Michael Kiwanuka and Tom Misch Collaborate and It’s “Money”

The footloose and fancy freestyle of Tom Misch’s musicality coupled with Michael Kiwanuka’s soulful vocals and thoughtful lyrics offer a unique listening opportunity to music lovers everywhere.
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“Money” – Michael Kiwanuka ft. Tom Misch


As warm breezes brush over our pale, squinting skin we can celebrate because 👏🏼 summer 👏🏼 is finally 👏🏼 here. After victoriously moving past the lockdown of cold and cringe-y winter, all we want is to soak up the sun, cook food over the fire, and listen to the sound of fun.  Luckily, the music industry is happy to provide a fresh crop of summer tunes to blast out car windows or through Bluetooth speakers al fresco. Michael Kiwanuka’s latest release, “Money” feat. Tom Misch is just such a tune.

Michael Kiwanuka & Tom Misch – Money

Earlier in the season, Kiwanuka and Misch took to social media, buzzing about their new summer collaboration. Adoring fans marked their calendars and commenced daydreaming about the sound that would result from the combination of Kiwanuka, a rootsy, soulful poet and Misch, a groovy, upbeat indie pop, serial collaborator (as showcased by his latest album from 2018, Geography.)  How would they enhance their individual strengths and balance their respective styles?

When “Money” finally dropped (clink), fans were giddy with surprise. It’s not clear what they were expecting, but one thing is certain, everyone happily lapped up the nectar Kiwanuka and Misch offered on release day. “Money,” released on June 19th, 2019, is a perfect mixture of Misch’s high vibe, funky style, and Kiwanuka’s lyrical depth. In flavor, “Money” is straight up disco, a genre beloved to both musicians.

During a conversation with Australian Hip-Hop artist TUKA for Backstage Hangs in 2016, Michael Kiwanuka shared a prophetic fantasy in telling TUKA that he’d “love to make a disco record.” Looking up with a sudden epiphany, Kiwanuka continued with a sparkle in his eye, “maybe that should be my side project!” Low and behold, 3 years, 1 album (Love & Hate 2016), 12 soundtrack features, 1 commercial, and countless performances later, Michael Kiwanuka’s wistful disco dream took shape in the form of “Money” featuring Misch on guitar and general production and back-up vocals from Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter YEBBA.

Watch: “Money” – Michael Kiwanuka ft. Tom Misch


Of his connection with Kiwanuka, Misch tells Fader Magazine,I have been a big fan of Michael for a few years, so I was really excited to work with him.” According to Misch, as they began to work together In the session “it was cool to find we share a common love for 808s and disco so we thought we would try something with that vibe.” And that they did

With Misch’s signature bright and peppy guitar sound filtered through a far-out fader pedal “Money,” boasting its synth string section and thick meandering baseline, is as close to authentic feel good 70’s disco as any song could be. And, if you primarily focused on the sound of this tune and you were expecting something a bit more melancholic from Kiwanuka, you may feel a little empty or unemotional.

But wait! Don’t fret.

While you certainly can bobble your head and shake whatcha-mama-gave-ya to “Money,” if you stop boogying for long enough to explore Kiwanuka’s lyrics it’s clear you can dress him in a zoot suit and ask him to sing with a smile, but you can’t damper Kiwanuka’s thoughtful prose.

Money, money, is it really love?
Money, will it be love?
Oh, man, again, I swear
Money, money, I feel it killing love
Money, will it be love
Oh, man, again, I swear

That sneaky Michael Kiwanuka!

Just imagine: You’ve gone and got all dressed up for a carefree summertime rooftop soirée.  Your new favorite jam, “Money.” comes on and you and your friends whisk each other off to the dance floor, hooting and giggling as you go. With hips swinging from side to side, taking someone’s hands for a ride, you hear the bridge where Kiwanuka indirectly addresses his questions from the previous verse.

All money lies, there’s no surprise with that
When money tries to ruin everything
Pain in disguise, money can’t cover up the lies
I need true love tonight

And now you’re thinking while dancing.
Does money lie? Has money ruined everything? True love would be nice…”

You start to spin a little deeper,
He’s right, if love is based on money, it can’t be true.”

Fortunately for your girls-night-out mood, “Money’s” tempo picks up quickly, helping to freeze deep thoughts until a more appropriate time for pondering.

“Money” offers something to everyone.  The footloose and fancy freestyle of Tom Misch’s musicality coupled with the soulful sound of Michael Kiwanuka’s vocals and thoughtful lyrics offer a unique listening opportunity to music lovers everywhere. Party people and deep thinkers unite!

“Money” – Michael Kiwanuka ft. Tom Misch

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Ilana Kalish was a jazz fed baby, pop-synched child, emo-soaked teenager and indie-rocked coed. Between working at the friendly corner record store, singing in a garage (sometimes with a band) and sitting under trees while writing short fiction, Ilana also got her degrees in modern dance and creative writing from the University of MD in College Park. All of these adventures eventually resulted in www.skiptothis.com where she shares her adventures down the rabbit hole of the musiverse. A self-proclaimed neologista, Ilana is always dancing with words to music, usually while drinking coffee and smirking. As a writer for Atwood Magazine, Ilana hopes to make you smile and nod happily with her whimsy and impeccable (smirk) taste in music.