Genesis Owusu IS the future of Australian hip-hop. His debut album ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ is a versatile and honest collection of tracks that creates its own immersive world for the listener to lose themselves within. Hitting the road for a national headlining tour, his two sold out shows at The Triffid in Brisbane were a masterclass in how to engage an audience with a theatrical show that still felt intimate at its core. The show worked in its small venue setting, but with how it was structured and visually represented it could easily be adapted into an arena. You felt like you were witnessing something huge, and really…you were.
With ‘On The Move!’ blasting through the sound system while white lights flashed, three masked dancers marched their way onto the stage holding a ‘Beware: Black Dogs” banner. With the stage now drowned in red lighting Genesis Owusu appeared covered in face bandages and immediately brought a whole lot of energy with ‘The Other Black Dog’ and ‘Waitin On Ya’ making early appearances in the setlist.
The set was super tight with electric choreography really bringing his vision to life. ‘Gold Chains’ saw the dancers holding a ‘Don’t Forget To Smile’ banner before showering the crowd in confetti, while ‘Don’t Need You’ was an anthemic crowd singalong with an added Soulja Boy ‘Crank That’ dance moment which was pure genius.
Jumping into the crowd for his self proclaimed “favourite song on the album” ‘Drown’, he turned the general standing area into a mosh as he hyped everyone up and celebrated with the fans directly. Getting the audience to hold up the lights on their phone during ‘A Song About Fishing’ he created that vulnerable intimacy that he then transferred to ‘No Looking Back’ when he went and sat on the barrier to sing the song. While he had a little breather, there was a whole lot of high energy that rounded out the set with songs like ‘Whip Cracker’ and ‘Black Dogs!’ giving the show its well deserved climax.
This was an unforgettable and special show that is still replaying in my head. Genesis Owusu is an artist who is truly only just getting started and one day you will be seeing him play arenas and waving the Australian hip-hop flag proudly on an international scale.
Check out the full gallery captured by Max Wenke Photography
Photos by Max Wenke