Winner of the BBC Sound of 2012 has revealed that a bad experience working with Chipmunk (we’re still trying to get used to calling him Chip…and slightly resisting) is what led him to pursue the music he really wanted to make and ultimately, changed his life.
The singer is best known for his soul music but he admitted that in the earlier stages of his career he worked as a session guitarist for RnB acts, performing music that he would not normally listen to, in a bid to try and fit in with his peers and be more popular.
He told the Guardian:
When I was doing these gigs I was trying to act how they acted, talk how they talked – still pretending I didn’t like Bob Dylan. I’d come home and put on these records I actually liked and ask myself, what am I doing?
And it seems that playing for Chipmunk was the final straw. The 25-year-old recalls that was the moment he decided to follow his dreams of making his own music.
I was duped out of the money somehow, his management didn’t pay me, and I thought, this isn’t good, I don’t even want to play this stuff… That day I didn’t get paid, I let go. I rang up friends and told them what I wanted to do. I wasn’t scared anymore.
So it looks like we have Chipmunk’s stingy management to thank for encouraging Michael Kiwanuka to step in to the spotlight and leave his session guitarist days behind. Cheers Chip.