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Monday, February 14, 2011

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR .... Rocky Dawuni

Rocky Dawuni is a true champion for social causes and an inspiration not only to his home land Ghana but to many people worldwide. He has been credited for taking the message of Reggae music globally; and winning accolades, respect, awards and hearts along his journey.

Over the last few years, Rocky’s music and electric live performances have attracted thousands to his concerts. Superstars such as Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz and Peter Gabriel have joined him on stage at his shows to tremendous response and reviews. His album Hymns for the Rebel Soul has been nominated this year for the prestigious NAACP Image Awards. His songs have been repeatedly featured on sports games released by sports gaming company EA Sports. Rocky will again be performing with Stevie Wonder at the Hollywood Bowl on July 24th.

A busy man Rocky is; so we at i-reggaenation are extremely grateful that he took the time out to be featured in our first series of "Five Questions For", where we post five questions [yes, only five questions] to a trailblazing Reggae star. 

Now here are our questions for Rocky Dawuni:

You were hailed as “Ghana’s Bob Marley” by one of England’s most influential newspaper, New Nation. How do you feel to be compared to such an iconic legend as Bob Marley?
This does not bother me at all as you know every artist has to be compared to someone. For me Bob Marley represents a stellar example of using the power of music to entertain, inspire as well as bridge existing social divisions wherever they may exist. My aim is basically the same to use my musical platform to promote social justice and peace in my generation. People see these similarities in purpose and of course, he is one of my main musical influences. In the long run there is only one Bob Marley and when the sun sets on my work it will be judged on its own merit.
What sparked your journey into Reggae music?
Growing up in Ghana, Reggae was the music of rebellion and the expression of the dispossessed. It was popular in the schools, ghettos and among the lower ranks of Ghana's military. My father was a soldier so I got exposed to its power early on in the Barracks and then there was the realization that it was the perfect vehicle for projecting my world view. Reggae music from its beginnings has been on the side of those without voices and the common man. As an emerging musician I wanted my music to touch people and be a source of inspiration and empowerment. Reggae music was already a tried and tested medium for these aspirations so it was love at first sight.
You have journeyed to the holy city Jerusalem, what was that journey like, and how receptive were the people to your message of Reggae music?
It was a transcendental experience! Jerusalem represents the intersection of many of the major religions whose foundations can be traced to the prophet Abraham. My intention was to gaze beyond the political divisions and embrace that peace and harmony that this city symbolizes in our past and our emerging future. My visit took place on the eve of Shavout which is one of the holiest days of Judaism and the concert was on the outskirts of Tel Aviv the following day. The vibes were high and the crowd was really incredible. Jerusalem taught me the importance and urgency of using music to overcome all obstacles and to work to bring people together.
Firstly, our heartiest congratulations to you on your NAACP Image Awards nomination; how does it feel to be nominated for such a prestigious award?
Thank you very much. The nomination is definitely a great feeling and a humbling one as well. My category is with an amazing cast of musical greats like Herbie Hancock, Michael Franti, Angelique Kidjo and Bobby McFerrin. It’s a great honor for me and all Ghanaians to be included with this group. The nominated album "Hymns for the Rebel Soul" is an album that was inspired and written in different parts of the world and represents a true and organic global musical vibe. The nomination also has great historic symbolism since the founder of NAACP; W.E.B Dubois lived in Ghana and was a great inspiration to the founding father of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. As a musician I've always championed the core ideals of these founding fathers in connecting Africa to the African Diaspora.
What can we expect from Rocky Dawuni in the near future?
Climbing to new heights to bring God's light and spread peace and harmony…all through the power of sweet sweet music!!

To keep up with Rocky Dawuni on his musical journey; you can follow him on his facebook fan page or book mark his website


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