Genesis Owusu returns with his highly anticipated sophomore-album, Struggler, after the wild success of his debut, Smiling with No Teeth.
Genesis was born in Ghana and raised in Australia. He graduated college with a journalism degree. Owusu designs most of his stage clothes.This album saw co-creative direction on the visuals between Owusu and world renowned New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana.
When writing this album, Owusu took inspiration from some of his readings from philosophers like Albert Camus, novelists like Franz Kafka, and theatre plays like Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. All these writers wrestled with the same question about the human search for meaning: “that shaped this album – existentialism, nihilism, absurdism in the form of a narrative structure.”
“Tied Up!” is the album’s magnum opus and defined by a stomping beat and warping guitar line, buttered by Owusu’s forceful vocals that speak to the heart of the album’s mindset; the struggle of getting by in an uneasy world, and holding onto oneself in the process. Produced by Sol Was (Beyoncé’s Renaissance) and Henry Was (Justin Jay, Thumpasaurus), the addictive track lends energetic nods to fan favorites like “Good Times” and “Wit Da Team” rounded out by a pounding, yet meditative, outro; ‘I’m the struggler, ain’t no way to love ya’.
STRUGGLER is an imminent exploration of the chaos and absurdity of life, and our ability to endure. Where his celebrated 2021 debut album, Smiling With No Teeth, uncovered the battle against depression and racism, STRUGGLER is about how to get through its struggle. The album takes inspiration from a close friend hitting the brink and coming through the other side, in conjunction with prompted questions of life and beauty that Owusu found himself contemplating during readings of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis – references that are explicitly featured in “Tied Up!”.
One of Australia’s most-celebrated recent albums, Smiling With No Teeth demonstrated the beginning of Owusu’s profound artistic revolution and soul-bearing expression. The album secured radio support from NPR stations across the US (KCRW, KEXP, WXPN and more) and BBC Radio along with being named Australia’s triple j “Album of the Year” and winning four ARIA award titles including “Album of the Year.” Global acclaim also came from tastemakers and critics alike, including Los Angeles Times, AV Club, KCRW, Paste, The Needle Drop, BET, American Songwriter, OkayPlayer, and many more. Owusu additionally saw his album track, “Gold Chains,” included in President Obama’s Favorite Music of 2021, and he made his late night debut performing the song on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He followed the album with his Missing Molars EP and acclaimed standalone singles in 2022 – “GTFO” and “Get Inspired.”
The Ghanaian-Australian artist is also set to bring his vibrant live show to North America this fall for a headline tour, following his arena tour this spring supporting Paramore. The tour starts on October 12th, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Fine Line theater, and ends on December 16th, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia at the Hindley St. Music Hall.
Listen to STRUGGLER, out now.