New Video: JOVM Mainstay Genesis Owusu Shares Funky and Anthemic “Tied Up!”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed and rapidly rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based JOVM mainstay Genesis Owusu.

With the release of his debut EP, 2017’s Cardrive, Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly established a reputation for being a restless, genre-blurring chameleon, whose work is rooted in powerful and deeply personal storytelling. 

Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut, 2021’s Smiling With No Teeth as the acclaimed Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay explained was essentially about “performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly. Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people, who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.”

Building upon the momentum of Smiling With No Teeth, Owusu released the Missing Molars EP in July 2021. The five-track EP served as an accompaniment to his full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP hit the cutting floor and didn’t make the album, but they manage to further continue the soul-baring narrative of its predecessor. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explained. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Adding to a breakthrough year, Owusu-Anash made his Stateside late night TV debut and went on several sold-out tours to support both SWNT and Missing Molars EPSWNT landed on a number of Best of Lists across the globe — with  triple j naming it their album of the year. The album also earned four ARIA Awards. including Album of the Year, Hip Hop Release, Artwork and Independent Release. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile both nationally and internationally, last year was an even busier year for the JOVM mainstay: He spent much of last year on the road, making stops across the global festival circuit, with sets at Lollapalooza, Osheaga and others. He also made his headlining Stateside debut, which included a high-energy, captivating stop at Bowery Ballroom, which I covered for my friends at

The JOVM mainstay also opened for a serious of internationally acclaimed and renowned artists including KhraungbinThundercat, and Tame Impala back in Australia. Adding to a remarkably busy period, the acclaimed and rapidly rising Aussie artist then released two standalone singles over that same period:

  • GTFO,” a woozy and anthemic song featuring a looped, warbling choir and wobbling bass serving as an eerie yet soaring bed for Owusu-Anash’s rapid-fire flow, military beats, explosive cymbal crashes and a shout-along-worthy chorus. While further cementing his reputation for being a restlessly experimental artist, the song also finds the listener thrown even deeper into the Ghanian-Aussie artist’s innermost world with an unvarnished, unsettling honesty. 
  • Get Inspired,” a Dann Hume and Andrew Klippel co-produced seamless synthesis of elements of New Wave, EDM, punk and hip-hop centered around an angular and propulsive bass line, a relentless mootrik groove, distorted guitars and the JOVM’s punchily delivered lyrical jabs and uppercuts. Continuing Owusu-Anash’s reputation for boldly defying and mashing genres, there’s even a falsetto delivered breakdown roughly halfway through the song. (A portion of “Get Inspired” was used in an Apple Fitness+ ad campaign. So you’ve probably heard it without realizing it.)

Along with that, Grammy-nominated musician and producer ZHU remixed “Get Inspired” turning the menacing hybrid punk song into a grimy, club track centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering, trap triplets paired with tweeter and woofer rattling beats while retaining Owusu-Anash’s rapid staccato lyrical jabs and uppercuts. ZHU also contributed a couple of auto-tuned, swaggering bars that helps to step up the original’s world-dominating swagger.

The acclaimed Aussie artist’s highly-anticipated sophomore album STRUGGLER is slated for an August 16, 2023 release through OURNESS/AWAL. Where Smiling With No Teeth thematically uncovered one Black man’s battles against — and with — depression and racism, STRUGGLER is reportedly an exploration of the chaos and absurdity of life, our ability to endure and how to get through it all. The album’s material is deeply inspired by a close friend hitting the brink and coming through the other side, along with questions of life and beauty that he found himself contemplating during readings of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis

Recorded between the States and Australia, STRUGGLER‘s producers traverse musical genres — and includes Jason Evigan, who has worked with RUFUS DU SOL and SZA; Mikey Freedom Hart, who worked on Jon Batiste’s 2021 Grammy of the Year Album, We AreSol Was, who worked on Beyoncé’Renaissance; and his long-time collaborators and producers Andrew Klippel and Dave Hammer.

Additionally, Owusu has collaborated with acclaimed Kiwi-based Lisa Reihana on the album’s complete visual identity. Reihana’s work has been showcased in elite institutions throughout the States and the EU, including the Venice Biennale for her critically-acclaimed video installation, In Pursuit of Venus [Infected]. Her work spans across a diverse of media — including film, costume and body adornment and video installation, and as a result she has earned a reputation as a world-renowned artist and producer, who engages in thought-provoking dialogues around the concert of culture. 

Earlier this year, Owusu-Anash shared STRUGGLER‘s first single, the urgent “Leaving the Light.” Beginning with a spine-crawling run of bass notes before quickly morphing into a breakneck Freedom of Choice-era DEVO-like anthem paired with the JOVM’s swaggering, larger-than-life presence and his unerring knack for rousing, shout along worthy choruses. “Leaving the Light” is a cathartic song about survival and perseverance that feels necessary in a mad, mad, mad world.

STRUGGLER‘s second and latest single, the Sol Was-produced “Tied Up!” is swaggering and funky bop built around a propulsive stomp, a swirling and warping bit of funk guitar, wobbling bass synths paired the JOVM mainstay’s forceful delivery, which speaks of the struggle of getting by in an uneasy, insane world and desperaetly holding onto oneself as best as you can in the process. Much like all of his previously released work, the song seems fueled by personal experience, deep introspection.

The accompanying video for “Tied Up!” continues the JOVM mainstay’s ongoing collaboration with Reihana, and sees Owusu as a blindfolded boxer, who throughout the course of the video runs from and his chased by his demons through a dystopian landscape. At other points, he’s fighting himself in an endless battle for his soul and sanity.

Owusu will be returning to North America for a fall headlining tour that will see him play some of the biggest venues of his career to date. The tour includes an October 20, 2023 stop at Elsewhere.

Check out the tour dates below. 


10/12 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line

10/13 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall

10/14 Ferndale, MI – The Loving Touch

10/15 Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird Music Hall

10/17 Toronto, ON – The Velvet Underground

10/18 Montreal, QC – Le Studio TD

10/19 Boston, MA – The Sinclair

10/20 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere

10/21 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts

10/25 Washington, DC – Union Stage

10/27 Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre 

10/28 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West

10/29 Nashville, TN – The Basement East

10/31 Austin, TX – Empire Control Room & Garage

11/01 Dallas, TX – The Studio at The Factory

11/03 Denver, CO – Globe Hall

11/06 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre

11/07 San Francisco, CA – The Independent

11/09 Seattle, WA – Neumos

11/10 Portland, OR – Star Theatre

11/11 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre

11/15 London, UK – Heaven

11/16 Paris, FR – Café de la Danse

11/17 Berlin, DE – Hole44

12/01 Perth, AUS – Ice Cream Factory

12/08 Melbourne, AUS – Festival Hall

12/09 Canberra, AUS – UC Refectory

12/14 Brisbane, AUS – Fortitude Music Hall

12/15 Sydney, AUS – Hordern Pavilion

12/16 Adelaide, AUS – Hindley St Music Hall