New kid on the Hip-Hop block, Owen Kay releases his debut radio single ‘Stakes are High’ featuring Billboard #1 artist, Louise Carver today. The single is accompanied by the music video which is released today as well.
Truthfulness, competence and exploration are three words to describe this powerful artist. Owen Kay met Louise Carver through a mutual friend. The friend gave her his music and she called him within minutes of hearing it.
“Owen’s beats, lyrics and raps hit you right in the pit of your stomach. It’s immediate, it’s powerful and I’ve never heard such raw talent.” Louise Carver signed him to her label, CARVER Entertainment, and they went to work on his single ‘Stakes are High’.
When asked about the meaning of ‘Stakes are High’, Owen Kay explains: “’Stakes Are High’ is an amalgamation of the fears I had. I felt I needed to isolate myself to better understand who I am but I was scared of that solitude. I also felt rage towards where I believed Hip-Hop was going and my complacency at the time. I was feeling so frustrated. I feel privileged to have Louise working on this song with me, and I don’t think it would have worked with any other artist. I believe it is the perfect collaboration between two different but equally soulful voices.”
The music video for ‘Stakes are High’ was filmed by acclaimed video director, Matthew Marinus. Carver explains the concept behind the video, saying: “The setting we shot the music video in was very important, as it needed to show the grittiness of life for so many people in South Africa. We chose to shoot parts of the music video in a studio used by emerging African artists, called August House, which is situated in Doornfontein, Joburg.
‘Owen Kay feat Louise Carver – Stakes Are High’ is out now across all digital platforms right here…
We then went onto the roof, which has become an urban sculpture garden with a Mandela mural in the background. It was also very important to incorporate a taxi into the video, as this is how Owen gets around and many of his rhymes were written in transit. Finally, we filmed scenes at Orlando Towers as this is part of Owen’s every day landscape: an iconic, colourful structure symbolic of vibrant Soweto, which always has his heart.”
25 year old Owen Kay grew up in Protea Glen, Soweto and started rapping at the age of fifteen after spending most of his teenage years battling depression following the loss of someone very special to him. Writing and performing was his escape to vent his pain and to understand who he was and what he wanted to become. He raps about society, his peers and reflects on how he could do better and be better as a person. Fiercely self-critical, his words resonate with not only the millennials, but with everyone who has the guts to step back and ask: “How can we do more?”
Why Hip-Hop? Owen Kay believes Hip-Hop can tackle some of the issues society faces in a way that connects with people who are going through similar things. What he doesn’t like is the misogyny that can come up in lyrics and music videos, whereby guys are glorified for treating woman as sex objects. Growing up with two sisters, Owen Kay knows how powerful women are and only wants his lyrics to reflect the values instilled in him.
One who else he’d like to work with, Owen says: “Locally, I would like to work with A.K.A, Zubz and Proverb. Internationally, it would have to be Eminem, Devlin and J. Cole”
Watch the music video for ‘Owen Kay feat. Louise Carver – Stakes are High’: