Genesis Owusu has taken out the 17th edition of the SoundMerch Australian Music Prize with their critically-acclaimed album, Smiling With No Teeth.
Announced today at a ceremony in Melbourne, the artist’s debut album was revealed as the winner of the prestigious title, beating out albums by the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Martha Marlow, Amyl and The Sniffers, Odette, and veteran music icons Nick Cave & Warren Ellis.
“This means a lot. This is an award with a lot of esteem, not to mention putting real money back into music at a time like this is so crucial. I’m super grateful, and I’m keen to use this prize to help spread my art across the world, shouting out Australian talent on the way,” Genesis Owusu said.
Produced by 2021 ARIA Award winning producers Andrew Klippel and Dave Hammer, plus Matt Corby,
Harvey Sutherland and Joe LaPorta, Smiling With No Teeth has garnered the Ghanaian-Australian artist massive success since it was released almost a year ago to the date. The record took out four ARIA Awards for Album of the Year, Best Hip Hop Release, Best Independent Release and Best Cover Art, as well as Australian Video of the Year and Australian Album of the Year at the 2021 J Awards.
“When we appoint judges we don’t tell them how to judge, or what we’re looking for. We simply say that this prize is about the album format (so don’t base your judgement on 1, 2 or 3 tracks) and that originality is the number one consideration. Smiling With No Teeth stacks up perfectly as said so by at least 80% of our judging panel. Well done Kofi and your support team.” Scott Murphy, AMP Founder/Director shared.
First awarded in 2005, the Australian Music Prize is often described as “Australia’s richest music prize”, with the winner taking home not only prestige, but $30,000 in prize money thanks to SoundMerch. This year’s award saw judges pare down a longlist of 110 albums to a shortlist of nine, with some of the year’s finest releases making the cut.