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Rocky Dawuni was born in 1969 and originally comes from the northern Yendi Dagbon region of Ghana. He grew up at Michel Camp Army Barracks near Accra, where his father was an army sergeant. Rocky attended the University of Ghana, where he studied psychology and philosophy.
While still a student, Rocky Dawuni burst onto the African reggae scene in the early 1990's as the lead singer of the Ghanaian reggae group, Local Crisis, at the Pan African Music Festival held in the West African country's capital of Accra. In their debut performance, Dawuni's mesmerizing stage presence and powerful songs secured the group hero status. “My first band was an accident,” said Rocky. “In my first year, I met these four guys who were students there and musicians. Everyone was saying, ‘Why are we in the University if we want to be musicians? Why don’t we form a band?’”
Although Dawuni soon developed a following in his beloved, native Ghana, he decided to leave for the United States of America and pursue his musical horizons. Over the next few years, Rocky spent time writing and recording, while being exposed to the many diverse forms of music abroad as well as under-studying the music business itself.
In 1996, Rocky Dawuni released his debut recording, The Movement, one of the most anticipated reggae albums in West Africa. The artists' introspective journey into social and spiritual consciousness garnered rave reviews in the Ghanaian press and spawned two hit singles, with both "Sugar" and "What Goes Around" obtaining massive Ghanaian airplay.
In the United States, The Movement received critical acclaim and glowing praise. Mesa/Bluemoon Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, licensed "What Goes Around" and its video for release throughout the U.S. on Strictly Underground: Reggae's Next Generation, propelling the video to climb to #3 on the Reggae Video Charts in January 1997 and introducing Rocky's music to U.S. reggae radio.
In spring 1998, Aquarian Records / Who Dun It Records released Rocky's second
Crusade, written, arranged and produced by Rocky Dawuni. The album is a
sprawling philosophical journey into rhythm and soul with songs of pain,
spirituality, love, revolution and redemption. From the nyabinghi tinged
tropical jam, "Sweet Bright Day," which Dawuni describes as "an invocation of
the perfect day when all elements fall into place in our lives," to a
hauntingly powerful piece entitled, "Conqueror," which highlights a traditional
African kora player, Crusade is Dawuni's musical and spiritual war promoting
love, justice and righteousness. "It's about hope in the human spirit and
allowing God to empower us to attain the unattainable."
2007 proved to be a year of tremendous action for Dawuni, who completed a
successful tour of Israel where he performed with the country's star Mosh Ben
Ari. In March, his annual '7th Rocky Dawuni's Independence Splash' concert
celebrating Ghanaian Independence Day, attracted over 40, 000 people at La
Pleasure Beach in Accra, Ghana and Rocky also traveled extensively with UNICEF
to the northern part of his homeland to bring attention to the pressing need for
clean water and sanitation.
In June 2007 Rocky and supermodel Elle MacPherson completed a June 13 -15 humanitarian tour of Ghana as spokespersons for (RED) and the Global Fund to announce the grant of 6.4 million dollars to provide HIV / AIDS treatment. (RED) was founded by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver to harness the power of some of the world's most iconic brands in the fight against HIV / AIDS. “I have always used my concerts as a platform to engage social issues,” he says, “and not only as a spokesperson. I personally organize local musicians to work with communities and help them find sustainable solutions to problems on the ground.”
The year 2010 began with Rocky performing at the Vatican sponsored “Journey of the Spirit Festival” in mid January in Rome. From there Rocky took off for his homeland of Ghana to release his genre-bending fifth album titled "Hymns for the Rebel Soul" at a launch party at Citizen Kofi in Osu, Accra. “First, I am Ghanaian,” Dawuni explains. “I harness local elements into a whole organic form, while the arrangements overall use a contemporary global palette."
Official Web Site: www.rockydawuni.com
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