Brown Supremacy is the second single from Surf Coast multi instrumentalist Immy Owusu and is built on samples of legendary Zamrock band Amanaz’s classic “Easy Street” (1975). Immy and Amanaz exist decades and continents apart but a shared love of Hendrix-esque fuzz guitars and deep connection to West African tradition makes it a natural combination.
Immanuel Kwabena Dreessens-Owusu grew up in two worlds: the sea bleached lifestyle of Torquay and the Surf Coast with its rock n roll soundtrack, and the musical heritage of his Ghanaian / Dutch family. Immy’s father Kojo is one of Australia’s best regarded West African musicians and his grandfather Koo Nimo is foundational figure of Ghanaian Highlife. On Brown Supremacy, Immy takes Amanzaz loops, and weaves his own songwriting over the top, keeping the iconic riff and the “get together, stay together” hook from the original. He adds chunky kicks and snares, fuzz atmospherics, and ‘Castles Made Of Sand’ reverse delay guitar.
Zamrock was a 1970s movement of Zambian artists who took psychedelic rock and reframed it in an African context. Too far ahead of their time, artists like Amanaz didn’t achieve global recognition until successful reissues and compilations in the 21st century. Now their music has found kindred spirits all the way to Bells Beach where Immy has flipped it into ‘a song dedicated to every kid that grew up in a rural town that felt like they didn’t belong’.
Immy says, ‘When I first moved to Torquay, for some kids I was the first ‘black’ person they had ever seen before, and their first experience from any other culture that wasn’t their own. In high school I pushed away from people who looked like me in an attempt to fit into the establishment. How ‘black’ I felt was compounded by how ‘white’ I was treated by my Ghanaian family (in Africa). For me this song is my story about finding a place to belong.’