Bob Marley would be proud …
Over the years, many Reggae ( Marley) – influenced singers and musicians have come and gone. Some, like Peter Tosh, have had successful careers cut tragically short. Most, have a few hits (or none) and fade into obscurity.
Ghana native Rocky Dawuni does not fit into the above category.
Dawuni has that ‘ je ne sais quoi …’ . That something special which separates the Adeles of the world from the rest of the female singers. Rocky Dawuni is … that special.
Dawuni was in Montreal last week as part of the Mundial Montreal Festival supporting his 2015 brilliant album; ‘Branches from the Same Tree’. His concert at Petit Campus a reflection of the energy which is so eloquently produced within this landmark album.
Smiles and infectious grooves via a delicous and contagious melange of Afro-roots and reggae-based melodies were omnipresent at his very first ‘historic’ Montreal appearance. The ‘poet’ from Ghana, a prancing preacher relaying his wisdom with fiery energy and conviction into a capacity audience filled with bright eyes.
Dawuni is a natural born showman with timely messages for the world within the tunes of a Saint. Dawuni combined these rare talents within each song. He climbed the peak of Mont Royal and sent his vibes brilliantly over the valleys of the pilgrims.
Dawuni’s backing band, are Rocky’s ‘tribe’. The foot soldiers for a General. Tight, rhythmic – ‘on edge’.
Drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards echoed his latest single ‘African Thriller’ ( part of Branches from the Same Tree) with a influence of African music, traditional music, reggae and eclectic global sounds. Blues, Country-Blues, Rock and roll and everything in between fused together to sculpt a show-stopping tune high in ‘Highlife’ – a genre that originated in Ghana.
Dawuni is involved with UNICEF, the UN Global Fund and other organizations, and has been named one of Africa’s Top 10 global stars.
All this keeps his lyrics fresh, poignant and cutting edge.
Dawuni splits his time between the U.S. and Ghana and visits Rwanda, twenty years after the genocide there killed up to a million people. As a guest of the Kigali genocide museum, Rwanda’s ministry of culture, and the NGO Aegis Trust (which promotes post-genocide peace building), Dawuni delivers messages of peace in reality and through his music. In Montreal, that peaceful vibe was present within the most piercing guitar solo or ‘angry’ lyric.
Dawuni displayed urgency, thoughtfulness and humanity at Petit Campus. Empowerment and positivity, knowledge rather than ‘lyrics’.
Now – it’s time for the rest of the world to listen to Rocky Dawuni also !
Listen then sing along. It’s a human thing.