added on Thursday, 12 December 2019
Price 9.99 $
Edition date 2019
Label ℗ 2019 Polydor Ltd. (UK)
Michael Kiwanuka never seemed the type to self-title an album. He certainly wasn’t expected to double down on such apparent self-assurance by commissioning a kingly portrait of himself as the cover art. After all, this is the singer-songwriter who was invited to join Kanye West’s Yeezus sessions but eventually snuck wordlessly out, suffering impostor syndrome. That sense of self-doubt shadowed him even before his 2012 debut Home Again collected a Mercury Prize nomination. “It’s an irrational thought, but I’ve always had it,” he tells Apple Music. “It keeps you on your toes, but it was also frustrating me. I was like, ‘I just want to be able to do this without worrying so much and just be confident in who I am as an artist.’” Notions of identity also got him thinking about how performers create personas—onstage or on social media—that obscure their true selves, inspiring him to call his third album KIWANUKA in an act of what he calls “anti-alter-ego.” “It’s almost a statement to myself,” he says. “I want to be able to say, ‘This is me, rain or shine.’ People might like it, people might not, it’s OK. At least people know who I am.” Kiwanuka was already known as a gifted singer and songwriter, but KIWANUKA reveals new standards of invention and ambition. With Danger Mouse and UK producer Inflo behind the boards—as they were on Love & Hate in 2016—these songs push his barrel-aged blend of soul and folk further into psychedelia, fuzz rock, and chamber pop. Here, he takes us through that journey song by song.