After treating audiences to a taste of his debut album in his Kofi’s Black Dog Jams shows last October, Genesis Owusu returns with the news of his highly anticipated Smiling With No Teeth album tour. With his Goon Club in tow, Genesis Owusu will brings his enigmatic stage presence to Perth’s Rosemount Hotel on 3 June and Freo.Social on 4 June.
“…when I was very young, the black people they knew were 50 Cent and Eddy Murphy and, from their perspective, they were one of the two people I had to choose to be as a black person.”Genesis Owusu
Smiling With No Teeth marks Owusu’s first extended release since his 2017 debut EP, Cardrive. Since then he has gained attention from tastemakers worldwide, including Sir Elton John, Triple J, Complex and more, as well as collecting his first ARIA nomination for AA side “WUTD” and “Vultures”. Last year, Genesis shared the album’s debut single “Don’t Need You”, which earned him his second ARIA nomination in Best Soul / R&B Release and also marked his Triple J Hottest 100 debut, entering the countdown. at #73.
Known for his dazzling and daring performances, Genesis has enraptured fans nationwide since he first burst onto the scene as a Triple J Unearthed finalist in 2015. Since then he has performed across the stages of Australia’s premiere music festivals, including Groovin’ The Moo, Spilt Milk, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Field Day, Falls Festival and Meredith Music Festival.
Around The Sound spoke to Owusu from his Canberra home in the lead up to his Perth dates.
Owusu spoke to us about the kind of music he makes, which he’s described as “21st Century punk-jazz — “I kind of said that tongue in cheek, trying to make up something ridiculous comma because I feel like trying to describe, whatever I do, it kind of sounds kind of ridiculous. If you listen to the album (Smiling With No Teeth), it goes through so many and so many different sonic areas that it kind of feels disingenuous to try to label it under one title.”
How his music compares to his peers’ — “A great driving factor for me it that I don’t really think about how I stack up against my peers and I don’t try and compare it to anyone else, in fact I try and do the opposite.”
What it was like to grow up making music in Canberra — “I remember doing my first gig at 14. I had this beard at 14 so I was getting into venues that I probably shouldn’t have been able to get into. There was a scene and it was extremely foundational.”
What it’s like to be a black artist in Australia — “I think in all facets of life, not just music, the perception of blackness is changing. It’s something that we, as black people, have expressed and known for ever, but from the outside looking in…I know, specifically, for me growing up in Canberra, all the people around me, when I was very young, the black people they knew were 50 Cent and Eddy Murphy and, from their perspective, they were one of the two people I had to choose to be as a black person.”
What we can expect from the live shows — “I don’t want to toot my own horn, but we’re at about the halfway point and I haven’t had a show on this run where multiple people haven’t said, ‘This is the best show I’ve ever seen in my life’.”
That collaboration with The Chats — “I got a call the day before the show from Eamon (Sandwith) from The Chats saying, ‘Yeah, yeah, ‘Psycho Killer’ that’s cool. Let’s do that’.”
Get the full interview here.
Genesis Owusu plays The Romsemount Hotel on 3 June and Freo.Social on 4 June.
Get tickets here.