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Get the details about Rocky Dawuni’s ‘Beats of Zion’ album

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Get the details about Rocky Dawuni's 'Beats of Zion' album
Get the details about Rocky Dawuni's 'Beats of Zion' album. Photo Credit: Rocky Dawuni

Rocky Dawuni has announced the release of his 7th studio album ‘Beats of Zion’ out March 8th, 2019 via Six Degrees Distribution.

The 13-track album follows the GRAMMY nominated album Branches of the Same Tree,(“Best Reggae Album” in 2016) and expands Rocky’s “Afro Roots” sound to include the diversity of the Ghanaian music scene and its current global outreach.

Although Rocky’s music has had CNN naming him “Africa’s Top 10 global stars” and Ziggy Marley stating “Rocky’s music is creative inspiration that knows no boundaries,” it’s only one part of what drives his mass appeal.

Recently, Rocky was designated a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Africa at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya during the Global Landscapes Forum.

This is on top of the social campaigns and activism he’s done including work with Product (RED), ONE, UNICEF, UNESCO, The Carter Center, Clean Cooking Alliance and the United Nations Foundation.

Rocky’s travels around the world helped shape the new album Beats of Zion.

He elaborates, “Beats of Zion was born out of my desire to use my diverse global musical influences and exposure to various traditions to paint a multi-cultural musical vision of the world that I perceive. The beginning of the year saw me visit Ethiopia and India”.

“In Ethiopia, I visited Lalibela, witnessing ancient Christian rites and my journeys in India also exposed me to its diverse spiritual culture and the shared similarities I saw to Africa”.

Beats of Zion
He adds, “The title Beats of Zion” is inspired by a vision of the drumbeat of awareness and elevation of consciousness; a musical call to arms for my audience to be proactive in this day and age as to each person’s responsibility to be an active instrument for positive change.”

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Get the details about Rocky Dawuni's 'Beats of Zion' album
Get the details about Rocky Dawuni’s ‘Beats of Zion’ album

The album was recorded in the span of almost 2 years in various studios in Accra, Nairobi and Los Angeles.

In LA, Rocky was gifted studio time at the legendary Village Studios that has recorded the most influential artists including Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, and Fleetwood Mac.

Rocky ended up recording in the same studio room that Fleetwood Mac used and created the magic of the title track and “Wickedest Sound.”

Rocky found out that Fleetwood Mac were one of the memorable American classic rock bands to visit Ghana in the 1970s making the experience more special and inspired the Ghanaian traditional highlife song “Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu” as a homage to his heritage.

These 3 tracks recorded at Village Studios kicked off the entire album making process.

The title track and lead single “Beats of Zion” came out well from the Village Studios session, but was missing something on the drum tracking.

Rocky states, “We travelled to Zanzibar for a concert shortly after the recording session. At the time, I was still wanting the full African tribal effect that I had imagined.

On the eve of my concert at the amazing Sauti za Busara Festival, we saw Batimbo Percussion Magique of Burundi mount the stage and blow the minds of everyone in the audience.

I turned to my manager; Cary Sullivan who was also watching and we thought the same – ‘these are the guys for Beats of Zion’ and so the story unfolded.” The lead single will also have an accompanying video due out January 25th. “Wickedest Sound” is another song that speaks volumes, featuring Ghanaian dancehall star Stonebwoy.

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The track combines elements of modern Afrobeats with Reggae music. With production paying homage to the organic recordings of classic Highlife music, it also combines a groove driven melodic approach with the traditional call and response style of singing.

“Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu” is a sprawling remake of the Highlife classic originally recorded by Ghanaian maestro K. Frimpong.

This re-imagined version pays homage to Rocky’s Ghanaian legacy and he brought in an international cast of musicians from the US, Belize, Cuba, Ghana and Brazil to expand the traditional sound boundaries of this track.

Ghanaian lyricist Sarkodie’s rap melds current traditional pop elements to make this song an opus of sounds, harmonies and sweet melodies.

“Let’s Go” fuses pop sensibilities, Reggae and the grooves of New Orleans to create a feel good anthem of forward mobility and positive vibrations. The hand claps add an organic Gospel feel to this exhilarating song.

