Michael Kiwanuka at Bonnaroo, 6/10/2017Photo: Wrenne Evans
U.K. singer-songwriter-guitarist Michael Kiwanuka radiates a kind of self-assured calm, even when he’s discussing really distressing things in his soul- and funk-influenced songs. In a recent interview with The Guardian, he discusses how many times he’s been told — either subtly or overtly — that he didn’t have anything of value to contribute on his own.
“I got tired of impostor syndrome and self-doubt,” he says. “I’m living my dream. I’m in the room. And I was wasting it with thoughts of inferiority. I’ve always had that annoying [inner] voice and after 30 years you’re like, ‘Shut up, I’ve had enough of this.’”
You can hear that in “You Ain’t the Problem,” the propulsive, brass-kissed, fuzzed-out first single from his forthcoming album Kiwanuka, set for release Nov. 1. (See your favorite record store or Kiwanuka’s website to preorder the record, and see the music video below.)
And you’ll be able to hear that in person when Kiwanuka returns to Nashville in the winter. His tour brings him to Marathon Music Works on Feb. 14. Tickets run $22.50-$50 and will be available here on Friday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m.