Introducing: Michael Kiwanuka
    • MONDAY, APRIL 09, 2012

    • Posted by: Don Saas

    Otis Redding is arguably the greatest soul singer that ever lived (and considering he died at 26, that's an impressive feat), so if we start making positive comparisons to his sound, you should stand up and pay attention. British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is the silky smooth confessional soul of Otis Redding with some of the more bluesy flourishes of "Turn the Page"-era Bob Seger. Michael Kiwanuka won the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, and it's easy to see why after a taste of his track "Lasan" alongside the Black Key's Dan Auerbach.

    "Lasan" effortlessly creates a classic soul sound without managing to come off as too derivative of the classic artists. He may instantly recall the heartfelt pain and sorrow of Bill Withers, but Kiwanuka's immediately obvious passion and genuine emotion washes away any questions of authenticity. If you can listen to "Lasan" and not hear a man's heart on the line, you've got better powers of perception than us. The production itself is a tight affair thanks to Auerbach who not only played on the track but produced it as well. With this taste of soul from across the pond, we are eagerly awaiting his arrival stateside on his debut album, Home Again, in the summer.

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