Genesis Owusu has been named ACT’s Young Australian of the Year, collecting the award for his efforts in creating his debut 2021 album, Smiling With No Teeth.
Genesis Owusu — who was born in Ghana and later migrated to Canberra — can now count himself among the state’s most celebrated, with the Australian of the Year committee particularly applauding his discussion of race and mental health on Smiling With No Teeth.
That album arrived in March of last year, and in addition to its contribution to Owusu’s recent Young Australian win, also scored four ARIA Awards and the Australian music award. The rapper won the ACT honour alongside a slew of fellow Canberrans in diverse categories, with human rights and social justice campaigner, Tom Calma receiving the 2023 ACT Senior Australian of the Year.
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Speaking of his win in a statement, Owusu said he began making music as an “an extremely personal endeavour.” He continued: “All I was looking to do was represent myself in the truest possible form. I feel like encouraging drive in every person to live their truest lives will create a space where they are feeling safe and encouraged to do that.”
Owusu’s win comes on top of an already illustrious year for the rapper, who’s so far released two 2022 singles in the lead-up to a sophomore album, titled Get Inspired and GTFO. Elsewhere, he’s been named as the opening act for the North American leg of Paramore’s 2023 tour, which kicks off in North Carolina in May in support of the band’s imminent comeback album, This Is Why.
The rapper also appears on a slew of upcoming Australian festival line-ups, including Spilt Milk’s November 2022 edition in his hometown, Ballarat and the Gold Coast, as well as next year’s Party In The Paddock in Tasmania.