Genesis Owusu: 2024

Genesis Owusu (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)
by Alisa Ali | 01/15/2024 | 12:01am

Genesis Owusu (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)

Genesis Owusu left no crumbs with his 2021 debut album, Smiling with No Teeth. The Ghanaian-Australian rapper and singer collected nearly all of Australia's prestigious music awards for it, including the Australian Independent Records (AIR) Awards, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards, the Australian Music Prize, and Triple J radio's J Awards.

It's a genre-defying record that I imagine adventurous artists like Kraftwerk, André 3000, Thom Yorke and Animal Collective might applaud as well. Owusu grew up in a music-loving home that relished  a range of future influences, from gospel to Rage Against the Machine to Ghanaian highlife.

Making the followup to his acclaimed debut album could have been a daunting process but thankfully, Owusu, real name Kofi Owusu-Ansah, didn't experience it that way. He just kept on making art as he usually does, and one day he realized that one of the short stories he was working on was worth exploring musically.

The story was about a cockroach that kept running around, trying not to get stepped on by God. This surreal idea turned into the concept behind his new album, Struggler, and while that concept is undoubtedly Kafkaesque, the focus is less about a metamorphosis and more about resiliency.

That message comes across in a bold way through the words and music on Owusu's album. He is a strikingly talented artist and a mesmerizing performer — and it was wonderful to finally have him in session in Studio A.

[Recorded 10/23/23; Engineered by Jim O'Hara; produced by Meghan Offtermatt]

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