International music star and humanitarian activist Rocky Dawuni straddles the boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. to create an appealing sound that unites generations and cultures.
With an easy-going charisma and reputation as a dedicated champion of social causes, Dawuni’s infectious grooves and dance-inducing anthems have consistently excited fans across the globe.
A galvanizing performer, Dawuni has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Jason Mraz, Janelle Monae and John Legend, among many others.
Named one of Africa’s Top 10 global stars by CNN, he has showcased his talent at prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
While at University he formed his first band, Local Crisis, with a group of friends. They had no real instruments except an acoustic guitar played by the bassist. The drummer created a kit out of cardboard and the keyboardist used a toy keyboard. Dawuni sang and performed his own original songs. They made their first demo by simply singing directly into a tape recorder.
Dawuni met his eventual life partner and manager Cary Sullivan, a photographer and producer from Los Angeles. Dawuni wished to grow musically and to make art that could spread beyond the borders of Ghana.
He felt he needed to travel and gain experience about other cultures first hand. He joined Sullivan in Los Angeles, although he continued to live part time in Ghana.
In 1996 he produced his first album, “The Movement,” backed by members of Local Crisis and other Ghanaian reggae stars. “The Movement” became a major success in Ghana with a number of hit singles including “What Goes Around” and “Sugar.”
⦁ In 2012, Dawuni was appointed the Tourism and Cultural Ambassador of Ghana and World Ambassador for the Musicians Union of Ghana. The same year, he was named a United Nations Foundation Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an initiative launched by Hillary Clinton, alongside actress Julia Roberts and chef José Andrés.
⦁ In 2013, Rocky performed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCC) in Warsaw, Poland in front of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and delegates from around the world. He also has served on a Brookings Institute think tank on cultural diplomacy (Timbuktu Action Group) as part of the efforts to restore Mali’s famed Festival Au Desert and was invited by Aegis Trust and the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center to Rwanda to meet the Minister of Youth and Culture and visit the Gihembe refugee camp in order to highlight Rwanda’s shinning efforts to heal the wounds of the past.
⦁ Rocky was designated a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Africa at a beautiful concert and designation event at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2018 held during the Global Landscapes Forum with dignitaries from all over the world.
See Info graph of Rocky’s Album trajectory from 1996 to 2019.
Dawuni’s sixth album, “Branches of the Same Tree,” was released worldwide on March 31st, 2015 by the Cumbancha record label and was subsequently nominated for a GRAMMY for “Best Reggae Album” at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards 2016. “Branches” continues to bring him an even wider international audience. Reflecting his maturity as an artist, the album highlights Dawuni’s ability to communicate a universal, uplifting message that crosses borders and reaches out to the hearts of millions. Branches features the Afro Dancehall mashup “African Thriller”and its striking accompanying video as well as “Shine A Light” which is a welcome bit of joy in these troubled times.
Rocky is currently putting on finishing touches on his much anticipated 7th album entitled “Beats of Zion” which is set to be released in early 2019. His new song “Burn One” was recently featured on tastemaker radio station KCRW as one of their “Top Tune of the Day.” Another forthcoming track from the album “Let’s Go” is the theme song for Cadbury Canada’s Bicycle Factory Campaign 2018 and the beautiful 360 degree video fro the song has already reached over 1 million views. What up next for Africa’s shining star? Stay tuned…
Watch it here: “Let’s Go” is the theme song for Cadbury Canada’s Bicycle Factory Campaign 2018
Y’ello Happy Weekend!