Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos
Only hours after he was announced as the winner of the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting prize, Independent artist Genesis Owusu returned to Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, less than a week since the venues floor collapsed during the musicians set.
This time around, Owusu was joined by Eora / Sydney-based, Korean-Australian rap crew 1300 and Mongolian Australian virtuoso throat-singer, Bukhu Ganburged. Defying genre, 1300 effortlessly weaved together hip-hop and K-pop within their set, full of boisterous moments that lyrically dart between Korean and English. The five-piece energised and engaged with the crowd, making light of last weeks events by joshing with audience members, “How about we bring the fucking roof down tonight?”. Playing through their catalogue of singles, the group provided back-to-back razor sharp verses as each member showcased their talents and dominated the stage with their performance. Ganburged took a more pulled back approach, taking to the stage with his Morin Khuur to provide a more atmospheric and ethereal set. Audience members were in awe of the artists refined musicality, stunning them with his captivating throat-singing and bewitching Morin Khuur melodies.
Having already created a dynamic musical realm within the venue, it was time for Owusu to return to the Enmore Theatre stage. Shrouded in red laser lights, the musician opened his set with CBR ZOO II as he sat perched atop a platform in resolute stillness. As soon as The Other Black Dog began to play, Owusu erupted with charisma and a commanding aura that held audience members attentions for the duration of his set. Engaging with the audience and his band, the Black Dogs, the musician darted across the stage, seldom keeping still as he played through his breakout ARIA Awards winning debut album, Smiling With No Teeth.
WUTD continued the energy, with Waiting On Ya providing a more sensual performance as the musician slinked across the stage continuing in to Gold Chains. Owusu's dynamic approach to his artistry was superbly showcased within his set, moving from the groove-laded sonics into the politically charged and biting I Don’t See Colour. Owusu had the crowd in the palm of his hand during Whip Cracker, one of the sets standout moments within an overall unforgettable performance.
We were treated to some older moments from the musicians catalogue with Wit’ da Team and Good Times, which when played alongside tracks from Smiling With No Teeth, reminded us of of the breadth and depth of Owusu’s work and his sonic evolution throughout his career. Playing through Bye Bye, Drown, Song About Fishing and No Looking Back, the curated nature of the set was brought to life through vivid stage production. Frenzied lighting flared across the stage through the sets more energetic moments, before flooding the stage in solid tones for down-tempo tracks.
There’s an undeniable synergy between Owusu and the Black Dogs, resembling a family unit on and off stage. Made up of Kirin J Callinan, Touch Sensitive, Julian Sudek, Jonti, Andrew Klippel, KYE and Kobee White, the Black Dogs continuously match Owusu’s energy, intricately working together to present an effortless performance. Callinan feeds off Owusu’s stage presence, bringing his own spirited performance with cutting guitar lines. Sudek never misses a beat whilst driving the set with his drum work, simmering beneath Owusu’s rich and textural vocals.
Closing their set with their cover of the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK following rapturous cheers from the crowd, Owusu had conquered his long-awaited Sydney show. Giving a bewitching performance, the musician had owned every inch of the stage he stomped, sauntered and danced atop, oozing with charm and power. Having conquered Australia, Owusu jets off to the U.S next week, in what is sure to be the next leg of his world domination.
Images: Vasili Papathanasopoulos.