Few artists in showbiz work harder than Ghanaian superstar Rocky Dawuni. Raised by a traveling cook for UN Peacekeepers around Africa and the Middle East, Dawuni found stability in music during his semi-nomadic childhood. Everywhere he went, he soaked up the musical stylings of the locals, prompting him to discover the diverse musical roots within his own country upon return. Forming his first music group with makeshift instruments, it didn’t take long for Dawuni to get noticed. His unique blend of sounds from reggae, Afropop, funk, and soul stands out and calls in listeners from all walks of life. His skill and versatility have allowed him to share the stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Jason Mraz, and Janelle Monae. Meanwhile, his personality and global perspective landed him the titles of UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment for Africa, and Global Ambassador to the World Day of African and Afrodescendant Culture. On top of that, his 2016 album Branches of the Same Tree received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggae Album and he has gone on to receive two more GRAMMY nods for Best Global Music Album and Best Global Music Performance for subsequent releases. Get to know Rocky Dawuni before the release of his next album, due out next year!
Leading up to the release of his album, get a peek at Rocky Dawuni’s next (r)evolution with his latest single, “Shade Tree.” Expressing Dawuni’s full breadth of influence, this new track layers elements from soul, roots, reggae, Highlife and even subtle nods to the West Coast hip-hop beats of Dawuni’s second home of Los Angeles. Dawuni’s lyrics invite all its listeners to cool off and seek understanding of one another under the shade of our common heritage. Reconnect to your roots and find your community in Rocky Dawuni’s “Shade Tree.”
Get closer to the center of the circle with the music video for “Shade Tree,” directed by young visionary Brazilian director Ema Ribeiro. In the video, Dawuni beckons us to follow him through the streets of Salvador, Bahia. Across beaches, through markets, and past murals, the vibrant city scenes lead us to a grandmotherly tree at the center of town. Gathered together, the community flourishes and celebrates their roots, calling you in to join them for respite from the harsh world under the “Shade Tree.”