16 November 2023

Genesis Owusu's Struggler album celebrated with multiple ARIA award wins

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Genesis Owusu

Genesis Owusu’s Struggler is “risky” and “complex” and “the work of an artist giving power to some of his most radical sonic ideas”. Photo: ARIA.

Canberra rap star Genesis Owusu has taken out album of the year at the annual Australian Record Industry Awards (ARIAs) for Struggler, also bringing home awards for the best hip hop release and best independent release.

It’s the second time he’s picked up the major award after winning in 2021 for the album Smiling with No Teeth.

Struggler is loosely inspired by 19th-century Austrian writer Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a novella about a man who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a cockroach.

When the album was released in May this year, Owusu said, “The struggler runs through an absurd world with no ‘where’ or ‘why’ at hand. Just an instinctual inner rhythm, yelling at them to survive the pestilence and lightning bolts coming from above. A roach just keeps roaching.”

Photograph of Genesis Owusu on beach

Canberra artist Genesis Owusu has collected a swathe of ARIAs at this year’s awards. Photo: Supplied.

Reviewers have described the album as “risky” and “complex” and “the work of an artist giving power to some of his most radical sonic ideas”.

The singer is currently on tour and accepted the best hip hop rap award from London, telling the live audience: “Hip hop made me who I am, and allowed me to speak on the things I wanted to speak on, so I cherish it with my heart always.”

READ ALSO Howzat! NFSA pops Aussie music gold on the latest Sounds of Australia list

Owusu used his speech at the awards night to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, asking the audience to “pay attention to what is happening in the world”.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the artist and the win places him in rare company alongside the likes of internationally acclaimed acts Tame Impala, Dean Lewis, Amy Shark and Gang of Youths.

Owusu’s music blends hip hop, soul, funk and R&B elements and crosses multiple genres from song to song. He’s a popular festival performer who now tours widely internationally.

Allowing his 2021 win, Owusu said: “I used to get side-eyed a lot when I was younger for the way I dressed and the things I did, but all the people I loved and respected always stood firm, immovable and unshakeable because we knew the power in who we were and what we created.

“This means so much to me. For all those people worldwide, eccentrics, black people, know it’s not up to us to change for people, but it’s up to people to catch up and see what they’re missing out on.”

Owusu’s career began in Canberra, performing at Transit Bar and other local venues. The Ghanaian-born artist emigrated to Canberra with his family in 2000 and was educated in the ACT, completing a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Canberra in 2018. His brother Kojo Owusu-Ansah is also a hip hop rapper who performs as Citizen Kay.

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I regret I never heard of the bloke either.
I must do a youtube search.

Meanwhile I found this old 91 hit.
Would he be anything like these ?

Capital Retro8:26 am 17 Nov 23

I have never heard or heard of this artist.

Am I missing out on something?

I looked at this article just to see if my guess of who would be the first person to say that they have never heard of this artist was correct. It was!

Capital Retro9:27 am 18 Nov 23

So, does that mean you know more about me than you do about the other person?

That being the case his career will be short.

I guess there are two types of people in the world.

Those like Genesis Owusu who is an creative individual and an innovator, with a positive outlook and a genuine desire to create a better world.


Those who look backwards to a world they erroneously remember existed (but really didn’t) and have no interest in progress, innovation or expanding their narrow horizons.

I am of an age where I am much, much closer to death than birth, so I know that the past was certainly not utopia. Oh… and yes, I do know Owusu’s music and have liked him for years. He is certainly a talented individual (as his his brother) and yes you are missing out on something.

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