Rocky Dawuni

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Rocky Dawuni
Rocky Dawuni.jpg
Rocky, with his guitar
Background information
Birth name David Dawuni
Also known as Rocky Dawuni
Born Ghana
Genres Reggae Afro Beat and Soul
Occupations Musician, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Social Activist
Instruments Guitar Piano, percussion
Years active 1997 - present

Rocky Dawuni is a Reggae artist, singer and songwriter from Ghana, in West Africa. He first appeared on the music scene in 1996 with The Movement; which was released on Aquarian Records. A video of What Goes Around rose on the Reggae Video Chart in January 1997. Rocky, wrote, arranged, and produced tracks on the 1998 release album entitled 'Crusade' which was put out on Aquarian and Who Dun It Records. The first single and video titled In Ghana, became an international success on both radio and television. Dawuni describes the song as a celebration of 40 years of and political stability Independence enjoyed by Ghana.

Early life[edit]

The first time Rocky Dawuni heard reggae music was in Michel Camp, which is a military barracks in Ghana where he was born. There was a military band called 'Hot Barrels' which used to do covers of popular songs including reggae music. Rocky was interested in music, which is why he attended the Hot Barrels' rehearsals. Rocky's attention was grabbed at a rehearsal in which the Hot Barrels played a Bob Marley cover. He later said: "I remember totally being drawn to the words and also the message and the intentions of the music," he told CNN's Isha Sesay.[1] When Rocky was accepted into the University of Ghana to study Philosophy and Psychology he turned his attention to realizing his music career by starting his first campus band called Local Crisis and thus launching his music career.

Rocky Dawuni in 2012 was named an Ambassador of a UN Global Alliance Foundation[2] which include Academy Award-winning actor Julia Roberts and Chef Jose Andres. This UN Foundation advocates for clean cook stoves around the world.


Rocky Dawuni has released five albums to date. His music is a fusion of Reggae, Afrobeat, Highlife and Soul.[citation needed] His song In Ghana from the album Crusade on iTunes[3] was featured on Reggae Around the World[4] released by the Putumayo Music label in 1998.[5]

Rocky won the "Best African Artist 2011" at the International Reggae & World Music Awards. CNN featured him on African Voices describing him as "Ghana's Bob Marley" in August 2011 and named him one of the Top 10 African Artists on the global stage.[6]

Rocky has appeared in concerts with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Jason Mraz, Shaggy (musician), Sharon Jones (singer), Janelle Monáe, Keb' Mo', Vusi Mahlasela and K'naan. He has performed on stages around the world including the Hollywood Bowl and his music has been featured on popular US television shows like "ER", "Weeds" and "Dexter" as well as on Electronic Arts video game titles The Sims 2: Castaway, FIFA 08, FIFA 10, 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (video game).[7]

Dawuni released albums Awakening in 2001 and Book of Changes in 2005, which featured a progressive fusion of Reggae and Afrobeat.[citation needed] The track "Wake the Town" is a typical example of such fusion.

In 2007, his cover of John Lennon’s "Well Well Well" appeared on Warner Bros Release Instant Karma; The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Dawuni featured on two songs; "War/No more Trouble" and "Biko" with Bono and Keb Mo' on Playing for Change released by Concord Records in 2009, which reached #10 on Billboard 200 Album charts[8]

'Rocky Dawuni performs with Stevie Wonder'

Two tracks from Hymns For the Rebel Soul:[9] "Download the Revolution" and "African Reggae Fever" were featured on FIFA SOCCER 2010 and FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 as part of an international soundtrack celebrating the cultural vibrancy of the first FIFA World Cup(TM) to be held in Africa.

His fifth studio album Hymns For the Rebel Soul released in late 2010 was nominated for "Outstanding World Music Album" at the 42nd NAACP Image Award

Dawuni was appointed Ghana's Tourism Ambassador in 2011 and “World Music Ambassador for MUSIGA (Musician’s Union of Ghana) in 2011. Dawuni serves as an activist and spokesperson for causes related to clean water and sanitation, Guinea worm eradication, women issues, environmental awareness, HIV/AIDS, girl child education and is also a goodwill ambassador for the promotion of peace and tolerance. He has collaborated with Product (RED), UNICEF,[10] the Carter Center and the UN Global Fund to further some of these efforts.

He created the "Independence Splash Festival" in Ghana, an annual music event that raises awareness for a series of social causes, including provision of clean water and education for girls which forms part of Rocky's efforts at using music as a tool for social change.


Album Year
The Movement 1996
Crusade 1998
Awakening 2001
Book of Changes 2005
Hymns for the Rebel Soul 2010

Music Featured on Television[edit]

Track TV Program TV Station
Wake the Town ER NBC
Jammin Nation Weeds Showtime
Jah Be For Us Weeds Showtime
Shashemane ER NBC
Jah Be For Us Dexter Showtime
Knockin on Heaven's Door ER NBC

Music Featured on Video Games[edit]

Track EA Games Year
African Soccer Fever 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010
Download The Revolution FIFA 10 2009
The One The Sims 2: Castaway 2008
Wake Up The Town FIFA 08 2007
African Thriller 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CNN - Rocky Dawuni". Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Alliance Ambassadors". clean stoves. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Crusade on iTunes". Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Reggae Around the World". Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Awards". Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Best African Artist". Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "MTV". Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ "200 Album - Billboard". Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Hymns for the Rebel Soul - iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Rocky Dawuni". Unicef. Retrieved July 23, 2012.