By Ahmad Muto
Former US president Barack Obama released his summer playlist on Saturday, 10 July 2021, a ritual he has stood by the last few years. The list of 38 songs from across the globe this year features British singer and producer of Ugandan descent, Michael Kiwanuka’s song ‘You ain’t the problem’ (Claptone remix) at number 28 (list isn’t in any specific order).
Obama captioned the list: “With so many folks getting together with family and friends, there’s a lot to celebrate this summer. Here’s a playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately – it’s a mix of old and new, household names and emerging artistes, and a whole lot in between.”
In September 2020, Kiwanuka became a topic of conversation in the local entertainment circuit after he won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his poetic self-titled third album, Kiwanuka. He told the BBC after his victory that he hasn’t considered changing his name despite being called Kiwa-nin-nin-nooko, Keena-wooka, Kawaski any anthing else other than Michael Kiwanuka.
Two months later in November, Kiwanuka was again nominated in the Grammy awards for the same album, Kiwanuka in the Best Rock Album category.
Other notables on the list are; Rihanna, Jay Z, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Migos, Drake, Erykah Badu, Bob Marley, Sza and others.
Last year, the African artistes that featured on Obama’s Summer Playlist 2020 were Burnaboy, Davido, Wizkid and Tems, all from Nigeria.