International reggae icon, global ambassador and humanitarian activist of Ghanaian origins, Rocky Dawuni, is set to drop his highly anticipated 7th studio album, Beats of Zion, on March 8th, 2019.
The thirteen-track set 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 listing him as part of “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.
Dawuni’s eloquence, cultural diplomacy and passionate activism have led him to become a moving spokesperson for various global causes.
Recently, Rocky was designated a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for Africa at a beautiful concert at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2018 at the Global Landscapes Forum with dignitaries from all over the world.
This is on top of the social campaigns and activism he’s done including work with Product (RED), ONE, UNICEF, The Carter Center, Clean Cooking Alliance and the United Nations Foundation.
Additionally, with UNESCO’s recent designation of Reggae music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Rocky Dawuni represents one of the leading African global voices of Reggae.
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.”
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.”
The album was recorded in the span of almost 2 years in various studios in Ghana – Accra, Nairobi – and Los Angeles, California.
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 room as Fleetwood Mac and created the magic of the title track “Beats of Zion” and “Wickedest Sound.”
Rocky found out that Fleetwood Mac visited Ghana in the 1970s which made the experience more special and inspired the Alhaji K Frimpong’s 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.
Rocky Dawuni is one of Ghana’s best-traveled musicians these days.
He lives between Los Angeles and Accra, but his signature “Afro Roots” sound—a blend of reggae, highlife, Afrobeat and more—brings him to concert stages and recording studios in places like Zanzibar, Nairobi, and Harare, Zimbabwe, as well as throughout Europe and the United States.
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.”