PHILADELPHIA, PA - WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and non-commercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, names Michael Kiwanuka as its June Artist To Watch. World Cafe® and WXPN host David Dye presented the first of the month’s on-air segments today, June 1, in the 4 p.m. hour.
On a journey to find his own voice, session musician turned singer/songwriter, Michael Kiwanuka knows how to make an inspiring tune. His parents emigrated from Uganda to London where he grew up and studied jazz at the Royal Academy of Music. Last month he spoke with David Dye and discussed his journey from playing session gigs to finding his own voice. Kiwanuka has been inspired by artists such as Marvin Gaye and Joni Mitchell to write songs that exude a combination of folk and soul, which resonates in his debut album Home Again, out on Cherry Tree Records on July 31. In January, he won first place in the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 Poll and opened for Adele last year in the U.K. Michael Kiwanuka's unique and emotional blend of mellow folk and soulful acoustics can be heard live at XPN's Free at Noon on June 15th followed by a performance at World Cafe Live the same evening.
"From the first moment we heard Michael's songs and voice we were impressed with its beauty and soul and the wisdom he brings to the music that sounds greater than his young years," says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. "This is organic, honest, gorgeous soul music that sets a new benchmark high for the singer-songwriter genre."
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month's featured artist click here.
Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN's commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.