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'KIWANUKA' Album Cover

Michael Kiwanuka Drops Highly-Anticipated New Album 'KIWANUKA'

The artist reclaims his heritage and self-identity on a nostalgic new album.

British-Ugandan soul singer Michael Kiwanuka has released his highly-anticipated third studio album KIWANUKA, the follow up to his critically-acclaimed sophomore album Love & Hate.

The 14-track album features the previously released singles "You Ain't the Problem" and "Hero," and was largely produced by Dead Mouse and Inflo. The artist named the album KIWANUKA in a bold attempt to reclaim his heritage no matter how foreign it might seem to others. "I won't change my name, no matter what they call me," he sings on "Hero."

Speaking on the album's title, he told New Statesman: I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

The deeply funk, soul and psychedelic rock-inspired album, sees the artist tapping into both the personal and political as he deals openly with self-doubt and what it means to overcome it, and addresses present-day social ills like police brutality and immigration.


Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem www.youtube.com

Earlier this week, the artist appeared on A COLORS SHOW where he performed a powerful rendition of his song "Solid Ground," another of the album's standouts.

The artist released Love & Hate three years ago, and his star has been on the rise since. He earned a Mercury Prize nomination for the album, and his song "Cold Little Heart," became a major hit after it was used as the theme song for the show Big Little Lies in 2017.

He recently announced a string of tour dates in both Europe and North America beginning this Fall and running through Spring of 2020.

Listen to KIWANUKA below.


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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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