prescription http://cosmopolitan.taconeras.net/wp-includes/option.php geneva;”>With a voice that has won comparisons to Bill Withers, the 24-year-old has already supported Adele on tour.
The news is a big encouragement for Ugandan artistes as they struggle to hit the international limelight.
Kiwanuka now joins Angella Katatumba in representing the country on the internatioal scene.
The Sound of 2012 list was compiled using tips from 184 key UK-based music critics, broadcasters and bloggers.
Now in its tenth year, previous winners include Jessie J, Adele, Mika, Ellie Goulding, Corinne Bailey Rae and Keane.
How the list is compiled
Kiwanuka, from London, cites influences ranging from Otis Redding and Bob Dylan to Miles Davis.
He started out as a session guitarist, working with Tinie Tempah’s producer Labrinth, before stepping in front of the microphone and signing to the Communion label, which was set up by Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett.
He said: “I never expected to be recognised in this way.
“It’s a great surprise and it means a lot that people are accepting the music they’ve heard so far, and it will bring the music to many more people, which for any musician is a great privilege.”
Kiwanuka came ahead of US R&B singer Frank Ocean, who has worked with Kanye West and Jay-Z and was at number two on the list.
New York rapper Azealia Banks was in third place, followed by high-octane dance DJ and producer Skrillex at four and Swedish electronic duo Niki & The Dove in fifth place.
The list was compiled using tips from 184 influential tastemakers, who each named their favourite three new acts.
The participants ranged from music magazine editors and newspaper critics to respected bloggers, DJs and radio and TV producers.
David Smyth, chief rock and pop critic of the London Evening Standard, who took part, said: “I picked Michael because his music really grabbed me when I first heard him last summer.
“Paul Butler of The Bees produced his song Tell Me a Tale, giving it a vintage psychedelic soul feel. It was an unusual backdrop for such a rich, warm voice.”