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Ghana’s international music star ROCKY DAWUNI has leveraged his popularity within and without of the Continent to champion social causes and inspire a generation of artists and fans alike. Dawuni’s eloquence as well as his successful melding of musical celebrity and social action has made him a spokesperson for various causes worldwide. Over the last few years, Rocky’s music and electric live performances have attracted thousands to his concerts.
Rocky’s 5th studio album, “Hymns for the Rebel Soul” was officially released in the US on May 25, 2010 by Aquarian Records. The 11 song album was inspired and written over the course of his travels around the world particularly Israel, Finland, Jamaica, U.S. and Ghana in his quest to articulate and craft a record that reflected the common spiritual, political and social aspirations of ordinary folks around the world. With the songs written, the main tracking and recording took place in Los Angeles during the transformative period of the 2008 U.S. presidential election and concluded on inauguration day. Rocky sees this album as a musical exploration in global consciousness.
Video Game Giant EA (Electronic Arts) licensed the first track off the album “Download the Revolution” from their FIFA Soccer 2010 video game which has sold millions of copies already. EA has also licensed “African Reggae Fever” for their FIFA World Cup 2010 video game which was released in May 2010. (Two tracks from his previous recording Book of Changes were also featured on EA’s FIFA 2008 and Simms video games.) “African Soccer Fever” a remix of his “African Reggae Fever” song became one of the main songs of the FIFA World Cup 2010.
In the US, Dawuni’s progressive fusion of Reggae, Soul and traditional African sounds, have been making steady inroads in the entertainment industry. He can be seen/heard alongside Bono from U2 in the video and song remake of “War /No more Trouble” for the highly successful “Playing for Change: Songs around the World” album. Rocky Dawuni is also featured with other global stars on “Tribute to a Reggae Legend” with his genre bending rendition of “Sun is Shining” by Bob Marley which was released by Putumayo Records in July 2010. Rocky has received extensive airplay on flagship stations like KCRW as well as prominent exposure for this music on hit TV shows like Weeds, ER and Dexter.
Dawuni is creator and headliner of his annual music festival “Rocky Dawuni Independence Splash” held every March 6th in his native Ghana which is produced by his NGO Africa Live! The annual event in Ghana attracts upwards of 30,000 people every year and has become the rallying point for his extensive humanitarian and advocacy work on clean water, HIV AIDS, poverty eradication and girl child education issues. Dawuni has made several extensive trips throughout Northern Ghana in conjunction with UNICEF & the Carter Center, helping to shed light on the acute water / sanitation problems and helping to spur practical and sustainable solutions reflective of his ongoing quest to use music as a tool for social development. Rocky has served as a personality for Product (RED) led by U2’s front man Bono and Bobby Shriver supporting The Global Fund’s initiatives on HIV/ AIDs in Africa.
Rocky is also the brainchild of Los Angeles’ world renown Thursday night club, Afro Funke’, which has been the premier African based night in Los Angeles for over 7 years. Afro Funke’ is frequented by an extremely diverse clientele of all ethnicities and ages who are drawn to the incredible music and ambiance of the night. His presence there also draws a cross section of celebrities who enjoy soaking in the vibes with him including Prince, India.Arie, Stevie Wonder, Reverend Michael Beckwith (The Secret) and many more.
Rocky has performed around the world at many the biggest stages for World and Reggae music events. Rocky’s recent performances include the 18,000 strong “We Day” event in Toronto, Canada alongside Somalian superstar K’Naan at the Air Canada Center for Free The Children. He also did a live performance on international tastemaker radio station KCRW 89.9FM with Jason Bentley on “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on early September 2010. He next appeared at the brand new Hawaii Spirit Music Festival on the north shore of Oahu and then at the Freedom Awards with international super star, Jason Mraz in Los Angeles wich will be televised by Halogen TV in January 2011!! Rocky was recently nominated for “Outstanding World Music Album” by the very prestigious NAACP Image Awards alongside Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo, Bobby McFerrrin and Michael Franti which will be broadcast list on March 4, 2011 on Fox TV.