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    Rocky Dawuni talks of his music, branding Ghana, and today's political trends

    by Oral Ofori, myZongo.com
    posted Saturday, 30 April 2011 20:12| 0 Comments

    Ghana's musical sensation and growing reggae superstar, Rocky Dawuni.Ghana's musical sensation and growing reggae superstar, Rocky Dawuni, has said in a soul to soul interview with this reporter that the global political scene is undergoing a revolution and it is up to the forces of good to take advantage of this revolution for the overall benefit of the world, this is because the forces of negativity are also looking to exploit the current political state of the world to their singular advantage.

    Rocky said this as he spoke to us from his part time base in Los Angeles, California about his recent appointment as the "Tourism Ambassador of Ghana" by Akua Sena Dansua, Ghana's Minister of Toursim. This appointment came about earlier this April 2011 after Rocky's efforts at projecting Ghana positively on the global stage was noticed by the Tourism Ministry of Ghana. Prior to his appointment by the Government of Ghana, Rocky has already been seen as an ambassador for the country through the global music stage.

    This elevation is purely ceremonial; a non-paid and non-political one which will see Rocky helping Ghana with his influences across the music world to promote the branding of Ghana wherever he appears on the globe. Mr. Dawuni says he accepted this position purely out of the burning desire to be of service to his country; a responsibility which falls on every Ghanaian wherever they find themselves in the world, irrespective of their political affiliations and social beliefs.

    Rocky Dawuni is also a member of the board of Advisers of the Jammin Java Corporation, a publicly traded company on the US Stock Exchange and producers of the world acclaimed Marley Coffee. This appointment was made by the Chairman of the Board, Rohan Marley, son of the great reggae icon Bob Marley. As a musician and a social artiste, the Ghanaian reggae superstar believes his work and music which has gained a lot of attention globally is what drew Jammin Java Corporation to appoint him member of its Advisory Board. Rocky's personality according to Jammin Java Corporation, ideally represents their brand and ideologies in today's time and era--hence their appointment of Rocky to help craft their corporate vision as both the company and musician's profile continues to grow.

    The Ghanaian reggae musician who personally embraces all these appointments with humility also sees them as his way of taking positive advantage of the current shifting in the global musical sphere. His agenda is to be a force to effect change positively for the overall benefit of not just Ghanaians, but of all people everywhere in the world by using his music as a powerful tool. Dawuni's music has also won him recognition in the eyes of the NAACP (National Association on the Advancement of Colored People) Awards organizers following their nomination of him for their 42nd Image Awards in the "Outstanding World Music Album" category alongside great musicians including Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin and Angelique Kidjo.

    The NAACP Image Awards are one of the most respected awards among the African American community in the United States which recognizes the works of people of color in all disciplines from acting to music to sports and other disciplines. This nomination is as a result of Rocky Dawuni's current album entitled "Hymns for the Rebel Soul" making it into the world music category. The album being primarily of the Reggae genre, has been able to transcend the boundaries of just one genre and thereby drawing attention to itself globally. The nomination didn't come as a great surprise to Rocky who personally says he already knew the potential of his album. Lots of energy and time went into the making of the record which contains songs that were written all around the world in countries like Ghana, Finland, Indonesia and Israel.

    To Rocky, the uniqueness about his album's nomination is the fact that though it's an independently released project under Aquarian Records; his own record label, it has managed to gain global attention and following, to the extent of competing shoulder to shoulder with other nominees who have the backings of huge and critically acclaimed Grammy award winning recording labels. This speaks to the quality with which the music is associated. This also goes to elevate the profile of Reggae music, African music and Ghanaian music in general. This achievement draws home the fact that Rocky Dawuni has no limits as far as achieving is concerned and whether he wins a Grammy or not, the most important thing in his opinion is to use his music as a force for bringing togetherness and galvanizing people towards great ideals through positive elevation and empowerment.

    Despite his nomination for countless awards on the world music stages, his businesses endorsements, his music being used as scores to some television programs and soundtracks for video games and until recent, his appointment as a Tourism Ambassador in his home country Ghana, Rocky Dawuni says for the first time to the world here on your trusted news source that he's absolutely not interested in any form of political appointments whatsoever. He believes he functions pretty well at where he is right now as one who uses music as a tool for positive change. Politics creates affiliations which leads to divisiveness if not properly handled, Rocky says he's however for the opposite--oneness!

    Mr. Dawuni's views on the current upheavals in the Mid-East and other parts of the world which have seen ordinary people clamoring for the removal of governments and individuals that have entrenched themselves in political power for decades are quite philosophical. Rocky is of the view that the world political arena is undergoing a dramatic change and it's a sign of the new paradigm in which we live. The proliferation of information has greatly increased and improved, putting more information in the hands of individuals and taking away the power some of these leaders had in the past to control the flow of information or directing it to favor their sole interest even to the disadvantage of the people that elected them into political office.

    Today's information age easily allows people to circumvent the way information flow used to be in so called developing and third world countries. This means people are tapping into a much larger information pool by looking beyond the boarders of their country thanks to things like the Internet and social networking platforms like Facebook which places free and easy access to information and news in the hands of the people. Most of the leaders of these African and Middle-Eastern countries experiencing this current uprising and dissent from their own people were caught on the other side of the digital revolution, they were thus taken by surprise. According to Rocky, these leaders' longevity in power and adherence to the old-fashioned ways of doing things is what caught them off guard as they didn't have younger and enterprising advisers in their inner circles to warn them of the power of things like Facebook and the Internet or their ability to expose a person to new information and changes around the world in seconds.

    Rocky believes all these leaders who are facing removal from office through the use of people-power are painfully coming to grips with the fact that political mandate is not and has never been a birthright or a dynasty where you see leaders grooming their children or cronies to take over governance when their tenures are due, a trend synonymous to some African and Middle-Eastern countries. Today's youth according to Rocky has a powerful tool in the form of social media with which they can use to mobilize, communicate and organize within a short space of time towards the achievement of a common agenda like the rejection of a system which is not representative of the common good or the silencing of all forms of constructive opposition and divergence by authority.

    As hoped by Rocky, all these revolutions are going to create changes for the good, so long as the world is able to manage them very well by continuing to push the ideas and ideals that are currently inspiring and calling for change in the global political arena to create democratic institutions that will facilitate this paradigm shift and lead to the development of places like Africa and the Middle-East from now and into the future as preached about in "Download the Revolution", a track on his acclaimed album, "Hymns for the Rebel Soul."

    The future presents a greater opportunity for Rocky Dawuni to push his music deeper and further into new horizons and territories and the musician is presently looking at garnering more fans in Asia following his successful performance in Bali, Indonesia two years ago during the period of the web premiere of Playing For Change "a collaborative work with Bono and other artistes around the world. Playing For Change Foundation seeks to connect the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities around the world.

    For now, Rocky Dawuni is looking forward to performing creditably well in Trinidad come May 28 at the International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA) show where he has been nominated for Best Album and Best African Entertainer, and again at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on July 24th, 2011 where he'll be performing alongside the legendary Stevie Wonder with special guest Jeanelle Monae. These two will be backed by Ricky Minor of The Tonight Show fame. Rocky also hopes to see his yearly 6th of March Independence Splash Festival Bash grow into a show with a stature as big as that of the Reggae Sun Splash held annually in Jamaica.




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