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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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Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

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Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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