Michael Kiwanuka is the BBC Sound of 2012 winner. Not many artists highlighted by BBC Sound of over the years can claim to be influenced by a free covermount CD on a magazine. That is the tale of Michael Kiwanuka however, he left early musical loves Nirvana and Radiohead behind when he came upon a rare recording of Otis Redding's Sitting On The Dock of the Bay on a magazine tribute to Bob Dylan.
Kiwanuka's soul had a new rootsy-folk direction, drawing influences from John Martyn alongside Pop Staples and Bill Withers and it wasn't long before his unique voice had attracted the attention of Paul Butler from the Bees, who took him to the Isle of Wight to work on EP Tell Me The Tale. Soon Communion Records had signed the 24 year-old up and Adele had invited the Londoner on her landmark 2011 tour.
Laura Marling arrived with the next tour offer, while an unflappable Kiwanuka stole the show among Bjork, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Noel Gallagher on the final Later... with Jools Holland of the series. 2012 is sure to bring many more triumphs.