Genesis Owusu is no outsider: interview on Up for It! with Bindi Mutiara
August 17th 2023
STRUGGLER is the imminent release from Australian national treasure Genesis Owusu (the moniker of Kofi Owusu-Ansah). The album’s two singles, ‘Leaving The Light’ and ‘Tied Up’, display the Canberra rapper’s signature percussive, synth-laden and deeply introspective approach to music-making. Kofi joined Bindi Mutiara to discuss his experience as an increasingly popular artist and the album’s existentialist trappings.
When asked about the pressures of popularity, Kofi talked about the need to retain the realness that marked his previous endeavors.
“You can’t really represent everyone without really becoming this very generic, nonspecific blob of everything. It has to be true and authentic because in that, that’s when people can come on board.”
“I just keep doing me and it seems to work.”
Here, the word authentic is no accident. Kofi spoke of his reading of existentialist fiction as a crucial influence on his writing process, citing Camus and Kafka in particular.
“I approached this album more like an author writing a book, I guess because of the stuff I’ve surrounded myself with.”
Thematically, the album deviates from the highly confessional Smiling With No Teeth. The era of the roach explores the universal pressures of simply existing in an uncertain world, in particular one with the turbulence of the past few years.
“All of these things that should’ve like logically crushed us didn’t and we just kept crawling and struggling.”
“Those personal experiences you learn aren’t so specifically personal. A lot of the things you’re going through are universal.”
“As much as I am the roach, I’m not the roach and everyone is the roach.”
To hear more, including Kofi’s thoughts on his portrayal as an outsider or his aspirations for some time off, listen back to his full interview with Bindi up top. You can also stream ‘Tied Up’ below while you await the release of STRUGGLER.