Genesis Owusu's high-octane, genre-bending NON-COMM set was a feast for the ears and eyes - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Genesis Owusu - NON-COMM 2023
Genesis Owusu
  • Other Black Dog
  • What You Tryina Do
  • Waitin On Ya
  • Void
  • Gold Chains
  • Get Inspired
  • Don't Need You
  • Good Times

The NON-COMMvention is, in many ways, defined by variety. Like non-commercial triple-A radio as a whole, it is a convention that brings together a group of people that pride themselves on going against the grain. But even among an assortment of music, Australia’s Genesis Owusu was something wholly unique. I don’t have all the necessary data in front of me, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Owusu is the first artist to ever enter the The Music Hall stage on the shoulders of his bandmate, announcing his presence to the World Cafe Live audience in a way only he could.

What followed was a high-octane set in which Owusu, a recent Artist To Watch here at WXPN, played tracks from throughout his catalog, including “Other Black Dog,” “Get Inspired,” and “Good Times.” Just as important as the music, a sultry and arresting blend of R&B and hip-hop, was the presentation, which included chains, masks, robes and enough swagger to power a commercial radio station. I couldn’t possibly do the visuals justice (for that, you can check out our excellent set of shots from Ellen Miller) but a feast for the eyes it surely was.

It really cannot be overstated how well Owusu represents the very idea at the heart of this week-long celebration of non-commercial triple-A radio. You got the sense early in his set that not many people in the audience were intimately familiar with his songs, but that mattered very little once things got going. People listen to independent radio to hear things they don’t know, and might one day love and this sensation was palpable on Wednesday night as you could practically hear people furiously saving his music on their streaming service of choice as they exited the venue. “Don’t Forget To Smile” read a sign shown half-way through the set, a reminder few needed after Owusu’s dynamite performance.

Genesis Owusu - Full Set (NON-COMM 2023)
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