LOWKEY FINDS ‘REDEMPTION’ ON NEW EP

Lowkey

Despite the namesake, there’s certainly nothing lowkey about this Naarm/Melbourne-based artist.  

Notorious for his raw and contagious energy as an artist and live performer, Lowkey has become a household name among the Afro-Australian community. Since his initial leap into the limelight, the Nigerian/Liberian-born musician has graced the stage with some of Africa’s most well-known artists such as Stonebwoy, Korede Bello, and Harmonize.

Lowkey may be his name but his sound definitely isn’t. Singles like ‘Radio’ with Wilson Vanilla, or his 2020 track featuring Joe Prince, ‘Joro’ – short for Yoruba slang ‘joromi’ meaning ‘come let’s enjoy’ – capture the essence of his artistry. Known for dynamic live performances, his on-stage energy stems from his expressive authenticity.

“Being who I am as a person, being on stage, I like to challenge myself and for me, it’s not so much about who I am as a person or what I have to offer, it’s about how much impact we can make on our industry”, Lowkey says.

Performing from the tender age of 13, he initially found his passion for performing through dance. He taught dance to his high school classmates, sharing dance moves and fostering his relationship with the arts. Inspired by the early influences of Usher and Chris Brown, their integration of music and dance in their artistry inspired Lowkey to embrace both disciplines. Ultimately, Lowkey gravitated towards music as a platform to transcend physical movements and express his life manifesto through lyricism.

“I moved into music just to send my message across to the people that have been around me, how people that have been around me have affected me in a way,” he says.

His early career was part of the former duo GSTARBOYZZ (short for Genius Starboyz). As OGs in the local scene, Lowkey and Miracle invigorated the Afrobeats’ live circuit with their raw energy and exchange of synergy.

“GSTARBOYZZ is my beginning and never-ending, it’s where I became who I am today,” Lowkey adds. “Whatever platform I get at, I know G Star Boys is a place that brought me here.”

Fast forward to current successes, he graced the stage of Promiseland last year alongside Ms. Lauryn Hill, Davido, Tems, and more. While Australia has been fostering its local scene – particularly in the past few years – it’s still yet to establish itself on the international Afrobeats stage. Lowkey believes artists should build credibility to their names, not just superficial validation. “People aren’t just here in the scene just for fun like people are actually here trying to do things,” says Lowkey.

“I’ll be the next guy that will change the industry in Australia,” he explains. “That’s why I love the [Afrobeats] space because it crosses borders and unites communities. This is my home.”

His latest EP signifies the Redemption he’s found from his musical journey. Beginning with the bold statement of the smooth Afro-R&B track ‘Toxic’, Lowkey reflects on his past loverboy image. Directed by Nbreezy, the music video captures him and his partner navigating relationship conflicts in a bar setting. Vowing to amend past relationship mistakes in a poignant voiceover, the opening track quickly establishes the EP’s ethos that everything can be redeemed.

The sweet-talking continues with ‘Talk Your Shit’, exploring his internal battle as a loverboy and grappling with his fear and insecurities. Leaning on this sombre tone, the next track, ‘O’Why’ featuring MEZMURE, finds them crooning about his partner and the challenges of romantic relationships. The new EP embraces vulnerability in his uplifting Afrobeats style, aligning with his advice to “always be real to your craft and always keep to who you are.”

“No matter what room you’re in, don’t make anybody drive you from being someone different. Always maintain yourself as a human being. Stand your ground, know what you’re worth and know who you are as a person,” Lowkey says.

On the EP’s closer, the title track returns to Lowkey’s trademark sensual beats and smooth delivery, emulating the positive note he leaves us with after the trials and tribulations exhibited in the previous tracks. The project conveys that when he professed love, it was sincere and reflected genuine emotions, however, they admit that claiming to have given their all would have been dishonest due to personal confusion and lack of self-understanding at the time. 

Now, with a better grasp of themselves, they feel prepared to commit fully. Lowkey acknowledges past mistakes and distractions but finds redemption through music, leading him to create an EP-sized heartfelt gesture of dedication and sincerity in their newfound emotional clarity and maturity.

“My pain, my pain, the only way I can escape my pain is by me, spreading what I feel, saying what I feel. Redemption. It’s me. Me having faults in my relationships. It’s me not being the best guy. It’s me feeling comfortable with my environment. It’s me,” Lowkey says.

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