Mantra is the new single from Surf Coast multi instrumentalist Immy Owusu and his first with Melbourne label Hopestreet Recordings. Mantra is a dreamy slice of Immy’s ‘Afrodelik’ approach to music, a sound that spans psychedelic rock, funk and West African roots.
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 a legend of Ghanaian Highlife and Palm Wine music active since the 1960s. From them Immy learned Ashanti music and its instruments, added a fuzz pedal and began to experiment.
Immy spent much of the pandemic living in his caravan in the bush near Bells Beach where he wrote Mantra, letting the Australian landscape and the African rhythms percolate to create a dreamy track with unstoppable momentum. Raw and rhythmic bass and drums at the forefront, Mantra opens with a roughly picked guitar hook. Echo vocals come from all around, spooky but not ominous, telling us to face our fears and give them up to a higher power. ‘When you worry, when you’re feeling down. All your darkness, give it all to me. This is my mantra’. The track builds with layered synthesizers and pads drawing you into an unfamiliar world.
Of Mantra, Immy says ‘My family always said as a kid that when I was worried about something that I could give these negative feelings up to the Angels, The Great Mother, Jesus, God or the Universe, depending on which family member I was asking.’