Struggler by Genesis Owusu | Album of the Year | 2023 ARIA Awards
The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards are the most prestigious music awards in the country, honouring the best achievements and talents in the Australian music scene. The 2023 ARIA Awards ceremony was held on 18 November 2023 at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, hosted by comedian and musician Tim Minchin.
One of the most coveted awards of the night was Album of the Year, which recognises the most outstanding and creative album released by an Australian artist in the eligibility period. The nominees for this category were:
- How Many Dreams? by DMA’S, a genre-bending mix of indie rock, Britpop revival, dance and orchestration, produced by Rich Costey, Stuart Price and Konstantin Kersting.
- DRUMMER by G Flip, the second album by the multi-instrumentalist and singer, featuring elements of pop, R&B, hip hop and funk, produced by G Flip and Eric J Dubowsky.
- Everything’s Fine by Matt Corby, the third album by the singer-songwriter, showcasing his soulful vocals and groovy arrangements, produced by Corby and Chris Collins.
- The Winding Way by The Teskey Brothers, the third album by the indie blues rock duo, featuring their signature vintage soul sound and heartfelt lyrics, produced by Eric J Dubowsky.
The winner of the Album of the Year award was STRUGGLER by Genesis Owusu, the second album by the Ghanaian-born, Canberra-based rapper and musician. The album was described by Rolling Stone Australia as “a collision of experimental post-punk, rap, and R&B”, and by Exclaim! as “amalgamating elements of post-punk, R&B, hip-hop, funk, new wave, psychedelic rock and more”.
STRUGGLER is a concept album that follows the journey of a cockroach-like character who tries to survive in a chaotic and absurd world. The album features guest appearances by Hiatus Kaiyote, Cosmo’s Midnight, Touch Sensitive and Kirin J Callinan, and was produced by Andrew Klippel, Dave Hammer, Henry Was, Jackson Rau, Jason Evigan, Mikey Freedom Hart, Pat Morrissey, Psymun, Sol Was and Valley Girl.
In his acceptance speech, Genesis Owusu thanked his collaborators, his fans, his family and his team, and dedicated the award to his late brother, who passed away in 2020. He also expressed his gratitude for being able to make music that reflects his identity and vision. “This album is a testament to the fact that you can be yourself, you can be different, you can be weird, you can be whatever you want to be, and still be successful and still be celebrated,” he said.
The other nominees congratulated Genesis Owusu on his win, and praised his album as a groundbreaking and innovative work of art. The Teskey Brothers said, “We’re so happy for you, mate. You’ve made an incredible album that pushes the boundaries of music and inspires us all.” DMA’S said, “You deserve this award, bro. You’ve created something unique and powerful that speaks to the times we live in.” G Flip said, “You’re a legend, G. You’ve shown us that anything is possible with music and creativity.” Matt Corby said, “You’re a genius, man. You’ve crafted a masterpiece that challenges and moves us.”
STRUGGLER by Genesis Owusu is available to stream and purchase on all major platforms.