Belfast Telegraph

Kiwanuka: How Adele tour helped me

Michael Kiwanuka thinks touring with Adele was a turning point in his career - as he had to work extra hard to get his performances noticed.

He said: "I'd never done more than three gigs one after another before that tour. I really had to dig in for people to notice me. I knew I had to get past the power of her songs for anyone to remember me even being on before her, let alone what I sounded like.

"When I got back and started playing my own solo shows again in London, I didn't notice the difference, but other people were saying how much more confident I was on stage.

"That must have come from simply performing again and again. Around that time I started enjoying playing live more, and things got better and better."

The spring in Michael's step didn't vanish once he returned to playing his own shows in much smaller venues, either.

"Small club gigs are still my favourite, even though I loved playing in big rooms to sold-out crowds. The small rooms are romantic, I think," he said.

He's also noticed a change since topping the BBC Sound Of 2012 Poll.

He said: "Things have changed since that announcement. People at recording studios are a lot nicer to me, for a start. Some people have recognised me in the street and that's never happened before.

"And I used to have to argue to have more musicians with me and for choices I wanted to make, but I don't have to argue as much any more."

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