Other tracks that show more dimensions to the album include the Cumbia inspired dancehall track “Freedom Train” featuring Argentinian Dancehall star Alika and “Burn One” that is an homage to the social transformative power of the legalization of marijuana in the spheres of medicine, recreational use and as a primary tool for economic emancipation.

There will be beautiful high quality videos coming out for many of the tracks on the album including “Elevation” which was shot on location in southern India. It is an inspirational groove filled with a message of hope and uses the traditional Rastafarian Nyabinghi sounds.

“Champion Arise,”a track that easily fits into the current roots reggae revival sound, paints a spiritual picture with biblical imagery and inspirational lyrics about spiritual warfare for the upliftment of all people.

Rocky Dawuni is featuring Stonebwoy on his new album

The diversity and features found on the new album are in step with Rocky’s vision of constantly evolving the boundaries of his sounds and expanding its global palettes and reach.

In a time when divisive rhetoric is on the rise and the political climate prefers to build walls over bridges, Rocky’s album Beats of Zionis a refreshing message about global unity and a worldview of oneness.

Rocky passionately states, “We live in a time when the elements of international morality need to be proclaimed as a guiding principle for how we engage and deal with each other, between individuals, between communities and among nations.

It is a time for global mobilization for action on challenging socio-political issues like the environment and the refugee crisis. Beats of Zion is the drumbeat of war against apathy and re-energizing the forces of love and hope.”

He concludes, “Beats of Zion is the rhythm of change beating from a distance and getting louder to awaken positive consciousness.”

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#VGMA2019: List Of Winners – 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards

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Sarkodie wins artiste of the decade
#VGMA2019: List Of Winners – 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards

The wait is over. You voted and the results have finally been announced. Ghanamusic.com presents to you the authentic winners of the 20th-anniversary edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. Find below the list of winners and their respective categories they won in:

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Meet the hosts of the 2019 VGMA: Kwame Sefa Kayi, Berla Mundi, Giovanni & Sika

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Sika Osei
Sika Osei. Photo Credit: Charter House

Over the years, several distinguished personalities within the Ghanaian media have graced the stages of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards as hosts of the night but the 20th edition hosts are an interesting bunch.

This year’s edition features the multiple award-winning female media personality, Berla Addardey Mundi, a Ghanaian television and radio show host, women’s advocate voice artist and recently crowned as part of the four leading women in media in Ghana by Glitz Africa Magazine.

Berla holds a first class degree in linguistics and psychology from University of Ghana. She began her media career after becoming second runner up at the 2010 Miss Maliaka beauty pageant. Berla hosts reality shows and corporate events including Africa’s first syndicated show on DSTV, Moment with MO. She was recognized as the most influential Ghanaian in 2017 by Avance Media.

Mundi is known for fighting for young women. She launched a mentoring and career guidance project in 2018. It aims to offer skills training to young women. Her mission is to create a world of possibilities especially for girls, by encouraging them to believe in themselves, pursue and achieve their goal. She establish the Berla Mundi foundation in 2015.

Next on the list is Ghana’s very own ‘Chairman General’, Kwame Sefa Kayi, another multiple award-winning Ghanaian media personality, journalist and public speaker. He is currently the host of Peace FM’s morning show popularly known as “Kokrokoo”.

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He completed his secondary education at the Okuapeman Secondary School and moved on to gain admission into the Ghana Institute of Journalism, where he obtained Certificate in Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing and Certificate In Advanced Communication.

He commands an enviable reputation within his field of play and is a highly esteemed personality in the Ghanaian society with several decades of experience in the media. He is the go-to person for an MC in a gathering of royals, presidents and the creme de la creme in society- a befitting personality for the 20th anniversary celebration of Ghanaian music.

For the pre-event red carpet sessions at this year’s VGMAs, guests would be welcomed by the presenting skills of 3 FM’s Giovanni Caleb who was formerly the renowned co-host of Starr Drive on Starr 103.5 FM and Duvet on GhOne TV, Giovanni Caleb.

He would be partnered by Ghanaian/Nigerian actress, producer and TV host, Sika Osei. She is widely known for her roles in popular movies such as 3 Nights Ago (2016), In Line (2017) and Sidechic Gang (2018).

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Finally; Darkovibes to release his debut album. Photo Credit: Darkovibes

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