"They are going to think it's a party song but if you look into the lyrics it's actually about me as a young'un ... dealing with racism."
"The music represents my outside personality while the lyrics represents what goes on in my head," explains Kojo Ansah, otherwise known as Citizen Kay, as to how he goes about drawing in his fans to the more serious tone behind his lyrics. "The game plan is to wrap music up into this fun atmosphere and trick people into liking it and hopefully they will eventually delve into it more."
Born in Ghana, the Canberran rapper has grown up in Australia's capital from the age of six and through his music has battled with topics of racism as seen through his own eyes. Putting his frustrations into hip hop has only made him stronger, albeit guised in beautifully packaged hip hop production.
"Growing up in the Australian culture, you adopt this carefree attitude so if someone would say something offensive to me I wouldn't blow up about it."
"The best example is a song called Life Gives You Lemons — when most people listen to that they are going to think it's a party song but if you look into the lyrics it's actually about me as a young'un when I first moved to Australia and dealing with racism. It's a really heavy topic but it's been wrapped up in this uptempo celebratory vibe. Growing up in the Australian culture, you adopt this carefree attitude so if someone would say something offensive to me I wouldn't blow up about it, I would just kinda brush it off, but really it made me self-conscious inside. So the approach I took with that song was the lyrics were more my inside-head while the music was how I would play it off."
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Following on from Demokracy, the mini-album released last November, Ansah's debut With The People is primed for a jump-off later this month and features triple j fav Wax On Wax Off. Although he's confident of being well known across his hometown, this album marks the first body of work the MC will deliver to the Australian public representing everything that sums up Citizen Kay. This comes in response to his so-called haters who thought he just dropped that dope-ass party shit. "I can be like, "Yo! Listen to the music, braaah!' This was the first one I wanted to put a lot of personal things into. For me this is also a chance to see how far my name has travelled."
Ansah is gearing up for a sizeable run of tour dates, travelling the nation over the next few months, providing a chance to go live and direct with his fanbase. "It's exciting just to get out there again. I'm someone who just loves performing and loves being on stage," he admits. "Performing is something I've always done naturally."
In preparation for his album tour, Ansah launched an exciting set at Cronulla's Sounds Of The Suburbs event, late September, holding it down as the evening's only rap act. "I didn't know what I was in for, really. I realised most of the line-up was heavy rock and I was the only other genre. But playing in that environment and having that response really hyped me for the tour and reminded me how much I love being up on stage. I saw this as a 'get back in your element' [opportunity] before I went back out on tour. It was a good time and really reminded me of what it was about."