Disruption is the norm

Abnormal, strange or alien artists are not new. From Minnie Ripperton to David Bowie, from Bjork to Jimmy Hendrixx or even Wagner, sculptural and disruptive artists have set the tone for many centuries. The last 20 years, « urban » music has gained a lot of popularity, and house or hip hop have known massive musical and creatives transformations. After growing up with Missy Elliott, Florence, Enya or Theophilus London songs, I felt like a new energy was coming for my generation and the next ones, in terms of music. In my last year article on Kid Cudi and Mura Masa, I talked about the emergence of a new wave of musicians that center their music on rock, folk and indie. The last months have aligned with how I was feeling. Yves Tumor‘s and Genesis Owusu‘s 2020 projects have lulled my last months of 2020. The artists are totally different but they reassembled a similar energy that I had been waiting for. Here’s an article to present to you two current musical figures.


Yves Tumor born Stevie Bowie are a living enigma. With their multiple cultural influences due to their different places of living, the artist’s music is mystical. In 2018, after years in the industry as producers and songwriters for mostly European alt artists, Yves Tumor delivered us their first project titled « Safe In The Hands of Love ». The 10 song project is well composed and rich in music genres, although rock dominates most of the project. The 2018 album somehow settled Yves Tumor musical marks : some titles are profound, dark and warm as the song « Lifetime ». The first song of the project serves as an intro. « Faith In Nothing Except In Salvation » introduces us to his sphere. It’s a battle between chords and drums, an epic melody close to a Sun Ra composition. The song « Recognizing The Enemy » is soft and powerful at the same time. Close to a 90’s garage melody, we can hear the artist expressing their mental and emotional issues with a phantasmagoric voice. Yves Tumor‘s project is inhabited by symphonic wars accompanied by a terrific vocal message. It announces the artist’s appreciation for the supernatural and metaphysical world, or simply their own world.

Yves Tumor‘s 2020 project « Heaven To A Tortured Mind » (under the label Warp Records) is in continuity. The project is produced by the British producter Justin Raisen (who has worked with Charli XCX, Santigold and more), Yves Rothman and Yves Tumor themselves. « Heaven To A Tortured Mind » is elegant but also hardcore and maybe pop. As the title of the album says itself, Yves Tumor seem to have organize their thoughts and espouse his inner demons. We enter the project with the sublime song « Gospel For A New Century », the anthesis of what gospel could sound like, it’s heretic. But in terms of intensity, the song is also a source of invisible energy. It’s out of this world. « Kerosene » is the epitome of the project. It’s a synergy of two entities, the song sounds like the introduction to a new story, a new cosmic journey. Like Adam and Eve or a first spiritual union, Yves Tumor and Diana Gordon are interacting on an infernal ballad. On « Greater Love », the electric guitar and the battery are fighting the tenderness and the sensuality of the melody and the artist’s voices. That’s the major feeling that the project sends us : a fight between alternate emotional states, which is universal. Yves Tumor‘s music can’t be stored in a box : it feels apocalyptic and appealing, like a guilty pleasure. The artists succeeded in using their voice to transform what can scare us into something mesmerizing and gorgeous. Their music turned out to be one of the best discoveries I had in a long time.


Genesis Owusu born Kofi Owusu-Ansah is Ghanaian and Australian. The 22 year old artist’s music is unique as it affects the limits of our brains. I first heard of him at the end of 2020 with the single « The Other Black Dog », a thwart electro-pop song in which the singer sounds like someone is chasing him. It’s all about the symbolism of the dominate and dominated in Genesis Owusu‘s vision. His melodic universe is glamorous yet clandestine and subversive. With his facial bandages and black sunglasses, the artist has created a wounded character, wounded socially and so, physically. This metaphor is also heard in his music. Genesis Owusu is in search of a certain peace of mind. In his latest song « Gold Chains », the singer is philosophically talking about his ethereal confinement. His golden chains symbolize a level to abolish for his ultimate freedom of mind and existing.

Genesis Owusu impersonates the perfect misfit and outsider, searching his way in this fucked up world. The artist has no specific musical footprint, his songs navigate between euphoric pop like « WUTD » or even new wave hip hop like « Awomen amen ». Genesis Owusu‘s music reminds me of the musical arrival of Sia, MGMT or even the 2010 N.E.R.D era. The castling and acute voice of the artist completes the songs by giving them a threatening tone. Some songs like « Don’t Need You » or « I Am » incarnate this new French/European pop wave era. Genesis Owusu‘s world is divided between love and hate, sadness and happiness, everything that we can sense. Still, he embraces those sensations with passion and creativity. I can’t wait for the artist’s first « project » even tough that I’m already conquered.

Finally, Yves Tumor and Genesis Owusu don’t have much in common in terms of fantasy and music. But their music has a certain energy, which emblematize a will to free themselves from social and cultural established laws. The artists, as many others like Charli XCX, JPEGMAFIA or Sophie (rest in peace), are opening the way to new ways to conceive and apprehend music. And I feel privileged to live at the same time as the conception of their music. Hope you enjoyed this article.


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